Becoming a parent is a great blessing and the most rewarding experience in one’s life. While nurturing and supporting your child is fulfilling, it can also get taxing. With several media platforms and books out there providing endless information on being a good parent, it can seem overwhelming and dizzying for parents.
It is where the guidance of a parenting counsellor is needed. They are professional therapists who aim to provide you with the right direction, tools, knowledge, and skills to become a better parent to your child.
What does a parenting counsellor do?
Parenting counsellors are mental health professionals or therapists who specialise in providing aid and support to parents facing troubles in their lives that may affect how they raise their children. Parenting counsellors help identify the past or present issues, address them and equip parents with skills and tools that empower them to cope and solve these problems. Parenting therapy is a safe and judgment-free zone that allows parents to speak about their issues and manage them effectively and healthily.
Once counsellors identify these issues in the initial sessions, the therapist may recommend various therapeutic approaches to address these issues. These services include couples counselling, co-parental counselling, substance abuse rehabilitation, parental support groups, anger management classes, or a combination of these approaches. Once the parents start making progress in the sessions, the next step involves asking the child or children to participate in these sessions.
What are common problems that parents face?
Parenting can be a blessing and tiring at the same time. Parents with an excellent support system may not need this, but parents who make poor lifestyle choices, don’t get enough sleep or are constantly stressed need parenting counselling. A few common problems parents face are:
- Separation or divorce – Divorce impacts both the parents and the children, can change the dynamics of the family structure and results in adapting to new changes for the entire family, which might include moving to a new city.
- Health issues – Physical or mental health issues can stop parents from spending time with their family and fulfilling their parental responsibilities. Mental health issues make it difficult for parents to understand and relate to their children.
- Substance abuse issues – Substance issues may potentially create many problems in the family, such as financial issues or marital problems.
- Marital issues – Financial troubles to infidelity can cause a rift in the marriage and how parents look after their children. These issues can leave children feeling abandoned and confused about their perception of love and marriage.
- Dealing with children’s issues – Children themselves may have serious problems such as behavioural issues, substance abuse, or mental health issues they are going through that may cause stress in parents over time.
How a parenting counsellor can help you
When the parents recognise there are issues and need professional help, they may seek out a parental counsellor on the recommendation of their friends or find one themselves. Going to a parental counsellor shows the entire family that they can solve their issues and become healthier.
The counsellor conducts a thorough interview and better understands the issues. The counsellor may recommend couples counselling, divorce adjustment therapy, or a combination of therapeutic interventions after identifying the problems. A parenting counsellor can help the parents in the following ways:
- Parenting counselling is a safe space free of judgment where parents are encouraged to express their emotions and discuss their issues.
- The counsellor educates parents on their parenting style, pros and cons, and how to focus more on growing the pros.
- Parenting counsellors empower the parents with the right tools to handle conflicts and healthily communicate with their children.
- They guide the parents by understanding and evaluating how they raise their children and their expectations.
How to find a professional parenting counsellor
Before selecting your parental counsellor, you must research and create a list of potential counsellors you would like to meet. You can have an appointment with each counsellor to see which one is the best for you and your family. You must check the counsellor’s educational qualifications, training experience, and license before selecting the right one.
You can also find a parenting counsellor through references from family members or friends. Lastly, if you are uncomfortable asking your loved ones for reference, you can ask your family physician to connect you to a trustworthy parenting counsellor.
A parenting counsellor is your partner in this journey.
Parenting can be hard at times, especially while facing financial troubles, going through a divorce, or facing any health issues. They can affect the way one communicates and raises their children. It is okay to seek help from a professional parenting counsellor. They are trained therapists who provide you with the guidance and tools to cope with your problems and become better parents. While they are there for you, they are also there to offer their services to your children as children form an essential part of your growth. A parenting counsellor is not just your counsellor but is also your partner on this journey. They navigate the rough waters with you, providing empathy and support while you try to address your issues.
Parenting is the most rewarding journey in any person’s life. No matter how much they try, even parents can go through many troubles. Sleepless nights, poor lifestyle choices, and stress can manage your children. It is when you need the help of a professional parenting counsellor. It does not mean you have failed as a parent; it just means that you sometimes need help, and that is okay. Once you have made sure the counsellor has all the qualifications and license, you start your sessions with your counsellor. They interview you extensively to understand and identify the issue. Once that is done, they recommend one or a combination of treatments to help you on this journey to become better parents.