Many parents find that their child’s behavior is tricky or not well understood. Sometimes a parent is struggling with their own emotional capacity to be available to their children. Parenting young children takes stamina and resiliency. And even when those two essential ingredients are available young children can tug on a parent’s capacity to understand and feel effective.
A comforting way to look at an early childhood consultation (parent consultation) is through the lens of curiosity. When something feels awry, it’s useful to wonder why. Why is sleep so hard, why is there so much hitting and crying, or why is it so hard to say goodbye? When a parent is focused on the behavior, it’s because behavior can be very difficult to live with. Parents seek cooperation and partnership with their child.
Sometimes there are extraordinary life events in a family. Perhaps there has been an illness or a death in the family. Or perhaps there are deep financial struggles. These experiences create stress in family. And sometimes, parents see the hardship but don’t realize the way these emotions affect a young child. One on one parenting consultations are a way to uncover what is felt by children and perhaps seen in behavior. A consultation is a path to understanding how a child experiences their very young life.
No one knows you better than your child. This is true from infancy on. The unique and common thread of parenting is that the child and the parent are deeply interdependent. Because of this, parenting consultations support the family. Parent and child are supported through telling the story of family. The work focuses on understanding the child, but with curiosity and respect for the parent. The goal of a consultation is to truly help parents understand their child with compassion and empathy, and to nurture a healthy family system. These consultations are typically with just the parents. This is what happens:
1. The parent(s) tells the story of why they asked for a consultation.
2. The consultant listens and asks questions about the story.
3. The consultant pieces together the emotion and behavior within the family experience.
4. The consultant pieces together the family experience within the context of a developmental stage.
5. The parent listens and asks questions.
6. The consultant makes recommendations to the parent.
The goal of support is to strengthen the parent child relationship in your unique family! A parent consultation lasts about one and a half hours. An hour is too short and more than an hour and a half is too long. The time goes by very quickly. Consultations are at the Center, in home, or on phone or computer devices. They can be once or twice or more. Consultations are not therapy. However, a consultation might offer insight into other resources for families. Consultations are with Early Childhood Consultants, or specialists in Early Years Relationships.
Being a parent can be complicated. That is absolutely felt by many, many parents. I invite you to call the Center for a consultation and get a helping hand in being the parent you want to be!
Being a parent is never uncomplicated. Raising children is not meant to be an isolated experience. Often, parents wish they had the added support of understanding their child, children, and family dynamics. Sometimes there is an extraordinary event to be understood and sometimes it’s the typical child or family rhythm that seems hard enough. With a NTNC professional, you’ll tell your family story and in partnership we’ll create new pathways of understanding. Together, with you as the one who knows your child best, we’ll work to uncover and understand what feels confusing or hard. Through dialogue, inquiry, and information on child development and attachment our professional team will guide you into a deeper understanding of behavior, expanding your parenting “tool kit” with compassion.
You can meet once or as often as you like. Consultations can be in home, at an office, at the Center, by telephone or via skype/FaceTime. Our first session is 1.5 hours. There is a sliding scale fee of $35 – $100/hour. There are scholarships available on request. Payment is due at the time of service.