Providing Parenting Coaching in NYC
Raising children is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and challenging tasks many of us face in our lifetime. Although parenting is a quintessential role of adulthood, most of us are making it up as we go. Balancing our careers, relationships, and personal health while prioritizing the needs of our children and family members can feel like an ungraceful circus act. How do we raise independent successful children while avoiding overparenting? How can we maintain our own identity while tending to the needs of our children? These are questions that modern parents face. Even with countless professionals offering their wisdom across the internet, many of us wonder if we are doing it correctly, and how our mistakes might affect our children in the long run.
The one consistent fact about parenting is that there is no one correct way to raise a child. Every child is different, and nurturing depends on the needs of your offspring. Nevertheless, there are some foundational concepts that we can lean on when we are stuck questioning our decisions, and wondering if our mistakes will prove detrimental in the long run. Below is a small sample of topics that parents might struggle with and seek guidance from a therapist at The Midtown Practice. Although we might not have all the answers, we are confident we can help navigate and support you through your most challenging parenting moments.
How Your Childhood Affects Your Parenting
At The Midtown Practice, our clinicians will work with you to puzzle through the act of parenting and help you understand why certain aspects might be especially difficult. Experiences with our children can sometimes trigger personal pain and/or trauma brought about by our own upbringing. We will get to know your children and family through the most important perspective, yours. Together, we can reflect on times that are challenging, identify patterns, and determine if there is resonance with your past. We can also help disentangle potential sticking points between you and your partner, and how to resolve them in the most effective and healthy way.
Developmental psychologists have found that parenting styles fall into four general categories. These are authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Authoritarian parents are not interested in discussion or negotiation. To them, obedience is a quintessential tenant of parenting. They use punishment instead of discipline and make kids feel sorry for their mistakes rather than learn from them. Children with authoritarian parents tend to follow rules, but are at higher risk for low self-esteem because their opinions are not valued. They might find it difficult to make decisions in the real world since they have not been taught how to problem solve challenges or obstacles.
Permissive parents are at the other end of the spectrum. They usually take more of a friend role and are quite forgiving. They use consequences inconsistently, and do not put much effort in discouraging bad choices. Unfortunately, kids that grow up with permissive parents tend to struggle academically, and often suffer from low self-esteem.
Uninvolved parents tend to have few, if any, rules. Children do not receive much guidance or nurturing. Uninvolved parents have little knowledge of what their children are doing and rarely know where their children are and whom they are with. These children are more likely to struggle academically and have behavioral problems.
The last category of parenting style, authoritative parenting, has been shown to be the most effective parenting approach. These parents expend effort into maintaining positive relationships with their children. They enforce rules and consequences while taking into account their children’s feelings and development. They develop foresight into preventing behavioral problems before they reach a crescendo, and use positive rewards systems. Children of authoritative parents tend to be happier, more successful, and more adept at decision making.
Most of us do not fit neatly into any one of these categories. Do not be concerned if you have found yourself at times behaving consistently with any one or all of these groupings. With dedication, commitment, and support from your therapist at TMP, you can identify your common pitfalls and how to establish your parental authority in a healthy manner that works for you and your children.
How to Have Difficult Parenting Conversations
For better or for worse, the world looks differently now than it did while many of us were growing up. Children have access to a vast amount of information, and are exposed to much more than before the invention of the internet. Speaking to our kids about difficult topics such as pornography, gender fluency, race, divisive politics, and gun violence have become necessities. Even the best digital controls cannot protect our kids from receiving video links or coming across inappropriate websites. We could all use some guidance around speaking to our children in a way that is natural and comfortable. At The Midtown Practice, we can help you normalize these conversations and learn to speak to your children in a simple and direct way. These foundational talks can be the basis of a nonjudgmental relationship that will later permit your children to use you as a resource as they navigate uncharted waters.
Learning How to Prioritize
Many parents struggle with how to prioritize the needs of their children while working and tending to their own health, marriage, and personal life. Triaging decisions alone can be isolating and unsatisfying. Being a parent is hard, and you will never be 100% perfect. At The Midtown Practice we can help you to puzzle through life’s complicated juggling act and determine which choices are the most important to you, and how to spend your energy on what you value most. Once you learn to prioritize and tune out the judgments of others, you can begin to feel a bit more at ease and surrender to the imperfect process of raising children. Together we will do our best to transform difficult situations into experiences that build resilience and an opportunity for closeness and personal growth.