“What we need, to ensure the mental and physical health of future generations, is something far more radical and far-reaching than Sure Start – nothing less than a revolution in public policy on the early years. We need parenting classes for girls and – crucially – boys built in to the education system; and psychological support for all new parents, to stop damaging patterns being repeated”
For Couples that are separating as their best option, Author Warren Farrell lists the following 4 points for parents to consider in order to minimise the impact on Children:
1)Equal Time: (Children have equal time including overnights with each parent)
2)No Bad-mouthing: (this includes non verbal signals like eye-rolling, huffing and sighing)
3) Proximity:(Parents live close enough to each other that the child does not have to give up friends or activities to see a parent)
4)Counselling:(“Consistent Couples Counselling occurs even when there is no emergency”)
Perhaps Point 4 is the most contentious.
Couples might say: But we are separating! Why do we need Consistent Couples Counselling? This is the last thing i want! I can’t stand this person! I’m so angry/upset/out of love with them that I can’t bear it
A Couples Counsellor might say: Even during/after separation:
-I don’t mind whether you separate or stay together, but you might want to make sure that you are making your decision from a Conscious position
Each of you is still in Relationship with each other because of the Children. You will need to discuss their future and your continued need to co-parent
How good are we at passing between generations our learning though experience ?
We are great at documenting and passing material, scientific, technical, and factual information between generations. Year on year more discoveries are made and progress is made as a body of wisdom is generated…..
Or is it?
How good are we at passing between generations our learning though experience, our learning about things that can’t be measured….things like
-Feelings, Thoughts, Intuition, Perception….our Psychology or
-Experience in Relationship, Marriage, Choices, Life, Vulnerability, Daring to tell someone how we feel, taking a risk, opening our hearts?
Alain De Botton in this article likens this absence of sharing of the latter things to being similar to asking each generation to discover the Laws of Physics for themselves…..How crazy would that be?
Counselling can be one way to learn the type of Wisdom that is harder to measure and harder to pass from one generation to another
Do you sometimes find yourself feeling Anxious or Avoidant in company or in Relationships? There are many many ways to consider this. One possible way is using the idea of “Attachment Theory”.
Your Attachment “style” influences how you are, conciously, or perhaps also unconciously or just in the edge of awareness.
There are 3 major “styles” of Attachment: Anxious, Avoidant, Secure.
Your attachment style evolves as a result of several things like, how you were related to throughout your life starting with pre-verbal times. It is influenced by your experiences, ie ‘nurture’ but also perhaps by “nature” ie how you were born.
How we relate to someone and feel in someones company can change from one person to the next ie it is person and situationally specific.
“Earnt Secure” is another Attachment Style. This means that you “Earn” this way of being/Attaching. For example, it can be possible to change your Attachment style (eg from “Anxious” to “Secure”) by working for/earning this transformation . This can be achieved by any sort of inner or soul or reflective transformational work, whether it be counselling, retreats, reading, journalling etc.
However I’d argue that to change an Attachment Style that was formed “through relationship” (ie as a result of early relational experiences, ie experiences with another) , it is also more likely that your attachment style can be changed more quickly if the work you do to change it, involves relationships or ‘Relational Work’.
Getting to know your Counsellor and working in depth with them is an example of the sort of “Relational Work” that has the potential to change your Attachment Style.
Parent Child Connection is illustrated as 11 year old boy shows Stepdad a video he made of their time together
2 minute video that hints at a childs desire to belong, to be part of something, and hints at the joy the 11 year old feels when in the company of his step-parent. Even when a family still lives under the same roof, it takes some effort, awareness and availability on the part of the parent or caregiver to create a relationship with their children like this. Sometimes there can be reasons why this sort of connection isn’t possible.
What was your experience like of being parented or looked after by a guardian?