Parenting is perhaps one of the most difficult and challenging duties that one can have in life. However, parenthood can also be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience if you approach it well-prepared not only financially, but also mentally, physically and emotionally with the proper amount of support, guidance, tools and resources. What parental counselling does is it helps you harness your full parenting potential and empowers you to be the best parent you can be. Parenting counselling helps you gain a holistic understanding of the right parenting style(s) and learn how to function most efficiently as a family unit. It brings to home the much needed peace and clears any anxieties that may seep into the household during this transition period from being a married couple to a procreating couple bringing a new life into the world.
Common Issues In Parenting
The documentation and research into parenting states that majorly there are a few common issues that many parents face in one manifestation or another in parenting. They can be general or specific to some stages of the child’s development, personality type, etc. Counselling helps address all these challenges and helps you take on such problems with the right mindset and enough sensitivity, at the same time it helps you improve the parent-child relationship which is a very important part of parenting. These issues are as follows:
1. Handling Tantrums
Tantrums signal that your child is emotionally overwhelmed and requires your empathy, love and care much more than ever. Tantrums happen more in younger children as their prefrontal cortices aren’t yet fully developed for proper emotional control and thus lessen as they grow up. Younger children need help in emotion regulation and if given proper attention at the right time, they grow up to be much more balanced individuals that in turn help their peers handle their emotions better as well. The goal of parenting is always to help the child mature into a fully functional, healthy person who aptly contributes to society and becomes capable of not only just supporting himself or herself, but also those around him or her as an emotionally intelligent individual. However it should be kept in mind that when dealing with tantrums, certain limits should be set when it comes to physically violent behaviour such as hitting, biting, and other destructive actions. Counselling helps you prepare for such instances and as the sessions progress you’ll be able to point out the triggers of the child and better understand them, so that you can help the child gain the knowledge and skills yourself to deal with such problems.
2. Aggression (In children, and yourself)
With most things in life, when we go into an “auto-pilot” mode of sorts, we end up impulsively reacting to situations instead of skilfully responding to them. Even us as adults fall prey to such patterns of behaviours. Parenting counselling can help you spot such patterns and improve upon them so the children don’t pick on such habits and adopt healthier ones early on in life. However, we must be equipped with the tools to properly deal with when the children learn these habits from elsewhere. First and foremost it must be made sure that you aren’t disciplining your child with the traditional modes which involve aggression themselves as certainly this doesn’t do any good. Secondly, we must adopt techniques that contrast the traditional ones. Calm the child down by comforting him or her and once you sense that the child is no longer in the fight-or-flight mode, come up with alternate solutions to the problem which avoid aggression.
3. Scarcity of Time
Simple as it may seem, scarcity of time is one of the most common problems that people face in parenting as of today and can turn into being one of the most dangerous as well if it leads to child neglect. “How can I ever raise my child well when I don’t even have the time for it?” is a question that you may ask. Parenting counselling helps you prioritize your children and balance your time well and keep your calm while dealing with the bombardment of challenges of life. Keeping mentally fit is an important aspect of parenting as you simply cannot let your issues get to your children at any cost. Spending a healthy amount of time with children helps reduce chances of inferiority complex and instances of indiscipline in the future and reduces the neglect that may be caused otherwise.
4. Unrealistic Expectations from the Child
Parents can have unrealistic expectations about what their children should or should not be doing, about who they should and should not be. We all develop at our own paces and that’s fine. You cannot force your child into being potty trained or speaking early, all you can do is be patient and provide the child with the right kind of support, love, and attention. Parents of children with special needs face this problem more so than most others. It can be quite difficult accepting these facts early on, however, all children are different and require equal amounts of love and care. The expectations that you have should match with what your children are developmentally ready to do. If they aren’t achieving the proper milestones, then your child may simply just need some special care from your side, which counselling can help you with as well.
5. Consistency in Parenting Style and Behaviour
Inconsistent parenting can lead to many problems that may get ingrained in the tender mind of your child. It is one of the most common issues that parents face. Parenting should be as consistent with the rules and limitations set by you as possible, and these rules and limitations must be reasonable and acceptable. Being mindful of the behaviour and cues that you express through with your child is of utmost importance.
Tips on Improving the Parent-Child Relationship
A healthy parent-child relationship on its own ensures that the child is raised up well as if the child feels comfortable and at ease with sharing his or her good or bad moments with you, then you can easily help the child. At times it becomes difficult for children to be entirely honest with parents, and in the same way they can also feel neglected when they feel they aren’t being listened to. Following are a few tips to strengthen your relationship with your child:
- Show your love as much as possible with eye contact, warm expressions, and encourage honest and real interaction
- Give them positive affirmations and say “I love you” as frequently as possible
- Set healthy age-appropriate boundaries, limitations, and rules
- Be mindful of what you say to the child, listen, and empathize
- Play and spend time together to understand your child in a distraction free environment
- Eat most meals together, and create weekly or monthly rituals of outings and events with your child
- Try to be as available as possible
Features of Incontact’s Parenting Counselling
Our team of extensively trained mental health professionals include a few of the most proficient co-parenting counsellors in Singapore. Getting professional help for learning how to parent and navigating through this beautiful yet challenging and demanding journey is a sureshot way that you can adopt to become a better parent and bring out the best in your child. One of the main purposes of these counselling sessions, be they for single parents or couples, is also to help you tackle your personal issues so as to not let them affect your parent-child relationship and set the right environment for the complete socio-emotional development of the child. We believe in a systemic approach to create harmony in your parenting relationship and a big part of that is ensuring that children feel good, as only then can they behave well.
Counselling is also available for single parents separately, however the procedure for single parenting counselling is slightly different than that adopted by co-parenting counsellors.
Remember, you can only give your best to someone when you are at your best.
Get in touch with us and book your appointment now!