It is very strange that parenting is one of the most important responsibilities that we will be asked to take on in life, and yet we receive almost no training at all in the carrying out of this sacred responsibility. In school we receive instruction in many subjects that we will never need or apply in life after school, but receive little instruction in how to parent.
What were your parents like?
Usually the only way we learn about parenting is from the parenting we experienced at the hands of our own parents.
If we were fortunate and our parents did a good job, then our own parenting can be informed and enriched by what we experienced as children.
Unfortunately, if on the other hand our own childhoods were scarred by inept, indifferent or even abusive parenting, then we are likely to feel inadequate in our attempts to parent our own children. To our horror we may even find ourselves repeating some of the mistakes of our own parents. The emotional scars we carry from childhood can sometimes warp and inhibit our best efforts to be warm and wise parents.
In desperation we might turn to books and DVDs about parenting, but then feel overwhelmed by all the advice and instruction contained in these resources, or confused by the conflicting advice from different sources.
There has been a tremendous amount of exploration and research into what makes effective parents over the last couple of decades.
From my own reading and experience this research can be basically boiled down to two main dimensions which if you can understand and apply will ensure that you manage to raise happy, well-adjusted, respectful, socially intelligent children. These two dimensions are:
1. Warmth; and
To successfully apply these two dimensions, parents sometimes need some therapy themselves to help them heal from the wounds they carry from childhood.
Additionally, both parents need to be on the “same page”, so as not to sabotage each other’s parenting efforts.
If you are currently struggling to cope with some of the behaviour of your children, and feel that the above article speaks to some of your doubts and worries about your own parenting, please feel free to make an appointment to see me.
Matt Ryan is a senior psychologist with over 25 years of experience, and has seen great success in helping couples and families to work through their problems and difficulties.
To book an appointment with Matthew Ryan call 1800 877 924 or book online today!