Does Parenting Seem More Difficult Than it Needs to be?
Would you like to improve or mend your relationship with your child/children? Do you often feel overwhelmed, frustrated or uncertain about how to properly discipline or reward your children? It may be that you don’t feel connected with your child, tween or teen, especially if communication is strained and you feel clueless as to what’s going on in his or her head. Maybe your child is going through a stressful time or transition, and you feel powerless to help. Or, you may be experiencing a difficult situation yourself and worry that you’re not parenting as well as you could or should be. As a parent juggling your personal and professional life, are you regularly exhausted and/or overwhelmed? Perhaps your children often misbehave, throw tantrums or engage in sibling rivalry. Do you wish you could speak to your children in a way that encourages them to listen and open up to you?
Lacking confidence and control as a parent can be a deeply unsettling experience. It may be that you are feeling overwhelmed with a new baby, struggling to cope with lack of sleep and/or experiencing excessive worry over your child’s health and safety. You may be unsure if your child is reaching developmental milestones or is on track socially or academically. Parenting books may be failing to provide the advice or encouragement you need. Maybe you’ve recently gone through a divorce or separation and worry that disagreements and/or the transition is keeping your kids from feeling safe and secure. It may be that you need help formulating a parenting plan so that you and your ex-partner can co-parent consistently even as your kids move between homes. You may feel guilty and/or frustrated with yourself for falling short, especially if you find parenting one child easier than the other(s). One of your children may be studious, shy or quiet, while the other is extraverted and lacks focus, causing you to wonder how to parent consistently and fairly. Do you worry that your kids may not feel loved or that you’re not making the right decisions for your family?
Every Parent Struggles With Doubt, Overwhelm And Exhaustion
Children do not come with instruction manuals and most, if not all, parents experience difficulty at some point on their parenting journey. Raising a child is a full-time job and many people don’t have the support they need, especially if they have another job demanding copious amounts of time and energy. For single parents and those going through a separation or divorce, parenting can be even more challenging. Many parents feel like they are being stretched in several directions, and it can be difficult to know how to help children cope with changes in routine, loss and new additions to the family.
While parenting is a process of trial and error, it’s important to realize that you are the expert in your child’s life. Regardless of the pressure society exerts on parents to be perfect, it’s common to make mistakes. You are doing a good job and can make the right decisions for your children. And, sometimes that means seeking help. In stressful times and situations, particularly, reaching out for help is the best action you can take for your family. Working with an experienced family therapist can help you make thoughtful decisions and navigate difficult transitions with confidence and increased ease. With your innate knowledge, combined with my training and experience in family therapy, we can collaborate on a plan of action that will help you parent/co-parent effectively and consistently, setting your children up for happy and successful lives.
Parent Counseling Can Provide You With Guidance, Skills, Support And Relief
For many parents, raising children both is their greatest challenge and greatest joy. Parent counseling can help you establish boundaries and productive routines, which allow you to relax more and enjoy time spent with your children. You can increase confidence, knowing that you are providing the specific support and guidance that your children need and will benefit most from.
In safe, confidential parent counseling sessions, you can talk openly and honestly about what is going on in your family, your fears and frustrations, and where you feel like you’re falling short, without fear of judgment. Once we identify specific challenges and goals, We’ll create a tailor-made action plan designed for your unique situation. You’ll no longer have to rely on parenting advice from your well-meaning loved ones, but, rather, can apply proven strategies to target your child’s behavior patterns, emotional wellbeing and other areas of concern. I’ll give you assignments and encourage you to try new techniques outside of therapy sessions. We can also discuss your self-care routine and I’ll help you carve out some valuable time for yourself, which can benefit the whole family. If necessary and appropriate, we may bring your children in for family therapy sessions, which can help everyone feel valued and understood and target your unique family dynamics.
As a systemically trained family therapist, I view families as systems that, when functioning optimally, support all members and allow them to flourish. I also focus on the nature of the attachments children form with their parents and vice versa, as well as incorporate Positive Parenting, Systemic Therapy, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques into sessions. My goal is to help you create more joy and harmony in your everyday family life, facilitating confidence and high self-esteem.
By attending even just a few parenting therapy sessions, you can begin to regain your power as a parent and work through feelings of guilt or doubt. I’ll give you effective tools tailored to your family, and I’ll support and validate your unique parenting experience. I can also help you stop comparing yourself to others and understand that there is no one-fits-all approach to parenting. You are the expert when it comes to parenting your children and, with support and guidance, you can overcome obstacles and continue on your parenting journey with confidence.
You still may have questions or concerns about parent counseling…
Can’t I just read a parenting book?
While parenting books can be excellent early resources, books are not tailored to your family’s specific situation and needs. Families are dynamic systems, and there is no way for a book to help with the intricacies of your family’s dynamic behavioral patterns. A book also cannot transform your family challenges, many of which have been created over long periods of time. On the other hand, an experienced family therapist can be highly effective in assessing your situation, creating a tailor-made action plan and helping you change patterns of behavior for the better.
Maybe if I give my child/tween/teen more space, our relationship/situation will get better.
When family dynamics suffer during trying times, one or both parents may believe that spending less time with children or together as a family might reduce tension and allow problems to heal themselves. However, as an experienced marriage and family therapist, I know that avoidance only leads to more problems. While giving your children space may bring short-term relief, distancing yourself can exacerbate challenges in the long run. Rather, by tackling challenges head on, parent counseling can help you mend hurt and strengthen connections with your children.
My partner/ex-partner is unwilling to come in for co-parenting counseling.
Research shows that parents who unite have greater success in communicating a clear, positive and constructive message to their children, as opposed to the mixed messages received from uncooperative parents. Therefore, I always encourage parents to seek therapy as a cohesive team. If your co-parent is still reluctant, it might be helpful to explain that parenting counseling is not the same as marriage or couples counseling, and I will not try to save your marriage or reconnect you as partners. Rather, my focus will be entirely on your children, who will bind you forever. All that said, if your partner/ex-partner is still unwilling to come for therapy, come on your own. There is a lot you can explore and learn that can improve the dynamic of your family.
You Can Find Balance And Joy As A Parent
If you’re ready to begin taking steps toward improving your confidence and relationship with your children, I can help. Call 972-489-2658 today for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about parenting therapy and my practice.