Some Challenges of Being a Parent
Reading books on parenting can be very helpful. They can tell you about the stages of development in childhood and what to expect as your child grows. They can tell you about toddlerhood and how different it is from infancy. They can talk about gender differences and why little boys may be more active and harder to manage physically.
They can also tell you about the strains parenthood can put on a marriage when two parents disagree about the approach to discipline or autonymy. They may also mention that it is important for parents to have time as a couple away from their kids so that children not grow up thinking they are the most important people in the family. Without intimate time together, the parental couple could lose the close and intimate connection they shared before children arrived.
What is not possible to find in a book is your own emotional relationship to parenting. What kind of childhood you had will have a profound effect on the kind of parent you become. Even if you are unaware of the impact it will still be there. That is known as unconscious repetition.
Of course, sometimes we go out of our way to try to do things differently from our own parents, and in some areas we are able to do that. In other areas, we often repeat the same patterns that we experienced as children from our own parents. Humans are destined to repeat. Sometimes we want to be so different from our parents that we go too far in the opposite direction, and that creates other problems. If we were raised very strictly, we want to give our children freedom. And then we go too far by never setting limits, for instance, and our children become very difficult to manage or selfish or even tyrannical.
Sometimes we repeat the patterns from our own childhood not because we want to, but because we are afraid. We are afraid to look more critically at our parents. We want to protect them or we are afraid to experience the painful feelings that came from less than sensitive parenting.
These patterns and hidden feelings are so individual. They cannot be written about or understood by someone who does not know you in an intimate way. In other words, an author of child psychology books could not know your particular history or defenses.
Consulting professionally with a clinician who has worked with parenting issues, child therapy issues and holds a dynamic understanding of emotional development in childhood, adolescence and adulthood puts you in the best position to analyze what are the factors that are getting in the way of a happier family life. I work with couples as well as parents, so I am able to see if aspects of your marriage or partnership are interfering with your parenting process. Single, divorced and divorcing parents have issues as well.
All parents wish to give love and nurturance to their kids so that they can live happy and productive lives. My goal is to help you unlock what is interfering with the most positive outcome of these wishes. A brief period of consultations can help us see what help you might need and if you feel I am the right person to provide that help.
Adolescent Therapist Upper West Side
I have been in private practice on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NYC, for over 25 years. I provide support and guidance for parents struggling in relationship with their children. Please contact me for more information on my practice.