Parenting Overseas Can Get Tough
by Corinne Gnepf, LMHC, NCC
Parenting can be the most beautiful and rewarding role on earth. It also can be the most frustrating and challenging role. Parents find themselves sleepless, stretched, elevated, concerned, proud, tense like a fully stretched rubber band, crying from joy or frustration. Most parents want to see their child happy and successful in school, relationships, life, and for most of the readers of this article, also that their child knows the love of God for them. However, hopes and goals do not automatically and easily translate to reality, and parents can, at times, find themselves struggling to know how to get through to their child, how to soothe and calm them when they are upset, and how to have them listen well.
When parents browse a bookstore, talk to friends and family members, or google for helpful advice and tips on parenting they find a plethora of recommendations, books, articles, quotes, five-step methods, etc. But how does one decide which ones are a good fit and helpful to your specific child and situation? The struggle is real because there are hundreds of different kind of advice on everything from baby to teenager problems just a mouse click away.
For those who are parenting in a different culture than their own, it gets even harder. They are not only faced with deciding how they want to parent based on their own cultural background and values, but they are also encountering the local community’s values and practices of child rearing and discipline (or the lack there of). I have talked to new mothers who reduced the amounts of trips to the local park, or even avoided leaving their apartment, because they couldn’t handle being corrected over and over by local mothers and grandmothers over how inappropriately their baby is dressed or that it is a shameful thing to let their child play in the dirt. How do you navigate it when your kindergartener is learning that you have to shove and hit other kids in order to stay safe because the “Stop, I don’t like it!” approach he has learned at home doesn’t work at school?
Raising children overseas is not easy (nor is raising them in your home culture). On top of this, you are likely faced with limited resources to address these problems. Reading this article, the chance is high that you are living in an area where you don’t have easy access to a child therapist or counselor, if you’d ever need one. Often when parents bring their child to Olive Tree Counseling Center (OTCC), they have tried everything they could imagine and they are at the end of their patience, strength, knowledge. As a result of the ongoing struggles with their child, feelings of resentment set in, which is one of the hardest feelings to have towards your child. What if you need external help but can’t get to OTCC? What if you could learn tools, skills, and approaches from a child therapist to address emotional and behavioral issues yourself as the agent of change, growth, and healing?
AN INVITATION TO A 5 WEEK CHILD-PARENT-RELATIONSHIP TRAINING
The Child-Parent-Relationship (C-P-R) training is based on child-centered play therapy and is developed to strengthen the bond between parents and their child (ages 3-9). An improved and strong bond between child and parent allows the child to reduce or eliminate behavior problems, develop responsibility and self-control, and grow in their self-esteem and self-confidence. This course helps parents learn skills and approaches to help them feel in control and reduce frustration.
Olive Tree Counseling Center is planning to hold a C-P-R training early next year. In this five-week training (one 2-hour session per week) the main focus is to provide parents with skills they can effectively use at home. These skills include:
- Reflective listening
- Recognizing your child’s emotions
- Therapeutic limit setting (setting developmentally-appropriate limits that can help your child’s emotional development)
- Building your child’s self-esteem
- Structured playtime
THIS COURSE INCLUDES:
- 5 sessions, once per week, in February – March 2022 (dates TBD)
- Weekly handouts and helpful resources
- At-home, weekly 30-minute play sessions with your child
Suggested donation: $100 per couple
This course survey is now closed, but keep in touch to hear about future courses!
Child Parent Relationship Training
Do you feel you have lost control of your role as a parent?
Do you find yourself yelling at your child more often than laughing with your child?
Do you feel you have lost touch with your child and/or don’t feel as close as you’d like?
Do you feel frustrated and find yourself saying the same things over and over, with no results?
If your answered “yes” to any of these questions, Child Parent Relationship (C-P-R) Training can help you.
Child Parent Relationship Training can:
- Reduce or eliminate behavior problems
- Enhance the parent-child relationship
- Develop responsibility and self-control in children
- Increase children’s self-esteem and self confidence
- Lessen parents’ feelings of frustration
- Increase parents’ sense of feeling in control
In the training you can learn skills and techniques that have proven highly effective to improve your ways of communication and discipline your child. This play-based approach not only helps you to manage your child’s behavior successfully, it also provides you with keys to enhance and strengthen your parent-child bond and have more fun with your child. In an at-home, weekly 30-minutes play session with their child, parents will practice their skills and later shared their experiences with the other participants in the training. The C-P-R training is geared at parents of children ages 3-9, but can be adapted to toddlers and pre-teens as well.