Becoming a parent can be one of the biggest physiological and psychological changes in one’s life.
From the day you find out you are expecting, whether through pregnancy or adoption, to the day you finally get to hold the infant or child in your arms, a rollercoaster of emotions occurs. Some will be overwhelmed with joy, others may be anxious and fearful. People may often wonder if they’ll be considered good parents or what a good parent even looks like. Depending on your own upbringing and childhood, the idea of becoming a parent yourself can provoke some triggering moments and make it difficult to navigate the new role going forward.
There’s no doubt that a new skill set will be required for most, regardless if it’s their first or third child. The responsibility to not only take care of the basic necessities of another life on a daily basis but also to raise them in an appropriate social and behavioural manner can be overwhelming. Juggling all these tasks in any individual, and especially in those with previous mental health issues like anxiety or depression, may lead some to need help in coping with the unknowns and challenges they face.
The advancement of social media, blogs, forums, books, and podcasts has also provided a large influx of resources to parents. While this may be helpful to obtain general advice, it can also lead to conflicting and confusing directions towards parenting skills and styles. Even family members may decide to voice their opinion on what they believe your habits should look like. This can often lead to feelings of guilt, shame, stress, anxiety and depression.
At the end of the day, as a parent, you want to provide the best support for your child and sometimes it’s ok to recognize that the task is not at all easy and may require some help.
Challenges faced by parents:
How can counselling help?
Whether you’re having a hard time with one particular aspect of parenting, such as sleep training or a child entering into school age, or navigating through the whole role altogether, finding a counsellor who can help identify your strengths, needs, wants, and gaps can help provide support and guidance going forward. It can also help build confidence in identifying why these concerns may be occurring, as well as strategies to identify and cope with them and ways in accepting the role in front of you.
One of the most common forms of emotions parents expression is frustration and irritability in trying to connect with their child’s cues and find a way that both parties understand and respect one another. This can be hard when children are constantly learning how to navigate their own social and emotional development skills. Some parents may feel like they snap at their kids and others feel like they are becoming distant. Recognizing that some change likely needs to be made is already the first step in building into that new or existing role.
Some therapies offered to parents include:
If you’ve recently found out you will become a parent or are currently a parent and looking to find support in navigating through the obstacles before you, consider booking a consult to learn more about how counselling can help you and your family.
GoodTherapy. Get help with for parenting issues. August 2019. https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/parenting/get-help
BetterHelp. Parent Counselling. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/parenting/parent-counseling-parent-child-conflict-win-win/
With clinicians of many languages and backgrounds in convenient locations, we provide effective counselling services tailored to your unique situation.