Many parents have the tendency to question themselves. “Is what I am doing right? Am I being a good parent? Was that a good parenting decision?” This is fairly common. But constantly doubting yourself and your parenting abilities is just not healthy. Instead, trust that what you are doing is helping your children. Be confident. If you have confidence in yourself, then your children will also. Children feel safe with confident parents, who they see as capable and dependable.
That’s easier said than done when you are raising a challenging child. The parenting approaches that work well with securely attached children are typically ineffective when children have histories of trauma and compromised attachment. As a result, parents can feel inadequate, demoralized, exhausted and guilty.
If this describes how you feel as a parent, you need four basic things to help build your confidence: information, skills, support, and hope.
Knowledge is power. The more information and understanding you have about your child, yourself and your family, the more confident you will feel. When you understand your child’s attachment issues and the effect on your family, you will be more likely to take the correct steps to solve the problem.
There are skill sets for parenting children with attachment issues, such as Corrective Attachment Parenting. Once you learn these skills you will experience success, and with success comes confidence. Just keep in mind that you can’t master these skills overnight. You will experience setbacks, but don’t let that make you feel inadequate. With practice, over an extended period of time, the successes will grow.
Having support is crucial. When parents are isolated, feelings of doubt and uncertainty have room to develop. Reaching out to friends, family, your church, or support groups and professionals will help you stay strong and build your confidence. A mentor, or a parent who has been through a similar experience, can make all the difference in how you feel about yourself as a parent.
Time and time again, we have seen traumatized children make healthy changes in their actions and choices under the right conditions. Knowing your child can change creates hope and optimism. Be confident that you can help your child make these changes.
Creating a healing environment—by having the right information, skills, support, and hope — provides the conditions in which positive change can occur.