Improving your Parenting: Helpful Insights

Improving your Parenting: Helpful Insights

Parenting is challenging. One of the most difficult things about parenting is not having a manual to help parents maneuver the day-to-day of parenthood. It’s even more challenging for a parent who never or rarely had a parent or both parents around.  Some parents have natural abilities while others have to learn essential skills. However unique your situation is, here are some helpful insights about parenting:

  1. Children are possible triggers: How often have you found yourself snapping at your kids and felt terrible about it? How often is it that you find something about your children that irritates you and you can’t exactly figure out why?  Probably more often than you realize. This is not to shame any parents but to bring awareness; awareness of the unresolved issues in your life. Seeking professional help has benefits in resolving past issues and making positive changes. Some things to think about and consider:
    • Behavior and thought processes that you know are more harmful than productive
    • Reactions that you know your kid/s did not deserve
    • Existing generational patterns/cycles you want to break
    • Unintentional messages you are giving your children through your responses/reactions
  1. Meet your children where they are: Some parents set such high expectations for their children and put too much pressure on them (intentionally or unintentionally). Yes, it is healthy to want your children to be successful and have good traits. But at what cost? Children are still human beings, just tiny ones. Children have feelings that they are not able to  verbalize most times. When parents tell children how they should or should not feel, children may possibly internalize that by feeling like they cannot express how they feel, they do not know what they feel, and they feel unsure and/or scared to talk about how they feel, which carries through adolescence and into adulthood. Take a look at:
    • Human Development Stage: Did you know that the frontal lobe of the human brain does not finish developing completely until the age of at least age 25? The frontal lobe of the human brain is responsible for regulating emotions, controlling behaviors, problem-solving, and cognitive functions. In simpler terms, the frontal lobe is the behavioral and emotional control center and how humans can make sense of things. So, is it possible that your child has reckless behaviors, doing and saying things that do not make sense, and acting out because they are simply functioning at their level? A child is only capable of doing things and making sense of things at his/her level of functions and abilities. Also, researching and reading about the different stages of human development can help you better understand where your child is.
    • Question yourself: Have I taught my child how to identify and express his/her emotions? Have I taught my child that it is okay and safe to talk about feelings? Have I taught my child, or do I have unrealistic expectations? Do I expect my children to do things I have not taught them about? These questions are to help you see where you are as a parent so you can identify what you want to work on.
  1. Identify your values:  Have you taken the time to identify what you value as a parent? Values such as respect, humility, courage, honesty, and discipline are just a few of the common values a parent desires for his/her child to attain. However, if you have not identified what you want to instill in your children, it is easy to forget and get deterred. Reflect on the following as a guide to discover your personal values:
    • Things you disliked about your childhood
    • Things that give you a sense of purpose
    • Things you are passionate about
    • The difference you want to make in this world
    • The type of parent you want to be
    • The type of children you want to have
  1. Create realistic goals: Remember that raising children to become good and successful human beings is a process and a long one. Making small goals can help keep you on track. Here are some ideas:
    • Pick one issue you’d like to work on with your child
    • Jot down the reasons why you’d like to work on this particular subject
    • Brainstorm ideas about how to implement the change
    • List ideas of consequences you’d like to give (good and bad)
    • Commit and stick to it (children learn better with consistency)
  1. Talk to your children: talking to your children requires a parent to provide feelings of emotional safety and security. Children are often afraid to speak about what they are thinking or feeling because they are either afraid of getting in trouble and/or don’t want to make the parent upset.

