Parenting Answers

I tried to sign up for BetterHelp but it paired me with a therapist that only does texts

Hello and thank you for your question.  You are able to request a different therapist at any time with or without notice to your current therapist.  There should be an icon on your Dashboard that says "Change Counselor" from the drop down on the top right corner.  If you do not see this, you can go to the support tab and request a different therapist.  You can also send an email to contact@betterhelp.com if you are having trouble with the drop down.  It would be a good idea to express the reason for the change in the feedback box.  This will help the system better match people. You will also be offered an opportunity to work with me since I am answering your posted question. I am Eboni Long and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I tend to work more with couples and like to know about the systems that are causing problems for my clients. I would love to talk with you and your husband about the struggles you are having with your childrens' behavior and help find some solutions that will work for you and your family. I, too, prefer video sessions. Texting sometimes seems impersonal and a lot becomes lost in translation. However, I do tell my clients that if they have quick questions throughout the week and in between scheduled sessions that they can use the chat thread to communicate with me. I like to support my clients as they try the interventions we discuss in session. Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep doing an intervention in harsh circumstances, such as when it's late at night or your child's behaviors have been poor for a long period of time, for example. This is not a crisis platform, but sometimes it helps to have people available to walk you through the things they have asked you to try. I would love to be that person for your family, to help you all reach the goals you have set for yourselves.  If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to reach out for support. We are here to help. Thank you.
(LMFT)
Answered on 07/21/2022

How do I heal my fear of attachment and abandonment?

A way of starting the path to healing is to honor the spectum of emotions (comfortable and uncomfrotable).  When we experience traumas and in this case learning that a parental figure would no longer be in the same home on the day-to-day basis is rightfully so- a difficult event for a child to process. The emotions that have resulted from this experience and the residual effects (that show up in your present day life) are all trailheads of information to further explore.  What did you need back then that you can give to yourself in the present? (verbally, symbolically, creatively etc).  As you strengthen your muscle of vulnerability you can start with establishing what safety looks/feels like for you in proximity to other people. Trust is something that takes time to establish and being mindful of your needs and ability to communicate them to those you share space with is a starting point.  As you are mindful of your current attachment style, give yourself grace along the way as you unlearn patterns that are no longer working for the way you want to show up in relationships moving forward.  I'm curious, what you mean by "safely grow"? To be vulnerable is to risk, there is the possibility that things will not turn out how we want them and even in that there is still an opportunity to be present with ourselves and how we respond to the situation. When things work in our favor (comfortable emotions), things to consider include but are not limited to:  1. Did I honor my own boundaries? 2. Do I feel safe to share what I actually felt without holding back? 3. Is this relationship recriprocal? When uncomfortable emotions come to visit, curioisty around the emotions that still sting are trailheads of areas in your life that need further attention.  In the opportunities available to further explore and get to know yourself intimately, you can build on the information that you gradually uncover and move from a place of authencitity at the pace that works for you in the place you are currently in.  Addressing abandonment wounds take time, be gentle with yourself as you gradually address something that has been challenging. 
Answered on 11/28/2021

Why childhood development is important?

Different theorists have explored child development for decades. Research in longitudinal studies has shown the importance of early childhood development through emotional regulation, life skills, socialization, independence, a sense of agency, and industry as promotions for self-esteem. The ways children develop their emotional regulation and learn how to temper themselves is through a myriad of ways, including parenting and teacher redirection. An effective way of teaching the complexity of emotional range is by reading books about emotions as children connect to these characters quite nicely. Teaching children how to regulate their emotions while learning how to use their rationale will take them right into adulthood practicing that very skill. In this way, child development is extremely important because teaching an adult this skill can be harder! The life skills that are taught to children will also take them through adulthood, and included in these are learning how to take care of the body, dress, do chores, and understanding your place in your environment. It’s amazing how much young people can actually accomplish, and oftentimes it is assumed that they cannot do something because they are young. Still, by giving them more to do a little bit at a time (scaffolding), you’re literally developing these building blocks that they will take into adulthood. These skills are necessary for developing independence and feeling a sense of agency and wherewithal that is so important to develop in childhood as they’re still forming how they view the world and themselves. The importance of other children Socialization and learning how to work together and cooperatively are important to develop in childhood. Again, these skills can be easily corrected as they move through playtimes and school to figure out the nuances of verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Children who do not have adequate socialization development grow into adults who struggle socially through avoidance, anxiety, and conflict. Some researchers believe that up to 80% of brain development happens between birth and five, so giving children at that age and beyond a sense of agency by empowering them with an exploration of activities and ideas especially reading, will develop brains that think. Balancing exposure to technology and screen time is very important because child development is about naturally learning how to engage with the environment and become as many self-starters as possible. This gives a natural development of feeling good after a task has been completed and feeling confident that that task can be completed.There are certainly plenty of children that have struggled through their childhood years where development was spotty and unstable for a variety of reasons, and these children still grow into functional adults. But having every opportunity to create engagement stability as children also create resilience and strength to resolve the challenges that will come up into adulthood.
(M.Ed., MA, LPC)
Answered on 05/03/2021

Why attachment parenting is bad?

When one becomes a parent, they have several choices and options as to how they will raise or rear their child.  One of those styles/options that a parent can take is what is referred to as attachment parenting.  In essence, attachment parenting uses touch and physical contact during periods of critical attachment development to promote a healthy and powerful attachment for both the child and the parent.  Typically, in attachment parenting, the parent's primary focus of promoting a powerful attachment is the mother. Just like any parenting style, there are downsides and criticisms to attachment parenting.  It is up to the individual to decide whether they believe that attachment parenting is “bad.” Among the more common downsides to attachment parenting is that, typically, it is discouraged for children to engage in “sleep training.” Sleep training involves setting a child’s sleep schedule when they are an infant.  Attachment parenting discourages this but, what can be difficult for parents, is that sleep deprivation may occur when/if their infant develops a very different sleep pattern than they do. Another downside that is noted involves the attention that attachment parenting encourages when infants cry.  One of the only methods that infants have for communication is the use of crying.  Attachment parenting suggests that parents adhere to their child’s needs by deciphering what kind of cry the child is implementing to signal distress (are they wet, hungry, tired, lonely).  While this is not a bad suggestion, and babies indeed have different “cries'' based on their needs, some experts believe that this leads to children not learning how to self-soothe when left to cry after their needs have been met. Finally, another common criticism of attachment parenting is that it is often hard for parents to balance attachment style parenting with their lifestyle.  Attachment parenting requires a lot of attention and work and puts a lot of stress on mothers.  Because of the encouragement of constant touch and physical interaction, this can make it difficult for new mothers to navigate their role in the household.  Although it is encouraged that parents wishing to implement this style of parenting learn how to divide the different household responsibilities so that the mother can focus most of her attention on forming the powerful attachment, this is not always feasible in every household. At the end of today, all parenting styles are going to have highlights and lowlights.  It is up to the person to determine what they think is in the child’s best interest.  For some, attachment parenting works perfectly fine.  For others, attachment parenting may not be feasible based on the reality of their life.  Attachment parenting is not necessarily “bad,” but it is important as a parent to learn flexibility.  And oftentimes, with very structured parenting approaches, it can lead to a lack of flexibility and a lot of self judgement, especially when continuing to implement the parenting style as suggested is not feasible.  The important thing is to practice self-acceptance and forgiveness when things don’t go perfectly.
(Masters, of, Social, Work)
Answered on 04/28/2021