Feeling overwhelmed as a parent? Here are tips from a therapist to help

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 18:24:39-05

Busy is an understatement for Bobbi Fassen. She is a massage therapist, a nurse and the mom of kids ages 6, 4 and 2.

Many parents can relate to the constant balancing act.

"You think it's going to be great, and you think you're just going to know what to do, but they have their own personalities: they don't show up the way you wanted them to," Fassen said.

With three kids at three different developmental stages, Fassen admits it is a challenge. And with one kid facing a speech impediment that started to act out in bizarre ways, she began to struggle.

"Just let me kind of step back and have tools in my own bucket to be able to use when my kids are absolutely insane and losing their marbles," she said.

Fassen ended up finding support in therapy with Jesilee Bonofigilio, a family and child therapist.

"My goal is to help parents understand that what they are doing isn't necessarily wrong, it's that it hasn't been matching what your child needs
as a parent. You've probably been there...the struggles with bedtime, the tantrums, the feeling as if you can't get through to your child? And the stress and frustration that comes with it all," Bonofigilio said, adding, "Children don't like having things out of control. They want the limits and the boundaries, they want to know that their needs are going to be met."

Some tips to help parents that Bonofigilio suggested are:

  • Re-frame, instead of threatening punishments. Re-frame their choices, and never give a consequence you can't stick with.
  • Give constructive phrases -- not just "good job" and "great work," but more specific to what the child is doing.
  • Give physical affection.
  • Remain calm -- kids feed off your emotions.