One of the most difficult jobs in the world is raising little humans. Until you have embarked on this journey it is hard to imagine both the love and the exhaustion that are part of this process. From the moment they are born, we love like we have never loved before and a fierce protectiveness to give this little human the best world takes over.
Many parents lose sight of themselves on this journey and lose their identity or their relationship with their partner. Many parents struggle with various age groups and working out how to show love and provide discipline at the same time for each stage . The challenges involved are endless and yet for most of us we don’t seek help or guidance. We assume love will get us through and also feel the pressure to instinctively know what to do.
Some people are naturals at parenting, it is a skill like anything else that some people simply have. Some people are naturals at sport, others math and then there are those that are good at human behaviour and parenting. For most though, parenting can be a minefield to navigate. In the early years it is often physically draining with lack of sleep and endless chasing of toddlers. In later years it becomes more of a mental challenge and of course throughout all there are the emotional challenges.
Taking the time to get some help in how to approach parenting in a healthy way can make home life so much easier and enjoyable for everyone. My approach is to put a lot of effort into getting your parenting right in the first years of life. Throughout primary school years, you can pave the way to having a safe and more enjoyable experience with your teens.
The other problem we have as parents now is teens and their phones, social media and the vast amount of information they are exposed to. There is no ‘right’ way to manage this difficult time, we work towards what is going to be effective (and safe). Lately I have worked with some ‘difficult’ teens. What we learnt was that changing a few things at home in the parent/child relationship can make an immense difference. Talking to both the teen and the parents separately and then helping to bridge that communication gap has been really effective for family units.
Learn healthy ways to provide love, self-esteem, discipline, rules, boundaries, consequences, communication and respect with your children. This will help to set your kids up for a healthy future that you can help guide and nurture.
In sessions with parents, I work with you to see what is happening in your home and what your concerns are for your kids. We discuss a plan and strategies to help shape a healthy home. We look at changing existing unhealthy behaviours and promoting healthy routines. I prefer to work with parents to help determine how best to shape behaviour rather than work with the kids themselves.
There are also times when teens are struggling with their view of themselves, their self-esteem. This is an area that I work closely with to help change. A teen with a healthy self-view is usually an easier teen to parent. Teens are generally really comfortable with video counselling too. After all, they tend to live on their technology!