Are You a Parent Who Feels Stressed, Overwhelmed And Unsure How To Best Support Your Child?
Perhaps you are wrestling with the question about whether you should be your child’s friend or a strict disciplinarian. It might be that whichever way you go, you don’t feel like you are in control. You might swing from one extreme to the other, making life stressful, inconsistent and unreliable and leaving everyone feeling insecure, defensive and antagonistic. Maybe it feels like parenting is no longer enjoyable and, rather, has become a never-ending chore that you can’t escape.
There might be times when you are desperate with worry, especially if your child has become defiant or withdrawn. You might feel pressured to make sure that you are doing everything you can to ensure that your child is doing well at school, makes friends and is honest. You want to be the perfect parent, anticipating problems before they develop, being your child’s strongest advocate and protecting him or her from hurt, rejection, disappointment and fear. But, you may also feel angry, frustrated and punitive toward your child when your patience is tested.
Like so many parents, you may put a lot of pressure on yourself to be the perfect mom or dad and feel defeated and guilty when you, your partner and your child struggle. Perhaps you feel scared, inadequate and alone. You may also be raising several children where sibling rivalry stresses the family. Perhaps one child demands more attention, leaving the other(s) feeling neglected. Or maybe you’re a single parent struggling to make ends meet, fighting for child support or dealing with the enormous responsibility of nurturing a child all on your own.
It may also be hard for you to keep everyone—including yourself—feeling fairly treated. No matter what you do, your frustration may be rising when no one feels satisfied. Whether you’re having difficulties connecting with one child, managing sibling relationships, blending families or parenting post-divorce, you may often feel like you’re nearing your wit’s end in an attempt to create harmony in your home.
Almost Every Parent Struggles To Raise Healthy, Happy Kids
If you’re struggling with parenting issues, you are far from alone. By its very nature, parenting is the hardest job in the world, and it requires a permanent commitment. You learn it by osmosis from your own parents who may or may not be good role models. But, your own experience is all you have, and you are doing your very best to act in a responsible, caring and loving manner.
Memories of your own childhood color the beliefs you have about parenting. If you were treated harshly, you will be heavily motivated to do the opposite, and tilt toward being overly lenient. Alternatively, you may have been allowed to do as you liked, without boundaries or guidance. In that case, you are more likely to lean toward having more rules to compensate for what was lacking in your childhood. Either way, your parenting style may not suit your children, as well as cause tension between you and a co-parent whether it is your partner, spouse or a relative.
Most people don’t give much thought to how they will parent their kids until they experience a problem that they cannot resolve easily. Well-meaning in-laws or your own parents might tell you what to do and or try to take over, making you feel inept. Reading parenting magazines and hearing ‘experts’ at your kids’ schools may make you feel demoralized, wishing you could hand over the responsibility to someone, anyone at times, when you are at that point of helplessness.
The good news is that no matter what you’re struggling with as a parent, you are not alone, and there is hope and help. And, seeking support and guidance shows just how much you care. An experienced, understanding parenting coach can help you identify the underlying issues, respond to your children’s needs and feel confident in your ability to foster a happy, healthy family.
Parenting Counseling Can Provide You With Skills, Support And A New Path Forward
Parenting is not an easy job. The problems you’re facing are real, and your emotions are normal and valid. And, it is possible to find solutions.
In safe, nonjudgmental parenting coaching sessions, we’ll work together to examine the core issues that create disharmony. Through our work together, you may discover that certain fears make you more rule bound, disrupting the connection with your child. If this is the case, I can help reduce the fears that propel you to rein in tightly. Alternatively, you may set your kids free to find their own feet before they are ready. If so, I can help you introduce a structure that provides supportive limits and boundaries without you becoming a drill sergeant.
Whether it’s putting in more structure or releasing some, as a parenting therapist I’ll work on what gets stirred up for you—all the fears, anxieties and worries that make it hard to evolve with the different stages of development for your kids. I can help you heal old wounds that are opened up, so that you become a formidable team, co-parenting with love, strength and pride.
Throughout the parenting coaching process, we’ll notice the chain of emotions that get triggered in you by your child’s behavior, influencing how you parent. I’ll show you how to regain your power when you feel it has been hijacked. We can also work together to develop a parenting style that includes costs, consequences and incentives for appropriate and healthy functioning. I’ll offer schemes and skills to create a framework that enables you to feel balanced in terms of discipline and giving in, as well as teach you effective parenting skills, offer new and fresh ideas and help you stay accountable and consistent as we track your family’s progress
As an intuitive, skilled and highly experienced family therapist, I can help you create a sustainable, nurturing rhythm and routine that can help your children thrive. No matter what you’re experiencing now, with insight, understanding and new skills, you can develop a system and structure that helps you confidently raise happy, healthy and respectful kids.
You still may have questions and concerns about parenting and family therapy…
I’m trying hard to be a responsible parent and create consistency for my children, but my co-parent is indulgent, absent or very hard on the kids.
It’s very normal to feel frustrated when a co-parent does (or doesn’t) do things that make parenting even harder. In parenting therapy sessions, I can help you learn ways to talk with your co-parent about creating mutual goals. It’s often easier to focus on agreed goals than it is on methods of parenting. You can develop and implement useful strategies that can help you collectively meet parenting goals.
Only one of my children is really struggling. I’m not sure if it’s my child or me who needs therapy.
No matter what is going on, it’s important that you are involved. While an hour of child counseling a week for your child can be helpful, there is often little transference into the home without parent involvement. Parenting counseling, however, helps you understand what is going on with your child. You can develop new strategies and learn how to tweak existing styles, structures and routines so you can best support your child and his or her well-being.
My kids are unmanageable, and I feel like I total failure as a parent. I’m not sure that anything—even working with a parenting coach—can help.
Part of the parenting experience is failing. It’s hard, but it happens on some level to every parent. The good news is that you can learn from what’s not working and then use that experience to discover and explore fresh ways of parenting your kids. In parenting therapy sessions, I can help you understand your unique experience as a parent and adapt strategies that are thoughtfully tailored to meet your family’s specific needs and your therapy goals. Parenting is a job and commitment that never ends. It’s best to be proactive and seek help now. Doing so can provide you with immediate support, skills and relief and set you and your family up for future success.
You Can Raise Happy, Healthy Kids With Confidence And Poise
You can create and nurture a family system that feels good and functions well. I invite you to take the next step and call my office at 310-985-2491 to schedule an initial appointment. Your happiness and your family’s happiness are investments that matter.