Empowering parents in times of change

It is not unusual for clinicians to find themselves concerned about aspects of parenting in the clinical setting that point to varying degrees of confusion on the part of parents about their parenting task and responsibilities. Confusions also arise when parents appear to have little idea of the physical and emotional milestones of their children’s development. It is often these parental confusions that bring children and young people into the consulting room where the presenting problem is hard to disentangle given the fraught parent-child interaction.

It is a truism that we tend to believe that we live in changing times that are radically different and often worse than what has gone before. Our view tends towards a belief that the past was more innocent and less troubled or demanding overall. Whilst we would not want to view the past through rose-coloured glasses, we need to recognise that there have been major social and cultural changes in contemporary times. These changes have created fundamental alterations to the way we live now and these changes also have a major impact on how children are parented. At the start of the book the point was made that children, parents and families are at the tipping point of social change. This is inevitable, given the vulnerability of children and young people and their need for nurturance and support not only from their families but also from the wider community.

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