With parenting comes a great deal of self-doubt and guilt wondering if you are going about it the right way. I am here to tell you that you only need to be “good enough” and are allowed to make mistakes.
When colicky infants keep you up all hours of the night or teenagers refuse to go to school, you may have moments of regret, saying to yourself “What the heck was I thinking?!” (becoming a parent in the first place). These fleeting thoughts are normal, but if they increase in intensity, frequency, and duration, it may be time to reach out to a support system. You are not the only parent feeling helpless or hopeless at times, and fortunately, there are experts in your community who can help you improve or repair the relationship with your children.
Since every child is different, there are no one-size-fits-all parenting tips. I understand that, on one hand, you don’t want to be too “authoritarian”, and on the other hand, you don’t want to be too “permissive” in your parenting approach, but then how do you find the middle ground? How can you be tough and show love at the same time? Even though the “tough love” (otherwise known as the “authoritative”) approach is the preferred approach, it does not mean it is the easiest one. To the contrary, your “tough” role and your “love” role may, at times, seem incompatible, and therefore, may cause you to second guess yourself. I’m sorry to tell you that good parenting strategies do not always feel good, and that is what makes this job so particularly hard! If you feel conflicted about how to use “tough love” appropriately, it can be helpful to address some of your concerns with an experienced therapist.
Even though I no longer serve children in my practice, I am a trained Play Therapist, Parent-Child Interaction Therapist, and Child Trauma Therapist. I work with parents who have children of all ages from infancy to young adulthood.
Usually, the implementation of a few creative parenting techniques lead to positive changes within the parent-child relationship, which then, as you would expect, trickle down to all areas of family life. But sometimes, when none of your parenting strategies seem effective, regardless of how hard you try, it is possible your child may have a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety, a learning disability, or another health issue. In this case, I give parents customized pediatric resources and referrals.
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” ~ Quote by Dalai Lama