Knowing how to be a parent is not bestowed by the birth of a child. Parents learn as they go, sometimes helped by their own experiences as children, sometimes hindered by those very experiences. A child can also prove to be difficult to raise because of temperament issues or health challenges. Demands of busy life and complicated schedules also add to the mix of variables at play — and what can be become an experience of love and gratification becomes one of frustration, anger and resentment.
Parents, encouraged culturally to think that they should naturally know how to parent their child, sometimes feel guilty and embarrassed that they cannot find the optimum solution for their family life. In parenting work, parents and I focus on identifying and understanding the complex interplay between developmental challenges, temperamental issues of both parents and child, and environmental circumstances. Conflicts are processed so that they can be understood and treated as important communications rather than instances of failures or sources of disappointment or despair.