The complexity and difficulties of being a parent are such that, were we to simply see the responsibilities listed, few people would want to do it. But, of course, many of us become parents! For all of us parents, there are times when the responsibilities become overwhelming. Depending on your own history as a child, on your child’s innate qualities, and on the environment in which you are raising your child, feeling overwhelmed will happen more or less frequently. At those times, it’s important to have people who will help you to regain your balance.
These kinds of supportive relationships (with special people) are referred to as attachment relationships. People (adults and children) who have healthy attachments are calmer, more resilient, and can think more clearly. Qualities that make an attachment healthy include predictability, safety, mutuality, comfort, and that both individuals have pleasure in the relationship. Providing this type of relationship for your child is crucial for their health and development. Having these relationships with other adults is also crucial for your health and development!
As parenting is such a complex undertaking, one that engages both conscious and unconscious parts of our being, there can be times when attachments start breaking down, or they simply aren’t supportive enough. If you need to deal with personal issues that you don’t want to share with your closest friends, you don’t feel attached to anybody in a helpful way, or you aren’t getting answers that feel right to you, it could be helpful to get outside help. I can offer support in the form of skill building, dealing with issues from your own childhood, developing self-awareness, increasing your knowledge of development, or clearing up conflict between parents.
There are times when the issue is more about how to navigate external systems (i.e. schools.) Talking with schools to ensure that your child’s needs are correctly identified, and helping the school to respond appropriately, can be daunting. I can provide assistance in engaging schools to meet your child’s needs.
Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
The Parenting by Connection Reader (Adobe PDF)
Hand in Hand — A Bay Area Parent Support Organization
Positive Discipline — A System for Structuring Parent/Child Relationships
Touch the Future — Inspiration for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers