The summer holidays tend to shine a spotlight on our struggles with parenting – find out from one of our counsellors how to use this time to review and improve things.
The kids being off school, and even those much looked-forward-to summer getaways, can be a struggle for parents. Around about now, many of us start to look forward to the school year starting again. But before you put the summer behind you for another year, Allyson, one of our most experienced relationship and family counsellors, advises that this could be a great time for a review of your parenting approach.
Make time for a team meeting
It’s important to have the mindset that you and your co-parent are a team. And the best teams review their performance. Make some time, away from the kids, to sit down and have a chat about parenting.
Consider what each of you likes most about having kids and what you think you do well as a parent. And share with each other what you each think the other person does well. Celebrate the positives – what your team is achieving!
Talk about parenting differences
Go on to talk about what each of you finds hardest about parenting. Start to identify some of the weaknesses in your team, and talk about what you think could be done differently.
It’s important to identify any disagreements about how parenting should be approached. Where you find these, talk through where the differences have come from – maybe from your own childhood or other examples you’ve seen of parenting. This can help to increase understanding between you – and from there you can consider if you can find a compromise that you can both accept.
Review the summer
Think back over these recent weeks of the summer holidays. Have they been a challenge? Talk together about what’s worked well and where you’ve struggled. Clearly identify what made the hard bits hard, and decide together what you want to try differently at half-term. It’s a good idea to write this down somewhere as a reminder!
And of course, if you get stuck along the way with this, and need some extra support, get in touch with us at Relate – we’ll be able to help.
More about what we do
Here at Relate Greater Manchester, we help you make the most of your couple and family relationships, past, present or future. We can help you even if you're not currently in a relationship. Our services include relationship counselling for individuals and couples, sex therapy, family counselling, and counselling for young people.