South West Wellbeing Centre

South West Wellbeing Centre

by Jay Anderson

Parenting can be tricky! Non-one gets taught much about it at all. Most people learn by experience, by observation and by trial and error.  In fact, most people will parent how they were parented, unless they have had a really bad experience, or they received some training which changed their view point and attitudes.

If you were to think about it, there is so much to know, so many different ages and stages. For many parents it is about “what to do”………how do I get my child to eat? To sleep…….to not hit their brother……to be good and listen.  If only we were taught about parenting, communication, relationships……….

Children gain comfort and security from a range of things in their life.  I consider that it relates to a positive relationship with their parents and a consistent routine.  When parents are able to understand their child and their emotions, then the child is better able to be free to share their emotions.  How families, children and their parents experience emotions is also impacted by their culture.

As a Child and Family Counsellor, I work with children every day.  Some children attend counselling because both of their parents are concerned about something.  Many children attend because one parent is more concerned about the child’s emotions. Too often the parents are in conflict, not talking, or saying awful things about the other parent. Children often feel stuck in the middle – unable to say how they feel, or made to agree with one parents feelings about the other parent.  Children who have experienced their parents separate are often the majority of my clients.   For many children, it can be a really challenging situation!

My most favourite book on parenting is “What parents need to know about children” by Stan Ferguson (2010).  This is an excellent resource for parents as well as professionals.  I list the main topics here so that you are aware of what is covered:

Chapter One -Noticing Your Child

Chapter Two – Listening

Chapter Three – Motivating Children

Chapter Four – Building Self Confidence in Children

Chapter Five – Becoming a Better Parent

Chapter Six – The Power of Play

Chapter Seven – More About the Power of Play

Chapter Eight – Children and Discipline

Chapter Nine – Discipline That Teaches Responsibility: The Power of Choice
Chapter Ten – Getting Close…Letting Go: Parenting From Beginning to End

Another well-known author also wrote a great book on parenting.  “10 things every parent needs to know: positive solutions for everyday parenting challenges” by Dr Justin Coulson (2018). His chapters cover topics such as:

  • Parenting on the same page
  • mattering and belonging
  • being understood
  • something better than punishment
  • getting along with others – including siblings
  • discovering the self
  • finding a balance with technology
  • protecting childhood
  • feeling joy
  • getting support as a parent.


We are parents for life. And you are doing the best you can – we know that.  Ultimately we want our children to be able to grow and develop, to interact with others in a positive way, to live a meaningful and enjoyable life, maybe even to contribute somehow……..As children grow, they learn to make choices and to experience responsibility and consequences.  Parents are there to guide and assist children, and the strength of the parent- child relationship is most important.  Have a think about how yours is going and what could be different.

So many situations, so many things to know or do!  I hope that this information has been helpful and I can be contacted for more information on


You may also like to read:

Top 10 Things I wish I knew before I became a Parent

To Hug or Not to Hug