Preparation can make a big difference in your success as a parent. In my almost two decades of working with Parents as an Educational Psychologist I have pretty much seen it all.
I have been ultimately blessed to see many troubled families and children with various problems sort things out and get back on track with my proven and effective Parenting tips.
Most of the time Parenting is not a problem. People get married and either consciously or unconsciously and more or less automatically have children and it all works out without any significant problems to mention. However, I got to see thousands and thousands of families and children where it was not at all rosy.
I am talking about fighting parents, single moms with completely symbiotic relationships with their children, unqualified parents leading to severe parentification in their children. (Parentification is something I will talk more about in another blog; suffice it to say for now that it is where the children take on the role of Parents.)
Then there are all the instances of children having all sorts of problem behavior, including sleeping disorders, phobias, eating disorders, ADHD, OCD, autism, auto mutilation and so on.
When I ask parents or single parents how they became a parent, it starts to get interesting. In those cases where all is well with the parenting one or both parents are well grounded, often solidly anchored in some value system and/or religion/spiritual tradition.
What Causes Problems in Parenting?
Quite often those who come from stable ”traditional” happy marriages there is little or no trouble with their own families, however there are many exceptions. In those cases and in all the other cases where things go wrong or things become problematic in the area of parenting, several aspects play a part.
The well known ”children from divorced Parents” is one potential indicator or problems with parenting. So is having grown up with (other) examples of having had one or both Parents being a bad example.
It gets worse when one or both parents have had issues with alcohol and/or drugs, when there is domestic violence, when there are no values or the other extreme when there is extreme religious or spiritual fanaticism. (And for the record being agnostic is obviously totally fine, we are not advocating anything here other than being aware!)
Verbal abuse also counts as domestic violence! There is nothing more terrifying for children then hearing and feeling one or both parents tear down the other parent verbally. As the old Chinese saying goes: “angry words are more lethal than poison arrows!”
In all these cases where there is an occurrence of what professionals call ”Dysfunctional Families”, you nearly always note a lack of planning, a lack of firm foundation and therefore problems with the parenting.
It is my experience that’s when parents or as a single parent you sit down and discuss together what you feel is important to you as a parent, what your views on parenting are, and what values you want your Child(ren) to embody. All this will strengthen your parenting and your bond.
As with everything in life: The more positive energy you put into something the better the result.
I wish you happy parenting. If you are a young parent or parent to be, parents tell me they love my book and that it is the best preparation for your (future) parenting.