Parents play an essential role within our society as they provide the environment and relationships that enable our children to grow, develop and learn. Parents make decisions about what is right for their children and families based upon their unique values and circumstances. Additionally, broader social policies and attitudes can also impact the opportunities and expectations for parents and families.
There are many ways to be a good parent, and being a parent can bring immense joy and fulfilment. However, parenting also comes with many challenges and can be one of the most stressful stages of life. This might be due to a range of issues including the following:
- sometimes juggling the demands of daily life can be stressful as parents try to maintain work commitments, family responsibilities, social connections and financial pressures.
- significant change within a family might also have the potential to create additional stress (such as changing jobs, moving house or having an additional child).
- external factors might also impact upon our experience of being a parent, including the availability of family support, financial pressures (such as the cost of child care or schools), whether there are flexible options within the workplace and the type of community that a family lives in.
- Single parents face particular challenges as they go about parenting alone – such as less financial stability, less practical and emotional support and the potential for judgement from others.
If you feel that parenting may be causing you to experience stress and anxiety, and is impacting upon your quality of family life, a Clinical Psychologist may be able to help. Clinical Psychologists are highly trained and qualified professionals, skilled in providing effective interventions for a range of mental health concerns. A Clinical Psychologist can also help you to identify and address factors that might be contributing to your stress, as well as provide information and guidance around building coping strategies, problem solving skills and advise you about other resources that may be available (such as support groups, parenting courses, or educational books).