I write a lot about children and the work i do with them, but this week one of the most important parts of my job has been supporting a parent. This parent has had a very challenging childhood herself and at times finds it hard to understand and manage her child who has difficult behaviour. Her approach in the past has often been critical and punitive, which has made her sons behaviour worse. I meet with her every week to try and help her understand that there is always a reason for her childs behaviour and to offer her support and strategies with this. Initially she was sceptical and dismissive of my suggestions, with frequent responses such as “yes but…or he’s got lots of things that i never had” . However, this week we turned a corner. She has made a major tunrnaround in her approach to her son and has been spending more time praising him and ignoring some of his behaviour.
Maybe its easy to judge parents who we feel do not treat their children as well as they could, but its important to remember that they were all children once and may have had their own difficult experiences which have impacted on their parenting. Sometimes the parents need as much reassurance, encouragement and support as the children.