In other cases (and cultures), children do not get a voice and only do what a parent tells them to do. This kind of parenting teaches children that they do not matter, they do not have a voice, that whatever they feel, or think is not important. When the children become adults, they struggle with expressing themselves, develop low self-esteem, and become emotionally detached or distant. Here are some ways to help your children how to express themselves:

    • Check-in and ask your child how he or she is feeling about something (person, place, and/or situation) and just listen (don’t correct or interrupt)
    • Validate your child’s feelings and thoughts and connect by saying “yeah I can see why that makes you feel sad or angry (whatever the emotion is).” If your child cannot identify feelings, naming a few feelings can help the child verbalize
    • Ask and listen to your child’s reasons, even if they are wrong and do not make sense to you
    • Teach by educating your child about what is right and what is wrong and help him/her to come up with a resolution or a different approach
    • Reassure your love and point out the child’s strengths/positive traits
  1. Take care of yourself: Parenting gets exhausting and your overall health is detrimental to your effectiveness as a parent. It is important to take time to take care of yourself and do things to replenish your energy. Here are important factors that affect your mental and physical health:
    • Get an adequate amount of sleep: not enough sleep causes mood irregularities, irritability, irrational thoughts, haste decisions, increased reactivity, decreased energy and focus, and lack of motivation.
    • Develop healthy eating habits: Certain foods affect moods. Eating unhealthy foods makes a person more susceptible to sluggishness, bloating, heartburn, fatigue, and lack of energy. Food is fuel to your body and there are specific foods that help boost metabolism, increase energy, and help with mental clarity and memory.
    • Socialize: It is easy as a parent to find yourself barely interacting with adults, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent. Reconnecting with friends and family has some benefits. However, it is also important to confide with someone you trust if needed. Seeking professional help to sort out past issues or trauma is also very beneficial to your overall health.
    • Dream again: As a parent, pursuing your dreams may have resulted in being on the bottom of the list. That’s understandable. But it is never too late to revisit a dream you once had or even come up with a new dream for yourself. There is no need for guilt and shame in taking time for yourself and pursuing your goals. Taking time for yourself does not make you a bad/neglectful parent but it does make you a better, happier parent.

Parenting is intimidating to those who never or rarely had parents who modeled good behaviors and characteristics, or to those who had a terrible childhood. It is normal to want your kids to have a better life than you had, to have good manners, to have confidence, and to be resilient and successful in life. Most parents can probably relate to the statement, “I don’t want them to go through what I went through.”

A great parent acknowledges his/her role and realizes the influences and impact on the child/children. Children learn more from what they see and hear than what their parents tell them verbally. So, reflect on your ways, natural tendencies, thinking process, behavior, and responses. Ask yourself, “what are the unspoken, unintentional lessons I am teaching my children based on how they see me act and what they hear me say?” Whatever answer you come up with is a good start to improve your parenting.

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Jerry was Amazing!

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Jerry was amazing! Jerry uses choice theory in order to help his patients grow and work through their problems. Choice theory was helpful through my relationship counseling but also could be used individually to helps each person grow themselves. Jerry used real scenarios in order to water down the theory, making it less scientific and more geared toward individual use. Jerry was patient, helpful, and very understanding.
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My therapist Rachel is the perfect therapist for me and the first one who I've told almost everything to and I could never ask for a better therapist thank you Rachel for changing my life and making a difference in my life and protecting me as well as helping and encouraging me even when I didn't wanna do your challenges cuz I didn't think I could do it and thanks for not letting me do whatever I want and helping me be a better person and thanks for your funny spider stories that cheer me up and when you were Sarcastic sometimes I love everything about you and thanks for being an Angel and for your kindness and Compassion I too have your back and care about you!
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Saved my Daughter

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Cassie has done wonders for my daughter. She has come so far in this past year. I am so thankful for the relationship my daughter and I have now. Before Cassie we were a wreck. We love so Cassie so much. I couldn't ask for a better councilor/ therapist/ mentor.
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Rehabilitation

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Thrive has helped my husband so much. He has vestibular issues and it creates bad balance problems. It also has created left side weakness and he has had to use a cane to assist him with walking and stairs. Since being treated at Thrive, he only uses his,cane with stairs now and on occasion when he isn't feeling that well. His balance has improved abiut 65% also. His moods are much better now also since he can get around better by himself! Thank you Thrive for all you have done for my husband and our family!
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I love going here every Monday it's the best thing to talk to someone that I connect with and helping me through my challenges.
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Awesome care

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Lindsay Schustedt has been seeing my 6 year old for a few months now. My daughter has been excited to go to counseling since she gets to see Lindsay. Lindsay has also been able to learn more about the issues that my daughter is experiencing. I believe that Lindsay is a very good counselor and I look forward to taking my daughter to see her in the future. I also have appreciated the communication that Lindsay has had with me regarding my daughter. Thank you Lindsay and ThriveWorks.
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The best therapists across the Front Range!

