One of the most important connections between humans is the one between them and their families. No family is without problems, arguments, and stress. Key aspects when retaining harmony in your family is the way you parent your children, manage your personal issues, and handle conflict. Parent counseling is an invaluable service that will offer you unbiased guidance and support; helping you understand and identify the needs of every individual in your family and better look after the well-being of your family unit.
What Is Parent Counseling?
Being a parent can be the most rewarding experience you go through, but can also be the most taxing. After teaching your child how to walk, talk, and even go to the toilet, you then move on to teaching them life skills like how to hold a conversation, or how to manage conflict. With the number of parenting books available (each claiming to have found the one perfect way to raise your child), it is easy to become overwhelmed.
Parent counseling is a service that aims to provide you with knowledge, guidance, tools, and emotional support, all without judgment or bias. Different from family counseling which has its own set of benefits, parent counseling focuses on how you as the parent affect the dynamics of your family.
Parent counseling provides different therapies or modalities that help parents better understand their inherent parenting style and then dives deeper into understanding how various problems affect, and potentially change, that style. When a parent is equipped with the knowledge of how to resolve their own personal issues, they are able to turn their full attention to maintaining, growing, or restoring harmony in their household.
A couple of years ago, if a parent-child combination experiences problems, the counseling began with the child. While child counseling is sometimes very necessary, the parent has a much larger capacity to make behavioral changes that will benefit the entire household.
Who Needs Parent Counseling?
Although we recommend every parent attends at least once, parent counseling is more of a necessity for any parent who is:
Experiencing Marital Problems
From finances to infidelity, marriage problems have a huge impact on the children in the household. It is important to work through and resolve these issues so the child doesn’t develop warped perceptions regarding love and marriage.
Suffering From Ill-Health
Health problems, including mental health issues, can stop parents from being fully present with their family, as well as prevent them from fulfilling their parental responsibilities.
In The Process Of Separating Or Getting Divorced
Separation or divorce impacts the children just as much as it does the parents. Along with the new challenges that come with being a single parent, newly separated or divorced parents have to carefully navigate their children’s emotions and help them through the change.
Experiencing Abuse Or Violence
Any abuse experienced by the parent can result in fear, tension, and further aggression to build throughout the household.
Dealing With Loss
Whether it be a child, spouse, marriage, or even a job, experiencing loss can disturb the child as much as it disturbs the parent – even more so if the parent is unable to process that loss while keeping up with their responsibilities.
Abusing Alcohol Or Drugs
Substance abuse affects millions of parents across the globe; often impairing their ability to parent as well as they are able. It increases the risk of mental health issues, which can further inhibit parenting.
Struggling With Children/Teen Problems
Sometimes your child is the source of stress and issues for you, especially when dealing with teenagers because they can change drastically over a relatively short period of time. Parents are usually most worried about substance abuse, while teens are most concerned about mental health and bullying. Parent counseling gives you the tools to pick up on issues your child may be facing and the communication tools to help your child without shaming them for needing help.
How Will Parent Counseling Benefit My Family?
Every parent is susceptible to various problems that will affect the way they take care of their families, especially with respect to how they raise their children. When they take the step and begin parent counseling, parents show their children that they care about the well-being of the family unit and also help destigmatize mental health issues.
Some benefits of parent counseling include:
- You are provided with an unbiased outsider’s view into your home, allowing you to make object decisions with the advice of a trained professional.
- A better understanding of your parenting style. This teaches you the pros and cons of your inherent way of parenting, helping you maximize the pros and work through the cons.
- Better conflict skills. Parent counseling can teach you techniques to handle conflict – which indirectly teaches your child that conflict can be healthy and a good opener for communication as opposed to violent and confusing.
- Manage parental expectations. When a parent-child conflict has reached the point where neither of them can be a winner – the best thing to do is step back and reevaluate what you are expecting of your child. Parent counseling will walk you through the best way to do this, and help you navigate these conflicts with various techniques.
Lastly, and most importantly, parent counseling removes the pressure of having to parent perfectly. One of the most common reasons parents avoid counseling is the idea that going to counseling means you have failed as a parent. In fact, we believe it’s the opposite. The counselor’s role is to work with the parent without judgment, helping the parent be the best mother or father they are able to be. Taking steps to better yourself as a parent shows your children how much you care about them, and will benefit you and your children for the rest of your lives.