Raising a child is hard work, and many parents feel tired, frustrated, and disrespected when disagreements and family conflicts flare up. You may feel as though your child never listens to you or never does anything you ask, even when you have his or her best interests at heart. Perhaps you worry that your child is not doing well in school, is unmotivated, or not developing his or her talents. You may also be terrified of your child becoming involved with drugs or alcohol or making other risky decisions and putting his or her safety and future at risk.
You may also be struggling in your co-parenting relationship. You may feel as though your co-parent undermines you or enables your child’s disobedient behavior. Perhaps you are tired of the daily arguments over discipline and family rules. Maybe you are feeling lost, helpless, and confused – unsure if your ideas about parenting are helping or harming your child and family dynamic. Do you wish you knew how to best support your family and raise your child in a healthy, supportive, and encouraging way?
Most parents want to do all they can to help their child or children live happy, fulfilling lives. However, it is extremely common for parents to disagree over the best methods for encouraging their child to succeed. Some parents want to be their child’s confidant and best friend and worry about appearing harsh or judgmental. Others value discipline and set high standards for their child’s performance in school, sports, and other activities. Parenting issues and disharmony in the home can lead to fights and create unease and unhappiness for parents and child alike.
Children are smart. When co-parents disagree, a child can usually figure out which parent will give him or her what he or she desires, from an extra piece of dessert to a late curfew to a sip of alcohol. Whether you are married, divorced, or single, it is important to establish consistent rules and boundaries for your child. With the right therapist, you can work through your parenting issues to achieve compromise and balance in your family life.
The qualified therapists at Waterford Counseling Services are dedicated to helping you and your family develop effective tools to resolve your parent/child and co-parenting conflicts. With our years of professional experience, we can help you discover new, creative solutions to the current and ongoing parenting issues that are creating distress within your home. Although you may feel that your family is in crisis, our sessions can help you and your co-parent create a consistent framework for your family and establish household rules that balance discipline and affection. You can’t be your child’s best friend, but you can be a supportive, encouraging parent. Your child may need consistency in order to give up tantrums or rebellious behaviors and embrace cooperation and open communication. With empathy and understanding, we can help you figure out how to establish that consistency.
Our therapists can also help you understand and explore the expectations you may have for your child. Although all parents want their children to succeed, it is important to remember that your child is human, and, like you, is allowed to make mistakes. We can help you develop methods to grant your child choice, empowerment, and ownership while enforcing appropriate discipline.
We can also provide psychological evaluations of your child if there is concern that underlying issues are exacerbating behavioral problems. If we discover that your child has a learning disability, a behavioral disorder, or an addiction to substances or alcohol, we can provide you with support, education and resources so your child gets the help that he or she needs.
You may realize that you need help resolving parenting issues and ending the disharmony in your home. But, you may still have questions or concerns…
Although you can’t force your co-parent to agree with you, our therapists can help him or her see the importance of enforcing set rules and holding children and adolescents responsible for their actions. If children do not experience the natural consequences of their decisions, such as receiving an “F” on an incomplete assignment or a ticket for driving drunk, they will never learn from their mistakes. At Waterford Counseling, we will do our best to help both parents see that enabling poor behavior does not help a child in his or her long-term development.
However, if you cannot convince your co-parent to attend counseling, you can still participate by yourself or with your child, and make significant progress.
Many people worry that therapy must last a lifetime. This is not the case. At Waterford Counseling Services, out therapists have a clear, goal-oriented program that identifies strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. Depending on your schedule and your needs, you can adapt and change how often you attend therapy to a frequency that is right for you. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner you can work through the stress of parenting issues.
While the particular issue or crisis troubling you now may not matter in a few months, consistent family conflict does not just disappear. Although your child may make his or her bed today, he or she may refuse to do homework tomorrow. Through family counseling sessions, you can uncover and resolve the underlying causes of family power struggles and develop the tools and strategies needed to promote consistent harmony within your home now and in the future.
Although you may be exhausted from fighting with your co-parent and your child, there is hope for positive change. Waterford Counseling Services can offer you the time, patience, and tools to develop a more harmonious family life.
We invite you to call Waterford Counseling Services at 630-898-5322 for a brief phone consultation. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
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