Being a parent is arguably one of the toughest jobs there is. There is no training you take ahead of time, no test or certification that lets you know you’re ready to take on the role; you just jump right in and hope for the best. At the same time,there are some careers that can indeed translate at home and help you to become a better and more effective parent. A counselling degree will surely help with that.
If you happen to be enrolled in an online masters in counseling right now, with your eyes set on your future career, you may want to take a moment and reflect on how those same classes can help you at home with your own kids.
The Focus of Your Classes
In your online counseling degree programs, you will be learning how to effectively identify psychological, behavioral, and emotional concerns in kids, adults, and families. Part of your training also involves learning how to create a treatment plan for people, and how to implement it. So while you may excel at doing this in a real-world career setting, it doesn’t always translate at home. Often people can have a hard time applying those same teachings and skills in their own home.
It can be helpful to take a look at your kids from an objective standpoint. View them as you would a case study in one of your class textbooks. Use that same critical thinking that you are busy perfecting. This can help to make situations much clearer.
Remember You Are a Parent First
Balancing your role as a parent and as a counselor is one that may prove to be tricky at times. It can be hard to know where to draw the line. When you are at work, it’s easy, they are your patients and clients and that’s how you see them. It’s much easier to look at situations objectively because you don’t have any personal involvement.
Even with your best intentions at home, you are always a parent first. What this means is that you need to put your “parent hat” on first. Your kids need to know they are talking to you as a parent, not coming to you as a patient or client. An effective counselor is one that is real and authentic, and those are the same qualities that a parent needs to possess.
As you work through your studies, or you enter the first job in your field, you will quickly learn that gaining the trust of your clients is imperative. In order to do this, you’ll need to be honest and consistent. This is really no different than being a parent. Being honest and consistent helps your children to learn boundaries and the rules, two lessons that are incredibly important.
Look for Ways to Apply Those Same Lessons
While not every job is going to help your parenting skills, training to become a counselor or working in the field already certainly can provide you with helpful life skills that allow you to become a better more effective parent.