Parenting

Parenting by Carol Woods, LPC:

It’s a peculiar irony that I get called upon to help guide parents with their children.  I can remember that time prior to having children when I had a psychology degree, attended a very solid southern Baptist church where the Bible was taught, and knew just what to do with children.  It reminds me of a quote from a professor, “I once had 5 theories of child-rearing and no children–now I have 5 children and no theories.”  Experience sometimes is our best teacher!

My own children lived through several of my theories, but mostly they just lived with a mother who winged it and a father who made sure they stayed within boundaries.  I have an advanced degree now, and so my advice is more informed and sophisticated than it was before, but it is still always going to be colored by my upbringing.  I do have some favorite authors:  James Dobson, Ross Campbell, John Gottman, to name a few.  But I recognize that our parenting is always going to be colored by where we come from, so it’s hard for me to be dogmatic about what parenting should look like.  There simply is no cookie cutter approach.  When I heard about Baby Wise, I completely misconstrued its meaning until I actually read it and got its main premise:   A baby comes into an already existing family system, and baby must be incorporated into that system.  The system doesn’t twist itself around to dance around the baby (though it seems that way at first), the baby adjusts to the people and lifestyle that, hopefully, welcome him into its own ecology.

So I have had to realize I can’t come up with a program that is going to fit every family or child I see.  Most of the time they already have a system in place, and it’s not my job to change it.  My job is to help them over whatever bump in the road their family is experiencing that sends them to me for adjunct therapy, not a family makeover.  It may be a loss, a diagnosis, bullying, school problems, an adjustment to a move or change in the family.  I have to be respectful of what already IS, while collaborating with the child, the parents and others to help them move in a direction that feels congruent for that family, child and system.

I do have some favorites–attachment parenting–which, done well, provides nurture, structure, accountability, and challenge.  The balance of those is necessary to give a child the tools to survive in our world.  Emotional intelligence parenting–best explained by John Gottman, who is well-known for his respectful approach to couples therapy and extensive research behind that approach.  His book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, is my new favorite.

 

 

 

Parenting by Ruth Whitley, LPC.

“Parenting is the ultimate long term investment” according to Psychology Today.  Parents are concerned whether or not they are good parents, what is proper discipline, single parenting issues, and if their parenting is Biblically sound. Parenting by definition is: The process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Primary parenting skills consist of improving communication and building positive relationships. Focus on the Family states that Good parents aren’t perfect, there is no formula to follow, but there are ways to improve and grow every day. Some positive parenting tips include providing stability, order, and predictable routines lay a firm foundation for personal development of children.

Communication lays a solid and important foundational element to the family unit by strengthening the family and allowing its members to become and remain better connected. How a family works through difficulties creates a sense of bonding, caring and supporting that makes the sense of belonging and well-being even stronger.