Parenting Consultation

"To be embraced in love – to be held – is the deepest human need...and in this way a human self becomes at home with self and in connection with others." - Olthuis  

A child's behaviour is their voice, their instinctive way of saying I need something. They are never purposefully difficult, but their brain is simply programmed to prioritise needs provision and it uses behaviours to communicate this.

What we can interpret as bad or problematic behaviour is in fact the child just following their design to elicit their needs, and can be remedied through meeting their needs in relationship. The more we can meet our child's needs in relationship the less they will need to depend on their problematic behavioural strategies to ensure needs provision. As a child develops into the teenage years, there is an increasing need for space to become their own person, towards becoming separate and unique, and teenagers are wired to ensure this space is carved out as much as possible. At this time parents can feel as though their role is phasing out, that they are no longer wanted or needed. However, the parenting role is just as important in the teenage years. Understanding, how to parent teenagers in a way that meets their need for separation and increased autonomy can be challenging. 

Session Structure

Session One - 1.5 hrs

  • I will listen carefully to the difficulties you are experiencing with your child/young person and develop an understanding of the possible reasons for their behaviour

  • I will provide education around the mind of a child/teenager and help you to understand what they might be asking for through their behaviours. We will look at what is needed in relationship to enable healthy, emotional and social development and to develop resiliency .

  • We will look at ways in which you can respond to your child/teenager and meet their needs, so that...

  • the behavioural strategies they have instinctively used to get their relational needs met are no longer needed.

  • they learn that they are able to depend on you to be the answer to their needs.

  • To develop a secure attachment relationship and a positive, enjoyable cycle of relating.

  • To facilitate their healthy emotional and social development and the development of resiliency

  • I will provide you with literature that will support our work in the session
     

What to expect:

  • Once you start applying some of the new ways of responding to your child/teenager, informed by the understandings that you have gained, you might notice a significant change.

  • You might even decide that this is all that you need for the time being. I warmly recommend a follow up session within a couple of weeks so that we can build on the deepened connection you have with your child and to cement some of these new ways of responding.

Session Two - 1 hour

  • How have you got on with implementing some changes? What changes have you noticed?

  • What is working?

  • Where are there still challenges?

  • We will look at other ways of connecting and responding to your child/teenager that will help strengthen this important relationship.

  • I will give you further literature if needed to support our work in this session.

 

Follow up sessions

  • It can be helpful to return from time to time to ensure you are meeting your child's/teenager's changing needs.

The Benefits

A child/teenager who is rested and dependent on their parent/caregiver to meet their needs in relationship can benefit from the following...

  • rest from a preoccupation with pursuing their needs in a way that can push others away

  • in this rested place their drive towards maturity, growth and development is released

  • reduced anxiety

  • improved self-esteem and a belief, valuing and trust in themselves and others in relationship

  • improved emotional regulation and self control

  • able to relate more healthily with others

  • improved brain development and resiliency 

  • more energy left for exploration and learning

  • a desire to want to be good for their parents

"When infants feel safe, they are free to find out, investigate and explore. The more secure children feel, the more time, energy and inclination they have to seek understanding and make sense." - David Howe

Helen Huston Therapy, Whangaparaoa, 021 422 045

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