Parenting Support in Bournemouth and Poole
This blog will give you some useful advice if you are struggling with recurring challenging behaviour and will direct you to some parenting support in Bournemouth and Poole. When there are recurring arguments are home and you are feeling lost and tired with it all, being a parent can seem like the worst job in the world, becoming aware of the patterns you have all fallen into is the first step in recovery to a better place.
What does Co-parenting mean?
If you are co-parenting being on the same page with your partner does not mean doing, acting and saying the same thing as each other. It means allowing shared values and principles to be role modelled in different ways. It means both of you knowing who you want your children to become and not minding if someone else has a different way of getting there. It means supporting each other in such a way that when one of you has made a poor judgement you do not become divided as parents and partners.
Different ways of being are OK. Show your partner and your children you respect each other for being the person they are, not the person they have to be to keep you happy.
Ask yourself, “How do you show you are accepting of your partner’s parenting style?”
Remember, you are preparing your children to become compassionate, dynamic, healthy, empathic adult citizens who are able to take care of themselves but not at the expense of others and who are able to take appropriate risks and live with the consequences.
Good discipline should teach your children how to think, feel and behave. We teach good discipline not by telling, correcting and directing our children’s lives but through good role modelling and, when necessary, through giving sensible guidance that encourages age appropriate reflection and responsibility.
Ask yourself, “What environment do I need to be in to learn happily and thoroughly?” And “Which teachers in school made me feel safe and valued?” The answers to these questions will give you with the information you need to able to provide a stable and happy home for your children.
Do you feel stressed when you parent your children?
If the answer is yes why not break things down simply, take a look at how a CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) approach might help.
Put simply CBT asks us to change unhelpful thoughts because they will influence our behaviour which in turn will influence our feelings.
Let’s take a look at a practical example.
My oldest daughter hits my youngest daughter.
I think, “I don’t like her bullying behaviour”, then I think “I need to be really firm here so she gets the idea and so my youngest daughter feels protected” (Now, if I am honest with myself, I will realise I feel confused and angry as this has happened so many times before and I think that nothing is changing with her behaviour and when she does this I feel like a bad parent. I am also worried that I can’t control her, and, If I’m being even more honest, I will see that I have started to resent her, however, I struggle to admit this even to myself.)
My thinking processes control my behaviour which quickly becomes stern. I send her to the time out step, she refuses, I shout and threaten and none of it works.
How do I feel? Probably, Angry, guilty, misunderstood and lonely.
We end up patching things up, apologies are made, not based on the initial incident but based on how bad we all feel now.
Now, let’s use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and try a new approach with my parenting.
My eldest daughter hits my youngest daughter.
I am aware that this situation will probably arise as we have fallen into this pattern. I am therefore, ready to look at how I am coping and manage myself before the situation manages me!
I hear the cries of my youngest and as I approach my children I also notice immediately that my thoughts have involuntary and immediately become angry and desperate about my eldest child. I am also having protective thoughts towards my youngest.
I think, “OK , I am not going to buy into that stuff as I know full well where it will lead me and how we all will end up feeling.”
I bend down and check my youngest daughter out and sooth her. I look over to my eldest and because I have checked my negative thoughts I am now able to see that her feelings also are running high. I see she is full of hatred for her younger sister for annoying her and for crying out as this has brought me to the scene. I also see she fears my reaction towards her as in the past this has invariably lead to her being shouted at and pushed away by me to the naughty step while I cuddle my youngest. Finally, she probably regrets that she bought this trouble on but equally she has no way of breaking the cycle.
I realise that right now, with all this stuff going on, she is beyond being logical and kind. I love them both, I do not like to see them so distressed and confused. I also want them both to trust me because, as their father, I need to teach them both how we need to behave with each other as we are family and as such we need to look out for each other. I think, “I may need to teach them this many times over!”
My behaviour towards her is calming as I am clear of unhelpful thoughts. It is clear from my attitude that I do not approve of her behaviour but it is clear from my attention towards her that it is just her behaviour I have a problem with and not her as a person.
My thoughts are focused on calming and containing and teaching. I am paying particular attention to my thoughts as they may become impatient and angry again as my children are still arguing, even with me trying to settle them down.
I show them both I love them by putting my hands on their shoulders or touching them in some other reassuring way.
Depending on the level of the incident I might take them both away together, favouring them equally, to the kitchen to get a drink and calm down. I sooth them both and when I know they are calmer, respecting their ages, I ask them both what they could have done differently.
I feel so much better. I have thought through this situation which has allowed the love I have for them to guide and direct me.
Once we have settled my aim is to enable them to find their own space and for us all to get on with the day.
We should forget the incident but remember the lessons we have learnt as they will probably need to be reflected on again, maybe even before the day is over!
If you have found this blog useful because you have been looking for Counselling in Bournemouth and Poole then maybe you might consider contacting me, we can talk about counselling and the other therapeutic options you have available to you.
From the New Forest to Bournemouth and Poole I have enabled young people, couples and families and individuals to understand what is happening for them and together we have created a better life.
When I work this week in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset as a counsellor, couple counsellor, teenage counsellor and adolescent counsellor, family counsellor and family therapist, offering Family counselling and marriage guidance, marriage counselling, teenage counselling and adolescent counselling to individuals and couples with differing forms of anxiety and depression feeling anxious and depressed, I may use CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Attachment Theory, Mindfulness, Psychodrama, Person Centred Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Solution Focused Therapy, Integrative Therapy or Family Therapy or Attachment Theory…I am mindful to that counselling offers us new opportunities and possibilities for us to develop our knowledge, commitment and understanding of ourselves and each other.