The Counselling Corner
Welcome to the Counselling Corner: A space where we will discuss all things mental health.
Reflections on our first PARENTING WORKSHOP
This week we had our first parenting workshop at Helderberg International School. We focused on the topic of SELF. We had a closer look at our childhood, our self-concept, and our parenting styles and its direct effect on our children. We also discussed the importance of self-care on our parenting practices and how we can support our own wellbeing in the midst of taking care of others.
For the parents who missed out on our first session, a summary of the topics we discussed:
My Childhood: Our unresolved childhood experiences affect our parenting, especially if we were raised in an environment where our childhood needs were not met (physical, psychological, social, and/or educational).
Childhood experiences that can cause struggles in our parenting practices include:
- Need for safety and belonging not met
- Loss of a parent/caregiver
- Abusive/neglectful parents
- No positive role models
- Raised by authoritarian or permissive parents
- Poverty/ socio-cultural turbulence
- Parental divorce/ discord
The above examples are only some of the experiences that can cause deep hurts within our psyche that we carry into adulthood, not realising the effects thereof on our emotional and behavioural responses towards our children. We thus bring our ‘unfinished business’ from our childhood experiences into our child rearing practices without being cognitively aware thereof.
This is where self-reflection becomes crucial. Self-reflection and the process of uncovering our core beliefs (the things that govern our behaviour) is a critical part of the process of becoming more effective, happier, and peaceful parents, and enables us to start the journey of healing our ‘inner child’ of the hurtful beliefs we adopted during childhood.
My Self-Concept: Building on the above foundation we explored the effects of our self-concept (ideal-self, self-image, and self-esteem) on our parenting. We focused on how our low self-esteem affects the development of our children’s self-concept and influences our ability to establish healthy relationships with them.
My Parenting Style: Thereafter we explored the different parenting styles and their effects on our children. A parenting style is the standard strategy that parents use in their child-rearing practices. We had to identify which style we make use of most and where we could make adjustments to our parenting style to support our children’s needs better.
Self-Care for Parents: Lastly, we delved into self-care and its vital importance to parenting. We explored the difference between ‘self-indulgence’ and ‘self-care’ and discussed the various ways in which we can take better care of ourselves (emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically).
Thank you to the parents who joined the workshop and for your enthusiastic participation!
I hope to see you all in our next session together where we will cover topics such as:
- Understanding childhood development and speaking their ‘language’,
- Connecting with your child, and
- Building self-esteem in your child.
You are welcome to contact me with any enquiries, comments, or discussion topics you would like to see in The Counselling Corner.
Until next time, keep well!