Family and Child Counseling
Who ever said that parenting would be an easy job?
Not me, that’s for sure! (Ok, if I said that, it must have been before I had my own.)
Children are wonderful and a real blessing, but they can be hard to figure out and hard to deal with at times. This I know for sure.
With every step in my own kids’ growth, I found myself saying, “I have no idea what to do!” I always felt that there was so much at stake. Being in charge of another life and someone’s childhood is a big responsibility.
None of us want to fail at this important job.
One Mother’s Parenting Journey
This was the case for a young client of mine, Miguel, and his mother Danielle. (Names and details changed to protect their privacy.)
While Danielle always wanted to be a mom and was thrilled with the birth of Miguel, she didn’t feel she was being the best mother she could be. She worked hard for her son and had his care at the forefront of her mind at all times.
Still, the idea of being the best parent plagued her thoughts and confidence.
As time went by, she read parenting books and listened to the advice of talk shows and friends that gave her parenting advice.
Concerns from School
Miguel was a smart little guy who challenged her in ways she never dreamt of. He would show her love and kindness when they were at home. But over time, the reports from school became more and more concerning to Danielle.
Miguel’s teachers were reporting that he was causing problems in the classroom and was disrupting other children. Danielle felt that she, and her lack of good parenting skills, were to blame.
With each parent/teacher conference, Danielle was confronted with more evidence that Miguel was a problem child. The one child that caused the teacher the most difficulty.
Danielle grew more and more concerned with her ability to help her son and did not feel comfortable to ask for this type of advice from her friends – whom she assumed had no problems with their children. Nor from her mother, whom saw Danielle as the perfect mom raising the perfect son. (Who would want to crush such dreams?) This left Danielle alone. Very alone and unsure of what to do.
A Courageous Decision
It was at this point that Danielle did something courageous: she found a therapist to help them both.
In my short time of working with Miguel and Danielle, we played games, played in the sand with some toys, and learned that Miguel had a slight learning disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Miguel needed extra attention at school. We worked with his school counselor and teachers to form a plan for Miguel’s success at school.
I attended a few meetings at his middle school with Danielle, and we helped the teachers to understand Miguel’s way of thinking and processing information so that he was no longer a disruption to her class. In time, Miguel became an even better student and his behavior in class improved.
Self-Care & Self-Confidence
Danielle also needed support as a parent. I met with Danielle for one on one support to help her realize that no parent has an easy job, and that often the best we might be able to say is that we did our best. Most of the time, our best means we can learn to do better the next day.
Danielle found it helpful to do some things for herself like take a short vacation with friends to recharge her batteries and take extra time for herself when Miguel was at basketball practice. She found that she loved treating herself to a manicure or a bubble bath. She learned that doing these things for herself were not selfish, they were was of caring for herself to then be able to best care for Miguel.
Danielle grew in her confidence as a parent and learned how to not compare herself to the impossible – the perfect parent. She grew in her skills at helping Miguel navigate his own struggles and this gave her confidence to support him in a way that honored both the son and the mother.
Danielle had this to say about her time in therapy with me: “I just love Lisa! She helped both Miguel and I to find our way through a difficult time. She was very respectful and kind to both of us. Miguel and I soon looked forward to our meetings with Lisa. We are now both so much happier. I understand him more and I feel he is a better student. His teachers enjoy having him in class. I think I am a pretty good mom thanks to her help.”
Please give me a call and we can begin to work together to make your relationship with your child happier and more fulfilling for both of you.