Parenting could be the most important work you will ever do, but many of us find ourselves ill-prepared for this new stage of life.
Perhaps you want to parent differently from the way you were parented, but are unsure how to do this?
Strategies in the past often involved “teaching” children through methods of control, including punishment, time-outs, consequences and reward charts. However, today, many parents are uncomfortable with this approach, and are looking for new ways of parenting.
This doesn’t mean that past parenting was wrong. It simply means that we are evolving as humans, and there will always be new research, and new ideas to embrace.
I offer an alternative view, based on current research into brain science. This new paradigm is relationship-based, helping children to learn, using strategies of understanding, compassion and empathy.
The sense of safety and security you give your children in their early years will support them throughout life. You are raising tomorrow’s critical thinkers, scientists, artists, poets, writers, creative thinkers, leaders, therapists, engineers, philosophers, musicians…
I believe that children are born into this time for a reason, and each of them arrives bringing gifts. Every child has something important to contribute to our society, and our role as adults is to recognise and nurture these gifts.
How I can Help
I am an accredited Holistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Registered NDIS Provider and Registered Circle of Security Facilitator, with 15 years experience working with children with learning and behavioural challenges.
I help parents who are looking for answers. My approach is based on changing behaviour through understanding these behaviours as a way of communicating. Once you learn how to read the behaviour, everything shifts.
Your parenting sessions are a time for you to share your concerns. I will not judge you, or tell you what to do. Rather, I offer a space where you will feel seen, heard, understood. My role is to support you in finding ways to achieve your parenting goals.
Rather than labelling or diagnosing your child, I see my role more like a guide, or consultant, offering strategies and suggestions to support change. We will work together to address underlying issues, or the “why” behind your child’s challenging behaviours and learning difficulties.
Common Parenting Issues
Some of the issues I can help you with include:
- Understanding and addressing behaviours, such as signs of ADHD
- Parent stress and tension
- Miscarriage and infant loss
- Addressing learning difficulties, such as signs of dyslexia
- Guidance for your child’s early development
- School readiness
- Relationship issues
- Circle of Security Parenting classes
- Alternatives to time-out, punishment, reward charts and other traditional strategies
Parenting Challenges are Normal
Parenting brings certain challenges, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help if you feel you are struggling. This is where I come in – offering strategies for change, as well as helping you to look behind the behaviour to address the cause.
Perhaps you are struggling with a tired toddler, a tempestuous teenager, or a devastated divorcee. Parenting challenges happen at all ages and stages of life, and once we become parents, we can never go back to those carefree childless days.
Parenting doesn’t stop when your offspring leave home. Relationship challenges can arise at any age or stage of life, even well into adulthood. The strong connections formed in your child’s early years should last for life. Your adult children will still need to know they have your love and support.
The Aim of Counselling and Parent Support
My aim in counselling and parent support is to help you to have a more peaceful family life, raising children who are able to grow in confidence and self esteem. Generally, this can be achieved by building closer connections based on understanding the meaning behind the behaviours.
Rather than viewing the behaviour as the child’s problem, current research sees the behaviour as a natural response to a feeling of being threatened or overwhelmed. Once you realise this, it is much easier to respond with compassion and empathy, rather than judgements and anger.
Small Child as a Sponge
Have you ever noticed that when you feel stressed or tense, your child senses the disconnect and their behaviours escalate – clingy, whiny, winey, frustrated, temper tantrums, meltdowns. In a very perverse way, they are letting you know that they are feeling lost and overwhelmed, and are seeking a closer connection with you.
Your Parenting Support Session
Sessions usually last for about 50 minutes. In the first session we will be getting to know each other, and you will be invited to talk about whatever is worrying you. We will talk about your parenting goals, and how I can help you to achieve them.
My role is to facilitate change. I will not tell you what to do, or judge you. Rather, I offer a place where you can feel seen, heard and understood.
This may involve setting small weekly goals for you to achieve as part of a long-term plan for change. Rest assured, you will be supported as you work through this process.
There is also an option for ongoing support with regular catch up weekly or fortnightly phone calls to work through any issues that arise.My role is to help you to continue building the family life you really want.
It takes time to change inherited patterns of behaviour and beliefs, so be gentle on yourself. Parenting your child the way you were parented may not be effective for today’s child. Current research offers a new way of addressing behaviours based on compassion, understanding, building closer relationships.
Circle of Security Parenting
You might like to consider the 8-week Circle of Security parenting course. This is an internationally recognised relationship-based parenting program. It is designed to help you understand your children’s behaviours and build closer relationships as you learn through experience.
In these classes you will be helped to create a secure attachment with your child, as the basis of all later learning. You will learn to recognise your own triggered responses to your child’s challenging behaviours. Once you have this awareness, parenting becomes easier. You can learn learn to respond rather than react when your child is having a “moment”.
The Next Step
Counselling and Parenting Support offers a place where you can feel seen, heard and understood. No parenting issue is too small (or too big) to bring to your sessions. Where necessary, I can also offer individual counselling for older children.
Sessions are available both in person at my office at Moruya South Head, or online via zoom.