Being a parent has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Imagine being placed in charge of molding and raising children into the best adults they can be! It sounds difficult enough in theory… and it in practical circumstances it can seem a lot tougher!
Parents all have different styles of raising children. These parenting styles can drastically affect how a child will grow up. Despite the best intentions and deepest-rooted desires to be a Super Dad or Super Mom, life sometimes gets in the way.
That is why many people sometimes struggle with parenting strategies. Failing to execute properly, missing the mark, negative impact on children. Fortunately, this is something that family counseling can help with.
Common Parenting Techniques
Parents commonly do four notable parenting techniques.
Each of these parenting styles operates on specific mindsets and beliefs.
The four identified parenting styles, along with their characteristics, are the following:
1. Authoritarian parenting
Authoritarian parenting involves laying down a rigid set of rules that children should follow.
In this style, the parents’ word is law, and children should follow them to the letter.
In many cases, this style uses punishment to condition children.
2. Authoritative parenting
Authoritative parenting involves creating an environment of positivity for children.
The parent, however, still makes it clear that the children should follow the rules for a reason.
Children are also made aware of the reasons behind these rules. Most importantly, the feelings of children are taken into account in this style of parenting.
3. Permissive parenting
The best way to describe parents in this style of parenting is that the parents are lenient.
Rules are still set for the children to follow, but the enforcement may not necessarily be consistent.
In most cases, the parent only intervenes in serious situations.
4. Uninvolved parenting
The uninvolved parenting style has parents that do not play an active role in a child’s upbringing.
In most cases, the parent has very little knowledge about what is going on with the child.
Many uninvolved parents are not able to actively provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs.
Parenting Styles Can Be More Subconscious Than Intentional
Take note that these parenting styles aren’t always actively enforced.
Some parents unknowingly implement these techniques on their children.
More importantly, parenting techniques impact the behavior and mindsets of children heavily. As such, parents must be mindful of their actions and behavior related to their styles.
Each of the parenting styles has distinct characteristics and can leave an impression on kids. As such, each of these will also have very specific effects on children.
Some of the most notable aspects of how parenting styles affect children are the following:
- How children view authority figures
- Behaviour in Youth and into Adulthood
- Relationships (now & future)
- Attitude toward rules
- Physical health
As you can see, one’s parenting style, even though it may not be intentional, can have tremendous ramifications on their son or daughter’s present and future.
What Exactly Is Family Counseling?
Family counseling is one of the many forms of counselling and therapy.
It specifically focuses on family issues. Dealing with parenting issues can be tough, especially since many personalities should be taken note of. However, family therapy can be not only helpful but necessary to help address these issues.
Some of the common methods involved in family counseling are the following:
- Relationship therapy, which focuses on the issues that a couple faces. This method directly focuses on the problems that the parents face and how these indirectly impact the kids.
- Genogram, which involves the construction of a family tree. The impacts of the family tree on specific family members are then evaluated.
- Education techniques, which involve educating the parents on different topics. Some of these include family education, parenting education, and relationship education.
- Talk therapy, which involves different techniques that utilize conversations to identify issues and bring about changes.
- Others, like coaching, behavioral therapy and more.
Family counseling can be done through many methods.
As such, the range of effects that this type of therapy is extensive.
That makes it well-suited to dealing with many issues that a family may be going through. Some of these issues are the following:
- Coping with significant life events
- Dealing with personal problems
- Dealing with conflicts
- Substance addiction
- Relationship problems
Family counseling can also help with parenting. Being a parent is no easy task. Family therapy can help both parents and children reach a more healthy relationship.
The Value of Family Counseling and Therapy
Family counseling can help deal with many family issues. However, contrary to popular belief, family counseling isn’t just for coping with problems.
Even families with healthy relationships can still benefit.
Here are some of the advantages that family therapy and counseling can bring:
1. It can help families become more open with each other
Many families can talk to each other personally, to some extent. However, not all families feel at ease talking to each other on a very personal level.
This is something that family counseling can help with. Being able to talk on a deeper level can help family members become more comfortable with each other.
They also gain more trust and security with family members as a result.
It is also especially important for the relationship between parents and children. A healthy parent-child relationship needs both sides to be able to trust each other.
This can only be done through proper communication and openness. It also helps families discuss issues that need discussion.
2. A collective effort in discussing issues
All families face problems at one point or another.
Many of these problems require the collective effort of the members to be solved. Family therapy can help bring families together to address the issues that need solving.
A family that solves problems as a group, instead of doing so individually, forming stronger bonds.
It also reduces the amount of stress that individual family members go through. Less stress is always good and can benefit the family in many ways.
The collective effort may also prevent individual family members from being alienated.
3. Family counseling can help reinforce positive values in family members
Strong familial relationships are based on many things. Some of these are trust, open communication & shared values.
Family counseling can help families build the values that can make them stronger as a whole. A family that has shared values usually share stronger bonds as a result.
Family counseling can also serve as a reminder for families about the things that they need to prioritize. It can serve to reinforce the values that they find important and the ones that make them better as a whole.
Anyone can benefit from this, but parents will likely do so the most. Parenting styles can be directly impacted by these values in a positive way.
4. It is a healthy way of dealing with issues
Just as parents vary in parenting styles, families also vary in ways of dealing with issues.
In many cases, the methods of coping with problems that families do aren’t healthy.
Family counseling can help a family deal with issues without causing any harm. It is a completely healthy way of addressing problems and can even bring more benefits in the long run.
5. It teaches members several essential life skills
It is difficult to imagine going through therapy sessions without picking up a new life skill or two. Family counseling is no exception to this.
Skilled therapists can help family members learn important life skills that will help them out in the long run.
These life skills can benefit the members individually and the family as a whole. Some of these life skills include the following:
- Stress management skills and resilience to problems
- Skills for coping with personal, professional, academic, and relationship issues
- Traits that can benefit the family, like empathy, understanding, and others
- Openness and communication
That goes to show that family counseling does not just target the immediate problems that the family faces. It also equips the members with the necessary skills that can benefit them in the long run.
6. Family counseling promotes positivity
Positivity can be a challenge for some people, especially in the face of the problems of youth and adolescence.
Family counseling is a way of promoting positivity. It can help members maintain a good outlook about the family and life in general.
A positive outlook should never be underestimated, especially in troubling times.
Family counseling also promotes many positive traits in families.
Communication and openness are some of these traits.
Others include better understanding for family members, desire to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner and more.
Both Parents and Children Can Benefit from Family Counseling and Therapy.
No matter what parenting style you use, you and your children may benefit from family counseling.
It is normal to feel uneasy about your parenting style at times. What is important is your desire to raise your kids right and give them a better future.
Ottawa family counsellors at Capital Choice Counselling are some of the most experienced in the National Capita Region. We have been serving Ottawa for years and we are well known for our compassion and results.
Our therapists are highly trained in helping families be the best they can be. We also offer a wide range of other services related to counseling and therapy.
Contact us today to get started on your family counselling journey to wellness.