The effectiveness of counseling on Young Parents

Raising a child can be difficult for many reasons. Caring for a child, especially an infant or toddler, can take up a significant amount of time. Parenting may become even more difficult when a child exhibits signs of a behavioral challenge, physical or intellectual disability, or mental or physical illness. It may be especially difficult to cope when a child who requires extensive medical treatment or other extra care is not the only child in the home, and parents may find it difficult to give all children equal amounts of attention. This may lead some parents to experience guilt along with greater levels of stress, especially during young parenthood. When parenting issues lead to stress, this stress may manifest itself through worry, depression, irritability, or anger. Therapy can help address and treat these issues. Some parents may become stressed by a particular parenting challenge, be it a one-time event or recurring situation. When a child faces a mental health concern or behavioral issue, a parent may find help for the child but leave their own emotions and feelings unaddressed. This can be harmful in some cases, as stress may accumulate and leave the parent feeling overwhelmed. In therapy, a parent can address their feelings about a certain issue, find support and guidance, and seek professional help for parenting issues and concerns.

A therapist or other mental health professional is also likely to encourage parents to make time for themselves whenever possible and maintain a self-care routine. A parent with anger management or control issues may find therapy helpful for developing healthy and safe ways to address and manage thoughts and emotions and thus become better able to communicate with a partner or child.

Parental counseling promotes caring, consistent, and positive parenting that is central to creating safe and supportive environments for children. It increases parental knowledge of child development; assists parents in developing parenting skills; and normalizes the challenges and difficulties inherent in parenting.

If your child is struggling with emotional difficulties or behavior problems, or if he or she has gone through a difficult or traumatic situation, as a parent you are likely to be feeling:

  1. Worried or concerned about your child
  2. Powerless or helpless-because what you are doing may not be working and you don’t know what to do to change things
  3. Angry and frustrated-with your child’s behaviors
  4. Confused and uncertain as to what is really the best way to parent
  5. Guilty or ashamed-that somehow you may have failed as a parent
  6. Discouraged and inadequate-because your child is experiencing problems.

Parent counseling is a way for you to reduce your stress levels and increase your sense of confidence when interacting with your child.

How Can Parental Counseling Help?

  • Parents will be supported in identifying and expressing their feelings related to the child’s difficulties so that these feelings will not interfere with their parenting.
  • Parents will be supported in exploring various ways of interacting with their children that will improve the relationship between them and their children.
  • Parents can learn new parenting skills and behavior management strategies.
  • Parents will be updated on their child’s progress if he or she is involved in play therapy.
  • Parents are provided with the general themes the child is expressing in play therapy and ideas to work adaptively with the child at home.
  • Parents can learn specialized therapeutic parenting techniques, such as advanced listening and comforting techniques if the child has experienced a stressful or traumatic event; children exposed to trauma usually need therapeutic parenting following the trauma; normal parenting practices are often not sufficient to help the child heal and recover from the trauma.
  • Parents will be supported in dealing with other issues causing stress in their life that may be impacting their ability to help the child.

Always remember that children learn more from what you are than what you teach

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