Balanced Parenting

What is the worst thing a parent can feel?

Yes, that’s actually a question I am asking all my readers to give their opinion on.

From my perspective, the worst thing a parent can feel is “hopeless” and I have experienced it through so many parents who meet me for counseling.  It’s that stage in their life where they are completely helpless and just feels cornered because of the various challenges they are facing or their child is going through.

Many parents have also described this emotion as a “failure” in their parenting journey. It’s a pretty awful feeling. There is a fear that seeps into everyday life that your children will never develop the skills to be productive members of society. The responsibility of it all can make you feel overwhelmed and defeated, and your day hasn’t even really started yet.  It can be enough to make any parent wonder how to change this situation and rise above not only for their kids but for themselves as well.

What can a parent do to change this seeming downward spiral?

Most of us are trying to raise our kids using the same tools and techniques our parents used or with the help of the numerous external influencers. And, while those techniques may have worked with our generation, they are not very effective with this generation of kids. Where I would never even consider talking back to my elders, kids today are growing up in a different culture, one where disrespect and defiance towards adults are much more accepted and often glorified in media. The line between children and adults has become blurred, with many kids not seeing the boundary at all and with many parents also struggling to establish themselves either as a parent or a friend.

The Key here is BALANCE !!


Be balanced in your approach as a parent. You have to believe that you are doing the best you can in your parenting journey and then only your kids will see the best in whatever you do.

When working with parents I always emphasis on conveying the calm self-confidence of an empowered parent. Does this mean that you will actually feel like you are always in control? No, probably not. But what it will communicate to your child is a life lesson on how to remain calm in the most challenging situations. Let’s say you are asking your child to clean his/her room for the umpteenth time or to keep things in their place or to study or any other such instruction  Be clear with your expectations and let him/her know that, until the job is done , they will miss out on something like maybe their screentime or any such benefit they enjoy. Start having him them earn those things they consider as their  rights by linking them to what needs to be done been part of the family. Chances are they  may respond to your request with “Whatever” or something equally irritating. How do you respond? If you’re like many parents, you might jump into the fray, feet first, saying something like “How dare you talk to me that way? Who do you think you are? Let me tell you something…” They respond with something even more disrespectful, and a fight begins. Now, the issue is no longer about whether or not the chore has been done. Instead, it’s about the power struggle you are now fully involved in.

So, try something different.

Take a pause, one step back and instead of getting into that argument, ignore the remark and walk away.  Go into another room, go for a walk, do anything other than get into an argument. Even though it may feel like they are winning, the truth is, you’re still the one with the power. They are not going to get the privilege until the chore is done, so what are they actually winning?

But yes, one thing is that as parents, we also have to unlearn and learn to let go of things and not rub it in. Be ok to remain calm if that chore is still not done, give them a gentle reminder not a harsh one you don’t want to get involved in a power struggle. Be also ok if the chore is done but not the way you would do it, appreciate the effort taken and encourage them.

There are many other tools which I discuss in my counselling sessions and also during the Balanced Parenting workshops, that will help you respond to your child’s behaviour more effectively, helping you turn what seems like a hopeless situation into one with a much more promising outlook. Believe me, there is hope — I help parents find it every single day. All it takes is a little courage on your part to start doing things a little differently, so you can assume control of your parenting and your family.

5 thoughts on “Balanced Parenting”

  1. Pause, adapt and be courageous to restore control.

    Be aware of the march of internet technology .

    Social media is seriously impacting of growing children, accelerating their maturity progress. Hence they appear to challenge more easily through peer pressure.

    Seek to become a ‘friend’ of the child rather than a ‘perceived enemy’.

    The strategy should be to solidify any signs of the weakening of any existing TRUST bond between a parent and a child, and more importantly between a mother and a child.

  2. Many times parents make extra efforts to become “Friends” with children forgetting they need friendly parents NOT friends in their parents

  3. Pingback: Coping with Parental Exhaustion - Trupti Natekar - Counselling Services

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