As a family psychologist over the last 20 years, I have worked with many regarding parenting challenges. At times a child has been referred to my practice for individual support such as for tantrums, misbehaviour, emotional disregulation etc. A theme I have found to often occur is parents feeling out of synch with their child and struggling with how to read their emotions/behaviours.
Often a child expresses a variety of feelings (the good, the bad and the ugly) in their safe space, and often it’s the parents who feel at a loss of how to respond. In my work I have found the skill of assisting parents see through their child’s eyes can go a LONG way. Often negative focused behavioural management isn’t so necessary. Skills such as co-regulation and emotion coaching are so powerful. This could include containment in loving arms when their feelings are all too much for themselves, or statements such as “Jack I can see you are really frustrated that your Lego creation broke, I know how hard you had worked on it too”. I also help parents not jump in to fix things but provide a space for their child to problem solve possible solutions themselves.
Parenting is not an easy gig by no means (I get it, my parenting approaches are not fail proof with my own kids!), BUT consistency and calm in our child’s life is what we can provide. They are their own little human beings and we can help them to figure out who they are and what they will offer to this world. It’s a fascinating journey watching it on the sidelines in my clinical work, I’m in awe of the many wonderful parents I have assisted.
Love to all x