Much of the challenge of parenting is not with our children. It is with us.
Parenting is hard because it brings up a lot of emotions that are hard to feel. I believe the best thing we can do to be better parents is learn how to deal with the emotional side of parenting.
What does this mean?
In all relationships, not just parent-child, the struggles we have occur when we get triggered by the other person that leads to us acting out (yelling, lecturing, shaming the other) or shutting down (withdrawing, turning away).
This is often the result of things that happened in our childhood that are entering our relationship with our young ones.
If you had a care-taker who tended to rage, you had to develop a strategy to cope with this. One child might cope by fighting back or throwing a tantrum. Another child may become overly compliant in an attempt to help their caretaker settle down.
As we go through our lives these strategies are still there. Now as we enter into parenthood they start to come to the surface.
WholeHearted Dads is committed to helping fathers learn about their survival strategies and how they show up in their lives.
If you are struggling to connect with your kids, we want to understand what you had to do with your own parents to deal with their big emotions. If you get upset easily we want to understand what beliefs you have about yourself that make it difficult to be with the anxiety that is coming up for you.
By deepening our ability to understand our own emotional experience, we are better able to relate empathically with our children and promote their self-understanding and healthy development. ~Daniel Siegel
The ultimate goal is to help fathers build healthy relationships with their kids that allow them to set limits, stay emotionally connected and enjoy each stage of development. (This all stemmed from my counseling practice for men, BrassBalls TenderHeart, where I realized there needed to be a place just for Dads, too.)
WholeHearted Dads works on three aspects of parenting:
Skills Based Learning:
Better ways to connect
Learning the language of play
Becoming more aware of emotions in the moment
Separating emotions from behavior
Uncovering Old Stuff:
Learning about our beliefs
Letting go of old emotions
Testimonials from Wholehearted Dads:
“I have been working with Bryce going on three years now. When I first started, I came to him to work on myself and improve how I interact with my kids and my wife. I was raised by strict parents where kids didn’t have a say and men did not show their feelings.
After working with Bryce for a year, I decided to go out to visit my son and listen to what he had to say about his upbringing and how my behavior had affected him. I was surprised to hear everything and I began to see that he blamed me for everything.
I took full responsibility for what I did and I made a commitment to him that I would listen to him and be better at listening. Bryce helped me be able to sit and listen to him and we began to start the healing process of becoming friends and building a better relationship. I am very thankful to for Bryce and his help.” – Current Client