There is exponential brain growth in the early years of life producing millions of neural connections. 'The first 8 years can build a foundation of future learning, health and life success' (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/early-brain-development.html).
So how can we help our children develop into happy, healthy individuals? A child (and an adult) needs a nurturing environment where they feel loved and respected. This begins with a baby who cries and mom or dad pick him up and try and figure out what is wrong. Does he need to fed, a clean diaper or just wants to be held? Consistent caregiving builds trust and infants grow into toddlers who learn that mom and dad or another caretaker will be there to look after them, help them, comfort them and love them for who they are. As our children grow, we teach them kindness, respect, cooperation and encourage learning and independence. We guide them and set boundaries to keep them safe. This all sounds quite simple but in reality it is hard.
Our parenting styles are influenced by the way we were raised, our environment and culture, by friends/ family who have children and, by the books we read and the host of internet sites offering advice about parenting. Maybe you have a great relationship with your parents and look back on your childhood as being very happy but many people would like to change something about their childhood and how they were raised. I was raised in a very loving home but as with all parents, my parents were not perfect. I had great intentions and thought I could pick the 'good' parts from my upbringing and ignore the 'bad' parts but that is harder than it seems. Many a time, I said, 'I would never let my child do that', but then allow them to do that!
So at times we all need some help with our parenting techniques. Yelling, arguing, not following through with consequences and being inconsistent is a common theme in raising children.
Parenting is a skill and we need to learn what to do.
We need tools in our tool box to fix the problem. However, as parents we resort to trial by error as the same tool does not work for each child and it may not work on a given day, depending on the circumstances. A 'time out' may work one day but on another day, your child will not sit still and keeps running away.
Your child may turn off the TV when asked but another day he may not.
We often say the request multiple times, give up, give in or start screaming at our child to listen to us. This is where parenting gets stressful.
So can I help you? Talk through some of the normal, everyday struggles you are having? I talk with clients about being reflective not reactive. What are you feeling when your child misbehaves? How do you react? Often one or two sessions can help with the problem. The first session is free.