★★★★★
I was recommended to Thriveworks by District 11 for my son who is diagnosed with Autism, PTSD, ADHD and RAD. He had a quite abusive life, prior to my adopting him. Directly from the onset of my scheduling his intake to his intake appointment, my spirit felt that this was going to be the correct place for him to be. Rachel, his therapist, is amazing! The entire staff is amazing. Their communication skills are dynamic and Talon is responding so positively; actually more so than he has with any other therapy group. The focus is on his success! Success in overcoming his obstacles and in life. As a therapist, myself, I highly recommend Thriveworks! Empathy, Compassion, Dynamic abilities in using therapeutic tools and in teaching clients how to use and apply them in life.
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So thankful

★★★★★
So very thankful I chose Thriveworks and Kara Kays. Our time together was very helpful, and I made great progress. BDT was not like anything I’ve done before. Old way was to talk about the past and what made me who I am, new way is what is happening today, how can I be effective in my relationships today. Loved the learning tools, and I really clicked with Kara. Great experience
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Excellent, Compassionate Counselor

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I have known Jerry Noel for 16 years and worked with him for 13 of those years. He is an excellent counselor who is empathetic and easily bonds with people especially adolescents. After establishing an easy, supportive rapport, Jerry can effectively guide adolescents in choices that benefits their confidence and self-esteem. I highly recommend Jerry to help others improve their mental health and lead productive lives.
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Becky is a great support.

★★★★★
Becky is a very compassionate, supportive and helpful clinical social worker.
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Counseling

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I have been working with Katrina for 2 weeks now and she is great. I feel so comfortable with her and she has so much knowledge. She is also very honest.
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Caring Listener

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Lisa is a warm, empathetic counselor with great listening skills and helpful guidance.
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Excellent!

★★★★★
Thriveworks provides professional, yet welcoming counseling services that genuinely aid those in need. Lisa is an amazing counselor that is able to combine her knowledge and empathy to help others overcome their adversity. Her experience and therapeutic strategies make it easy to highly recommend her!!
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Exceptional

★★★★★
Becky is truly exceptional. She expresses empathy towards her clients and has great depth and knowledge of various therapeutic strategies.
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Counselor

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I can't say enough good things about Julie! Her caring and compassion shine through in everything she does. Her experience and training working with children and adolescents is extensive. I would highly recommend her!
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THRIVEWORKS Colorado Springs

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THRIVEWORKS Colorado Springs - a counseling office with professional, caring counselors, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, easy appointment availability, insurance acceptance, and help with a great variety of life's challenges. WOW!
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Amazing People

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Drew Pierce is a great individual and counselor. SO genuine and personable, look forward to working with him again.
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Good listener

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Lisa Smith is a caring, empathetic person. I feel truly heard when I talk to her.
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Caring professional counselor

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Sara Mann is a caring, outgoing think outside of the box with great solutions orientated counselor. She is personable, humble, kind and compassionate with a commitment to helping people.
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Quality People

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Sara Mann is a quality individual. I have worked with her for years and find her to be one of the most caring and down-to-earth counselors I've ever encountered. Sara has a wealth of knowledge and experience.
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Making an appointment

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I’ve never had a more difficult time just setting up an appointment. The lady who took my call seemed to be very inconvenienced with what I needed. There was hostility in her voice when I asked questions that she obviously deemed as common knowledge. When she finally found a counselor for my needs, and we moved to make an appointment, even though I said I would take time off work, she still seemed very rude with wanting to make an appointment. I read the profiles of many of the counselors, and they seem like wonderful people. But because of my initial contact with attempting to make an appointment, I will not be seeing anyone here.
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