The first step in the process of improving the parent/child relationship lies with deepening the parent’s insight and understanding into their child’s difficulties. When parents gain the capacity to recognize and acknowledge the thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs, and intentions of themselves and others, they may then begin to understand how these elements come together to shape their child’s behavior. Specifically, changes in the parent/child relationship are often the result of a parent’s capacity to make sense of their child as a separate person with thoughts, feelings and a mind of his own.  However, for this understanding to evolve, parents must first feel that their own complex experience is understood. Parents often feel immense relief when a thoughtful therapist or other individual acknowledges how difficult it is to parent a challenging child. In my therapy sessions, many parents report feelings of sadness when this occurs, because they have never had the opportunity to speak about their parenting without the threat of criticism or blame. Angry, hurt or disappointed feelings as a parent are natural at times, and not an indictment of the parent’s ability or the depth of their love. Some children can make the best of parents look bad, while others make the worst of parents look good. When parents can speak openly about negative feelings without being judged, this opens the door to positive change in their relationship with their children.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *