Parenting is largely an amateur sport. Nobody gets to practice beforehand, and while there is plenty of advice available in the form of books and online resources, much of this is contradictory and some of it is simply wrong. There is a credible source of suggestions on parenting, though, in the form of discussing your child's development with a qualified mental health counselor. The following articles can assist you in learning more about what parenting counseling can offer, and parenting advice in general.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
Parenting is when you are supporting the development of a child, which includes their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. It happens from when they are babies, to the time that they are grown adults. Some people have biological children that are born to them, while others adopt. When you're parenting, you’re helping a small human develop into a grown adult. Parenting is natural, and there are many different styles of parenting. There’s no one right way to be a parent, and each family will decide on their own how to best achieve the goals that they have for their kids.
Loving Your Children
One goal of parenting is to teach your children about all aspects of the world. Parents are teachers and have the responsibility to show our kids how to survive and thrive in their lives. Parents can encourage their children, teach them how to be kind, empathetic to others, and genuinely care about other people’s feelings. We want our children to grow up to be healthy and happy members of society. We want them to pursue their dreams, whatever those might be. Everyone has different goals, and it’s important to know what those might be.
There are many different parenting styles. Parents choose the method that works for them. One parenting style might work well for one kid, while another parenting type might suit another child better. There’s no one right way to parent. As long as you are treating your children with love, kindness, respect, and doing the best you can as a parent, your child will turn out ok.
Attachment parenting: Attachment parenting is one of the most loving kinds of parenting there is. It focuses on healthy parent-child attachment and is a philosophy that promotes bonding between parents and their children. It’s meant to help children feel secure and connected to their guardians. Attachment parenting is accredited to William Sears, who came up with the term in 1982. The same year, he published a book called “Creative Parenting” where he talks about how this style of parenting can help kids develop a deep bond with their parents. Essential aspects of attachment parenting involve breastfeeding, baby-wearing, trying to understand a child's needs such as why they’re crying, and bonding. These aspects are called the 7 Baby B’s, and in total, they include: breastfeeding, babywearing, bonding, bedding close to baby (co-sleeping), belief in the language of your babies cry, balance, and beware of trainers.
Authoritarian parenting: Authoritarian parenting is a parenting style in which people are very strict with their children. It is a rigid parenting style which demands that rules are followed and doesn’t take into account the emotional needs of their child. In authoritarian parenting, guardians enforce and emphasize punishment when a child doesn't behave rather than re-directing their child or teaching them how to act more appropriately. Authoritarian parenting is not to be confused with authoritative parenting, which puts more emphasis on the needs of a child.
Permissive parenting: Permissive parenting is a parenting style where people overindulge their children. Children of permissive parents are often known as “spoiled,” and they don’t have many rules or guidelines. Permissive parenting allows children to do what they like.
One of the things that are important to remember is that parenting is a problematic full-time job. Parenting is stressful, so it’s important to talk to other parents to get support and advice while helping your children grow into happy and healthy adults. Another thing that you can do is talk to your therapist or counselor. A convenient way to gain access to counseling as a parent is online counseling.
Sometimes we’re at a loss for what to do as a parent. It’s okay to ask for help. Online therapy is an excellent place to talk about parenting issues and decide what kind of parent you want to be. Your online counselor cares about you and your children. They’re there to help and guide you on your parenting journey. Reach out to a therapist at BetterHelp and find one that’s right for you so that you can get support and talk about your struggles as a parent.