Posted on: 16 September 2016Share
For many fathers, the transition to being a parent can be very challenging. Not only do they take on additional responsibility for a small, helpless and utterly reliant baby, but also they have to adjust to sharing the attentions of their partner with a new demanding family member. Here are some ways that counselling can help fathers adjust to this new stage.
Discussing your own childhood
Our model of how a family works is initially derived from the family that we grew up with. If you want to become a different father to the father that you had growing up it can often be useful to break down which aspects of your parenting you want to do different and work on techniques that you can substitute in. Having a professional counsellor helping you to probe your feelings on these issues can be very useful, particularly if this is not an issue that you have covered in the past.
Working through stressors
Caring for babies can be very stressful, as new parents are usually operating on a lot less sleep, have less personal time to relax and have to deal with other stressors. Some people also find the sound of a baby crying very stressful. You may need to work on other, new techniques for dealing with stresses that take less time and don't involve leaving the other parent with even more childcare load while you hit the pub with friends or spend hours at the gym. Learning breathing and meditation exercises can be a great substitute and a counsellor can help to teach you some of the option.
Connecting with your partner
Some new dads also struggle with how to reconnect to their partner intimately with the extra stresses of raising a new baby. It can be useful to get some hints and tips from a counsellor on how you can create some emotional intimacy and support, which can open the door for physical intimacy. You might find that having your partner come to some couples counselling sessions to discuss any ways that having the baby has affect the relationship between you as a couple.
If you are struggling as a new dad it can often be useful to have some counselling sessions. It can help you to understand your reactions and feelings to this new life stage and help you work out techniques to any challenges that have arisen.