There is no doubt that raising children is one of the most, if not the most, challenging like task. Although there is no standardized training that must be taken before a child is born or at the different stages of his/her development, there is support to all parents in the Greater Fredericton Area who would want it. All you need to do is ask.
Whether your child is an infant or a teenager, there are ways of approaching him or her that can make your relationship more rewarding and less challenging. If you think you have tried “everything,” think again. There are plenty of strategies that you have not even thought of that can be very effective.
When we become parents there is so much to learn, so many choices before us, so many decisions to be made each and every day. The responsibility can weigh so heavily that some parents absolve themselves and let the child take the lead. But children have limited knowledge and experience so when they are running the show it is going to be chaotic and unhealthy for his/her development. Children need leadership, discipline, limits, safety and security, as much as love and attention.
I would not undertake a significant, long-term project without having very clear goals and objectives, having carefully considered the options available, and made conscious choices rather than relying on what the previous person working on the project did. Yet, when I became a mother I did not give it much thought. I became my mother – it’s what I knew. I didn’t even realize it at first. As I applied the ineffective methods I had learned at my mother’s knee, the situation became more and more challenging. Rather than blaming my children for being “bad,” I recognized that much of their inappropriate behavior had been modeled by my disrespectful approach to them.
It’s not just about being a bad or good parent, it’s about communicating with children in such a way that they understand and are understood, about modeling effective coping skills so they learn how to cope effectively with what challenges them, it’s about providing healthy boundaries so they learn how to set boundaries in their relationships rather than leaving themselves open to abuse.
Many children today live with no structures, no discipline, no guidance. No bed time routine. Meals that do not meet the needs of growing bones and muscles and so children are tired and listless. There is no consistency, household and conduct rules are not clearly laid out with matching consequences in the event of non-compliance.
Too many children are riddled with anxieties because they are living in households where parents are stressed to the max and not coping well. Parents expect appropriate behaviours when none are modeled. Children respond in kind. However, it is easier to see their behaviours and how their behaviours impact on you rather than being aware of your behavior and how it impacts on them.
Too many children today are being medicated without first exploring what parenting skills many need to be learned or enhanced to ease the situation in the home or at school. It may be that accessing counselling will help the parent(s) deal more effectively with the challenges. It may be that through family counselling the dynamics of the interactions can become more effective. Those who prescribe medications to children need to consider investigating these avenues. Consultation and counselling services are available to everyone in the community regardless of their financial situation.
Learning to be the most effective parent you can be is an incredible gift that you can give to yourself, your child(ren), and your family. If you are struggling, let us help you, support you, inform you, and provide you with resources and encouragement.