Parenting Counselling Sydney - Raising children doesn't have to be a source of conflict
Please note Clarissa now only sees couples who are also parents but will work with couples on relationship issues apart from conflict or difficulty with parenting. Note that hours for couples session are limited.
Parenting is challenging. We have an assumption that parenting is instinctive and that we should know what to do, but in fact it's not. Our instinct is to nurture and protect and how we go about doing this is up to us.
Being the parents of a new baby can pose huge changes and challenges. Not only has the relationship changed but new babies can bring up issues and strains parents didn't even know they had. Ideally you work through these prior to the baby arriving but issues in the early days are remarkebly common but feel particularly difficult. Seeking extra support as a couple at this delicate time is a sign of resourcing support.
We know that parenting is hard but how hard depends on many factors.
What the child brings: does your child have a 'difficult' temperament, how are you coping with this?
Who is around to truly support you in you role or does it feel like the only feedback you get is critical?
Do you have problems with your in-laws, conflict with your partner or a pervasive feeling that you are a bad parent?
Are you one of the increasing number of parents with a child who has a behavioural or dietary condition?
Are you parenting a child with Special Needs like Autism or ADHD?
Are you a step parent trying to navigate your new role?
Children with special needs will pose additional challenges on the family system. The extra stress from the demands of caring for a child with special needs/ behavioural issues can put a strain on a relationship. While these children can bring couples closer, they can also drive them further apart by highlighting differences in values, inequities in care-giving, less time and energy for each other and separate styles of grieving and loss along the lifespan of the child.
Disagreements over disciplining children are the source of many couples arguments. What they should be disciplined for (what they can and can't do) and how they should be disciplined. It's quite a heated area and a fertile ground for disputes in even the most harmonious of households. But for couples who are not getting along arguments over the kids are common.
Child behaviour problems can sometimes be entwined with the parents' relationship issues. This is just the way it is when the child is living in the same environment. In addition, when parent's are not on the same page emotionally they are unlikely to be able to agree on discipline. So they are far more likely to argue about how the children are disciplined, leading to more inconsistency and a more out of control child.
Parental discord and arguments. If you and your partner keep loosing it in front of the kids couples therapy might help you manage things so your kids do better.
Divorce will affect children in many ways depending on their age. But parenting after divorce needn't be too disruptive if both parents manage it well and keep the children's best interests in mind.
Step parenting is tricky business and many step parents feel like they are walking on eggshells around their step children and partner, especially when it comes to discipline and respect.
Couples therapy may help you
Manage your disagreements around how children should be raised
Control conflict around your children
Get on the same page with behaviour management
Learn new skills to deal with challenging child behaviour
Strengthen your relationship as partners in parenting
Disciplining children is a heated issue and can be distressing for some and a source of conflict and tension for others. The problem is, nothing undermines a parent's authority more than having another parent getting upset with them. This is justified if the parent is being brutal or too punishing, but sometimes its an argument over weather little Sam can have dessert when he didn't eat all his dinner. Some people come together, have children and then realise the way they want to raise a child is completely different. Two people who got along fine are suddenly arguing about everything. The end result is the child gets mixed messages, feels in the line of fire or sees an opening to take over! Along side familiarity with the many factors that can play into child behaviour, (see more on child behaviour problems) Clarissa is a certified Triple P parenting program trainer and also versed in the 'magic 1-2-3' behaviour management method and can coach you on management techniques so you are on the same page with parenting.
Along with her professional training Clarissa has over 17 years 'hands-on' experience from parenting 5 completely different children. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say and different parenting styles can work together if parents work together. If adults understand what their parenting style is, and more importantly, what drives it they can work together to be highly effective parents and have secure contained children.