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Toxic Parenting

Parenting is hard at every phase.

It is also a joy, but still really hard (!!) and young and seasoned parents today are at an interesting juxtaposition as they find themselves very different from their own parental generation. In the counseling process, one where we can focus on parenting skills and problems within the family, it is important that we identify toxic parenting within ourselves and reach out for the help we need to navigate new norms.

One of the big differences we see when working with teens, preteens or their parents in counseling is what is okay these days? We did not grow up with technology in our lives like kids do today. And as of today, every child under the age of 18 literally was born into an era where technology is the norm. For some it is more normal than others, but not matter what, they have been exposed to technology a some level. So how much is too much? How do we know when the technology is causing an issue?

Even with little kids, there are many questions as well. What is an appropriate from of discipline? Should we discipline in public or is that a shaming activity that can cause harm? What alternatives to spanking and corporal punishment's do we have to help our children make appropriate change?

And what about the child that has picked up behaviors from school that we don't know how to deal with? So basically, we are overwhelmed with our child's attitude and behavior because things were so different "back in our day."

These are the questions we hear on a regular basis, from our counseling and therapy clients. Parenting is uncharted ground for all parents and in this era, it is even more so.

Here are some easy quick-tips that can help:

  • Find community with parents who are exampling good parenting.

  • Don't be afraid to find help. Whether it is a parenting group, a counselor or a church group, don't go it alone.

  • Take care of yourself. You need to day hydrated, get rest and treat yourself well so you are up to the task of parenting.

  • If possible, lean into your partner for help and try to agree on parenting decisions and disciplinary processes.

  • Don't be afraid of change. No one expects you to get it right all the time, or at all. Give yourself grace and space to change when you make mistakes and to learn new ways to approach parenting in this day in age.

For some fun and revealing info, check out this article from on toxic parenting concepts straight from parents themselves:

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