Category Archives: Parenting

The Gifts Imparted from Fathers

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

Happy Father’s Day from me to you! As I was reflecting on this day and considering the special role of fathers in children’s lives, I found myself circling back to the idea of the gifts fathers impart. No matter who served the father role for us, whether that was a biological parent, a step-parent, or other friend or family member, I think we all know the moments of most importance from childhood: The ones in which that person, our father, took the time to make us feel loved, to teach us a skill or lesson that we still carry with us, or to ensure we had the self-confidence to march proudly through life.

When I work with fathers, I sometimes hear this discomfort about their role – with all of the pressures and stress of life, it can be easy to feel guilty or worry that we’re not spending enough of our time or giving enough to our children. That’s why I love this video – what a simple but impactful way to spend a few minutes with a child and give them a solid foundation of values and self-esteem without hardly any investment. Take a look below:

I’ve written on the power of affirmations before and the ways in which we can use them as adults to boost our own feelings of self-worth and confidence. But what an amazing tool – to use affirmations as a bonding experience between father and child, to instill confidence, to teach values. I love this video because it illustrates how the simple presence of a father, or either parent, spent in ways that builds children up, not only benefits them, but allows us to feel a more complete connection to our role as parent.

To those reading this who are parents, or are planning on becoming parents, consider the following:

  • Who was your own father figure? What sort of impacts did they have on your life?
  • What lessons from your father do you wish to instill with your own children?
  • What are the times you feel the strongest connection with your children? How often do you make this activity part of your routine with your children?
  • What are the values you feel are most important to pass along to your children? How have or will you work to embed these in your children?

By thinking about the role of the father and how you fill it, it becomes much easier to feel confident in successfully parenting children (and reducing relationship tension with a partner along the way). I hope that you have had a wonderful Father’s day, and know that your role as a father, while it may seem intimidating, is one that leaves immeasurable impacts on your child for years to come and a layer of self-fulfillment that is unknowable until you’ve achieved this.

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Bringing Home Baby: Easing This Transition for Couples

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

It’s hard to describe what bringing home a baby means to new parents – until you’ve experienced this transition, it seems impossible to really understand the changes your life undergoes, from long-term plans to the daily routines you’ve had. When parents bring home a baby for the first time, it can be a time of overwhelming joy – but with any new change, stress and feelings of disconnection can also be present. Without understanding what a new baby can do to a relationship, this can be an especially vulnerable time for marital discord. We love this article from Women’s Health Mag – it’s such an honest look at the most common relationship troubles during this transition. Take a look – when you come back, we’ll explore some questions to ask before you bring baby home that can help avoid these issues.

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The good news is that these issues can mitigated with some honest and thoughtful conversations with your partner. Ideally these would happen before discussing having a baby (or at least before the baby is born), but if these are things you are struggling with in your own relationship, start the conversation as soon as possible.

  • What role expectations do you both have regarding child-rearing, especially at the newborn phase? How do you expect your partner to support you? How will you communicate when you need more help or when you are feeling overwhelmed? If you are planning on returning to work, how will these roles shift at that time? What additional supports would you consider to help mitigate the stress of working and raising a child?
  • How prepared do you both feel to provide daily care to a newborn? How can you communicate with one another if you are concerned about the care provided by your partner to the baby? What are your expectations for care and are these realistic things to expect from your partner all of the time?
  • Your body will need time to recover after child-birth, regardless of yours or his sex drive. How can you embed intimacy during this time? How will you make time for this even after your body is healed? How would you prefer to communicate about feeling dissatisfied with the amount of intimacy during this time if it becomes an issue?
  • Do you and your partner spend quality time together now? How will you hold yourselves accountable to scheduling this time after the baby comes? What supports do you have that will allow one-on-one time without bringing baby along?
  • What are each of your parenting styles and philosophies? How were each of you raised, and how is that influencing how you intend to parent your child? When baby comes, how will you discuss parenting differences as they arise in a respectful way?

While these are a lot of things to consider before having a baby, they are essential to making this transition successful. Without having a conversation around these issues, problems like resentment, stress, and isolation can arise – things that quickly drive deep wedges in relationships. Above all, remember that effective communication, the willingness to be flexible and insightful, and placing your commitment to your family above all else is what powers couples through the new baby stage.

 

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Learning More About How The Gottman Approach Can Work For You

By Orly Katz, LCPC at Everyday Counseling and Coaching Services

One of the most stressful things about agreeing to participate in couples therapy is a fear of the unknown – being unsure of what to expect, what to say, and how you and the therapist may interact. This is why we love the The Gottman approach to couple’s therapy – it’s a standardized approach that each Gottman-trained counselor adheres to. It is based on over 40 years of research conducted by Dr. John and Julie Gottman, and it has shown time and time again to be extremely successful when both members of a couple are dedicated to improving their relationship.

In this linked article, practitioner Clinton Powers interviews Gottman-trained therapist Lidia Smirnov to share with listeners more about the Gottman approach, including what to expect, how a treatment plan is created, and the kinds of intervention work a couple may expect when participating in this treatment option. If you are considering participating in Gottman-based counseling, take a few minutes to listen and learn about what you’ll be experiencing. It is such an amazing resource to share this information with couples – thank you to Clinton and Lidia for this informational interview!

The Gottman Approach to Couples Therapy: How Does It Help Couples?