Family Enrichment and Parenting Support
Families are enriched when parents feel confident in their ability to care for their children in ways that enhance their growth and healthy development.
It can be difficult to feel confident as parents when none of the tools in our toolbox seem to be working when we try to respond to our children’s behaviours and emotional upsets.
There are also life events and family characteristics that can leave a parent in want of parenting strategies and support. Perhaps you are navigating:
- Becoming a blended family
- The birth of a new baby
- A new diagnosis
Whatever the circumstances, Family Enrichment can provide you with support and information to strengthen your existing parenting skills, learn new strategies, and become more confident as a parent.
How Do I Know If I Need Parenting Support?
All parents can benefit from parenting support.
Parenting support can take the form of parent-coaching, individual therapy, family therapy, or parent groups.
You may wish to consider accessing parenting support if you would like to:
- Communicate more effectively with your child
- Learn how to better attune to your child’s needs
- Learn new strategies for managing your child’s tantrums
- Learn new strategies for responding to sibling rivalry
- Better understand your child’s behaviours
- Better support your child through a divorce/separation
- Better support your child through coping with grief
- Better support your child through coping with trauma
- Better support your child through challenges they may be facing at school
The following are parenting techniques that may help you communicate with your child more effectively:
When-Then Clearly name the specific behaviour that the child is to carry out and the reward they can expect in return (e.g When you’ve finished your dinner, then you can have dessert)
Name it to tame it Even if your child’s reaction to a situation seems unreasonable to you, accepting and respecting your child’s feelings can help them to better manage their emotional response. You can do this by helping to give their feeling a name (e.g. “Wow! I can see how angry you are.)
5 words or less When trying to engage cooperation from your child, shorter instructions are better. (e.g. If you’ve asked your child to put on their jacket already and they don’t seem to be listening, try saying lovingly but firmly, “[Child’s name], jacket!”
Adapted from “Ten Favourite Parenting Techniques” by Liana Lowenstein (2010) and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (2012).