We all want to raise happy, healthy children, but sometimes their behaviours can leave us feeling frustrated and at a loss to know what to do. This is where parenting and family support counselling sessions can help
The good news is that once we learn how to read the meaning behind the behaviours, everything changes.
Parenting could be the most important work we will ever do, and 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 aren’t sure how to do this?
Small Child as a Sponge
Have you ever noticed that when you feel stressed or tense, your children sense this, and act out more? Behaviours escalate, and they become more clingy, whiny, whiney and frustrated. They are picking up on your stress and it makes them feel unsafe.
In a very perverse way, they are letting you know that they are feeling lost and overwhelmed, and need your help to feel safe again.
A New Way of Parenting
In the past parenting strategies 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.
Instead of seeing the behaviour as just the child’s problem, current research sees the behaviour as a natural response to feeling threatened or overwhelmed. Once you realise this, it is much easier to respond with compassion and empathy, rather than judgements and anger.
All Behaviour has Meaning
A relationship-based approach to healing is based on the understanding that all behaviour has meaning. Once we learn how to read the behaviour, everything shifts. Our natural, in-built intuition is already there, waiting to be developed. In other words, we already know the answers, but maybe don’t realise this yet.
Rather than labelling or diagnosing your child, I see my role more like a guide, or consultant, supporting you to make the changes you would like. Working together I will help you to address underlying issues, or the “why” behind your child’s challenging behaviours and learning difficulties.
An holistic approach recognises that anything affecting one person will also have an impact on those around them. As a result, addressing the stresses and tensions in our own life can flow on to the whole family. Working to transform unhelpful patterns and beliefs from our own childhood, helps us to support our children in their distress.
The result is closer relationships and happier families, and isn’t this what we all want?
Common Parenting Issues
Some of the issues counselling and parent support 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 counselling comes 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. Once we become parents, we can never go back to those carefree childless days.
Parenting doesn’t stop when our offspring leave home. Relationship challenges can arise at any age or stage of life, even well into adulthood. The strong connections formed in our child’s early years should last for life. Our adult children still need to know they have our love and support.
Your Parenting Support Session
Counselling and Parent Support 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 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. It may take time to change inherited patterns of behaviour and beliefs, so be gentle on yourself.
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 learn how to create a secure attachment with your child, as the basis of all later learning. You will be able to recognise your own triggered responses to your child’s challenging behaviours. Once you have this awareness, parenting becomes so much easier and more rewarding.
You can learn how to respond rather than react when your child is having a “moment”.
The Next Step
No parenting issue is too small (or too big) to bring to your sessions. While I also offer individual counselling for older children, I find that most problems can be resolved through supporting parents.
A PACFA accredited Holistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Rosalind is also a Registered NDIS Provider, Circle of Security Facilitator and approved Victims Services Counsellor.
Sessions are available in person at Moruya South Head, and online via zoom.