Parenting kids, whether they’re newborns or teenagers, can be challenging. Parents often find themselves struggling with their own mental health. Specific parenting challenges can make coping even harder. For example:
- New parents often struggle to get enough sleep, which can affect mood and brain chemistry
- Social isolation when their babies are small, or their kids are sick can leave people feeling alone
- Giving up careers, either for the short term or long term, can cause someone to feel as if they don’t have a purpose.
When managing mental health, it’s important to remember that the hard parts of parenting can worsen other issues. That doesn’t mean, however, that a person shouldn’t get help and treatment with any mental health issues that arise. Parenting counselling can help make an entire family function more happily.
Coping with parenting
Some of the problems parents encounter are simply issues of social support. Parents might believe that they need to do too much and not reach out for help. Parenting therapists may start by simply helping parents understand that there are challenges that parents face.
For example, parenting counselling may be helpful when a client has pre-existing mental health concerns, such as depression or anxiety. Lack of sleep and overall stress can exacerbate these issues, for example, causing increasingly severe health problems. By treating underlying conditions, parenting may become less challenging on its own.
There’s a cultural story that parenting should be easy and that everyone knows how to do it. That’s simply not true. Parenting therapists often find that their clients are stressed, confused, and worried about how to parent well. Parenting therapy can often ease mental health burdens. This could mean:
- Family therapy to resolve challenging situations
- Therapy around parenting to unpack learned parenting behaviours that might be causing stress
In particular, learning more about the ways in which adults were parented themselves can help to highlight problems they are having within their own families. Parenting counselling can help tease out how history is affecting the present. This can allow new patterns to be learned and applied to the current situation.
And sometimes, simply being able to talk about the difficulties that face modern parents can ease internal pressures and make day-to-day life a little easier.
Talk to one of our parenting therapists
At PRS, you can find a therapist who can help you cope with the stress of parenting and find the right answers to your mental health concerns. Browse our directory to find the right therapist for you and reach out today!