'I'm a parent - get me out of here!': parenting consultancy
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Dr Sara Trayman CPsychol - Counselling Psychologist
24th January, 20140 Comments
Who might need parenting consultancy?
For some parents, the journey to parenthood has not been a smooth one. Difficulties conceiving, during pregnancy and other events during this period such as family bereavement or significant changes can make this time particularly challenging. The demands of being a parent coupled with these stresses and many others can leave you feeling as though you have very little space to think.
When parents seek out parenting consultancy they are often feeling very stuck and like there is no way out. They need help to figure out what the difficulties are or how to help themselves. Parent consultancy is about you being the expert on your family lives - but, like all experts, sometimes you need some support from someone else to help you get the best out of yourself. We all have moments where we feel overwhelmed and we cannot see the way forward, and having someone understand your family values, hopes and story can offer you a place to work out the next step.
What is parenting consultancy?
Parenting consultancy is not therapy for you or your child. However, it is a place to think about relationships between you and your co-parents, and you and your child. Together with a therapist who has a background in working with parents and children you might consider some of the following things to help you to figure out the way forward:
- Your own experience of being parented
- Yourself as a child
- Experience/expectations/hopes of being parents
- The journey so far and how it has shaped you
- What you would like life to be as parents and as a family
- What you want your child to be - your best hopes for them and their future
- How to set yourselves up to be the parents you want to be.
Consultancy comes from the perspective that the child’s behaviours or difficulties are a communication from them that something is not working well in the family. Children (especially young children and babies) are often unable to articulate in words what it is that they are feeling. Parent consultancy is a space to have a foot in your child’s world and try to understand what they might be struggling with in a non-blaming way.
You’ll need to feel heard and understood, and to be able to figure out what is working well and what your struggles are. Just having the space to talk things through outside of the chaos of family life can provide a peaceful reflection on what can often feel overwhelming and infuriating.
SOME HELPFUL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Ask yourself: if my child’s behaviour is a communication, what is he/she trying to say?
- What is going on for me at the moment that might be impacting on how I respond when things are difficult?
- What are the sources of support that I have and how can I utilise them more?
- What are my core values/beliefs as a parent and how do I work towards them being my main focus?
- How can I do more to take care of my own needs so that I can become more free to be available for my children’s needs?
- Is there anyone with whom I can talk through my concerns, whom I trust and who will not judge me?
- What helps me relax/unwind after a difficult day?
- What are my best hopes for my child, myself and the future?
- What are my biggest concerns right now and what can I do about them?
- What would be one small change right now that would make a difference to me and my family?
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