From the day your child is conceived, the obligation to be a good parent starts. It’s not an easy task. As a parent, I understand the joys and the frustrations of parenting. Finding a way to get balance in your life can be challenging when it is filled with children that have so many needs of their own. I help parents across all facets; from those that need someone to talk to, to those experiencing daily breakdowns due to the stress of parenting. Together we can find ways to get your life under control.
Having a baby or adopting one is an incredibly joyful event and can also be the most terrifying. There are so many opinions out there about the proper way to parent that your head spins. How do you decide what you will do? What is the right thing to do? Do I have to do things like my friends or family? What if my partner doesn’t agree with my ideas of parenting? I can help you clear your mind and make decisions based on your level of comfort and what is be
st for you, your partner, and the baby. Every family is unique. Every child is unique. What works for some may not work for others. The biggest part of being a parent is coming up with a plan and sticking to it. Children enjoy stability. They thrive when they know what to expect. Setting limits and boundaries and making things consistent is the cornerstone of being a good parent. I can help you get there.
PARENTS THAT ARE DIVORCED/CO-PARENTING
I help parents get on the same page and become a team. The decision to divorce affects everyone in a family, especially the children. Even the most amicable partings have lasting effects. Parenting is tough, Co-parenting is even tougher. The rules can change drastically from house to house and minute to minute depending on whom is in charge. It can become a game of “Good Cop/Bad Cop” very quickly, where one parent tries to set rules and create boundaries while the other does nothing but have “fun” with the kids. When parents are frustrated, it is easy to lose sight of what’s most important, the kids. Coming to family therapy, couples therapy or individual therapy can help. Together we can create a team of adults with the same goals and a plan to achieve them.
PARENTS OF STEP CHILDREN/BLENDED FAMILIES
I have experience and can help families through the transition of a growing family due to marriage or divorce. No one can ever be prepared for the day to day reality of having children enter their lives along with an Ex. The papers may say it’s over, but with children involved, you never really leave the Ex behind. It can be a consistent battle between several forces; new spouse and ex-spouse, children and multiple sets of parents, his children and her children, husband and wife. What happens when the happy life you thought you were going to have, just isn’t? Coming to family therapy, couples therapy or individual therapy can help. Together we can discover that parenting in a blended family is possible and that joy can be found instead of the chaos.
PARENTS OF TEENS
I have experience working with Teens with a history of being Bullied, Self-Injury/Cutting, Gender Identity, Grief & Loss, Gangs, Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking Marijuana. In addition, I have worked with blended families, families going through divorce and Teens diagnosed with Bipolar, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, and Autism Spectrum.
Parenting a Teen is no easy job. We often do not have a “Village” to go to for help like there was in days past. Communicating with a Teen can be extremely difficult, often leading to huge fights and ending with your Teen isolating from the family. With the raging hormones and changes in their bodies, Teens can easily come off as disrespectful. It can be difficult to determine if your Teen is in need of help or if it is just the normal course of adolescence.
It may be time to get help when you notice your Teen has irritability, feelings of worthlessness, dropping grades, loss of interest in things your Teen typically enjoys, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia, truancy, signs of alcohol or drug use, or thoughts of death. Your Teen may be depressed.
The best way to help a Teen is to get involved. I can help parents bridge the gap between their Teen and themselves by guiding communication in a healthy and respectful manner via conjoint sessions with your Teen or individual work. Re-connecting with your Teen, setting healthy boundaries and building a relationship based on authentic care and support can make a huge difference in everyone’s lives.
TECHNIQUES FOR PARENTING TEENS
Many days you may feel like you’re talking to brick wall, if you talk to your teen at all. Arming yourself with tools to communicate effectively can make a huge difference in your family life. Teens go through much of their day hearing all about what they did wrong; wrong answers, wrong use of time, wrong clothes, wrong friends, wrong words, wrong attitude, wrong, wrong, wrong…..
Consider for a moment what it was like for you as a Teen. What did you want most of all from your parents? To be understood, listened to, accepted, supported? That’s exactly what your Teen wants from you. The trick is how to get there. Coming to Family Therapy is a great way to learn how to communicate openly with your Teen. Create peace in your home.
The way to improved communication is to catch them in the act of doing something good. Maybe it’s getting dressed and down stairs after only two calls. Maybe it’s getting a D+ on their last test instead of a D. Maybe it’s answering you in a slightly more respectful way. Catching people in the midst of doing something a little better than before can feel great for the giver and the receiver! Share positively and see positive results.
Another technique is to just listen. It sounds simple and easy, but don’t let this one fool you. Withholding comments when you sense there is something to be fixed is tough. It takes practice. So, try it and see how it goes. It is a proven fact that people can’t hear if they are talking, so let’s take that golden piece of information for ourselves and implement it with our children. Sit and do not speak to Teen unless you are going to ask questions to figure out what they said. Repeat back what you heard and ask questions to clarify if they tell you it’s not quite right. Then, ask your Teen if he/she wants advice. You will be amazed by how good you and your Teen will feel after a successful exercise like this.