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Being a parent is a tough gig. The job of raising a child doesn’t come with four weeks annual leave, private health or a pension plan. It comes with a lot of stress, hard work and keeping many antisocial hours, including late nights and weekends. So why do it? Because it is, of course, the most rewarding job in the world, second to none.

Behavioural Consultant based in Abergavenny

These days there is a huge amount of pressure to be ‘the perfect parent’, whatever that means. Since there is no definition of perfect parenting, it means different things to different people. One thing is certain, however; parents only want what’s best for their child, and they want to be able to provide it for them.
So what happens if it doesn’t go according to plan? The chances are, there will be times during your child’s development, when you’ll feel that things are going awry. Your child might refuse to eat certain foods, or fail to toilet train properly. It’s likely your child will throw some epic tantrums along the way to test the boundaries and will probably go through a period of not wanting you out of their sight. At these moments, it’s very easy to feel like a failure and that other friends of yours who are parents are doing a much better job. Thankfully, these moments tend to pass as many of these testing situations turn out to be just a phase. Parental instinct guides you through and, even though you may question whether or not you’re doing the right thing, the fact is that children don’t come with instruction manuals and there is never a definitive right or wrong.

Sometimes, however, these hiccups do become longer-term problems, which can snowball and cause tensions within the family. It makes sense to seek help if your child’s behaviour does not seem developmentally appropriate to you, or your child’s behaviour continues to detrimentally affect their environment. Parents who have tried all kinds of solutions without success can feel at a complete loss with no idea of where to turn next or how to solve the problem. It is rarely the case that these parents are bad parents. The ability to solve the problem is entirely within their grasp; it may simply require a different approach or a more systematic intervention. It is never the case that it is a lost cause.

By seeking help from a behavioural consultant, you can find the support you are looking for and interventions for the seemingly insurmountable problems you may feel confronted with. A behavioural consultant is not there to judge you on your parenting skills, but rather to work alongside you to find out exactly what the problem is, why it may be occurring and to assist in putting measures in place to work through the problem. This is often done through increasing and rewarding desired behaviour, thereby reducing the problem or maladaptive behaviour.

A good behavioural consultant will spend time with you, building rapport, observing you with your child and understanding you as a parent. A few sessions with a behaviourist can make a huge difference to both child and parents. Seeking help for perceived behaviour problems, whether they are big or small is not a sign of failure. It is about learning and implementing additional techniques that can be used in tackling issues now and in the future.

Hannah Mardell is a Behavioural Consultant based in Abergavenny. She works in all areas of challenging behaviour in children. She is a specialist in Applied Behaviour Analysis, specifically interventions for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders.

Contact 07770 272 500 for further information about consultations.

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