32 | Exploring why “ideal” parenting feels so hard – With Gemma Smith


In my fifth snapshot episode, I share some answers to the big question on parenting, which is – why does it feel so hard when we try and do it “right”?! To answer this, I explore the following;

  • What even is the current social “ideal” parenting philosophy? How does it work? Is it actually possible to achieve this ideal? Why does striving for an “ideal” philosophy feel so hard in practice? 

Within this, I cover two key topics for your reflection which are;

  • Attachment theory, what it is and what the four main attachment styles are – exploring how these styles play out in childhood, adulthood and parenthood.
  • The concept of reparenting and how do you may look to do this based on your own reparenting needs. 


1:1 Counselling support 

– Book a 1:1 counselling session with Gemma today

– Find out more about Gemma’s 1:1 counselling sessions

On parenting itself

Daniel Siegal – Parenting from the inside out: https://www.amazon.com.au/Parenting-Inside-out-Anniversary-Self-Understanding/dp/039916510X

Gentle/attachment/respectful parenting

I think I know why you’re yelling: https://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/02/i-think-i-know-why-youre-yelling/

Is gentle parenting too extreme?: https://www.janetlansbury.com/2022/07/is-gentle-parenting-too-extreme-and-impossible/

Respectful parenting in action: https://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/12/rie-parenting-basics-9-ways-to-put-respect-into-action/

Attachment and reparenting

Circle of security: https://circleofsecurity.com.au/

Attachment project: https://www.attachmentproject.com/

Dr Firestone on attachment impacts on parenting: https://www.psychalive.org/how-your-attachment-style-affects-your-parenting/#:~:text=The%20%E2%80%9Cworking%20model%E2%80%9D%20of%20relationships,able%20to%20connect%20with%20others.

Re-parenting ourselves to break intergenerational cycles: https://www.janetlansbury.com/2021/02/reparenting-ourselves-to-break-intergenerational-cycles-with-leslie-priscilla-arreola-hillebrand/

Learn to reparent yourself: https://psychcentral.com/blog/imperfect/2019/11/learn-to-reparent-yourself

Self care

Black dog self-care questionnaire: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19_Self-Care-Planning_Black-Dog-Institute.pdf


Madsen, S.A. (2009) ‘Men’s mental health: fatherhood and psychotherapy’, The Journal of Men’s Studies, 17(1), 15+, available: https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A197410459/AONE?u=anon~a5b0d4ad&sid=googleScholar&xid=b2e16e52 

Trigger warnings

This episode contains discussion about attachment in childhood and the associated potential impacts to children/ adults of missattuned early parenting. 

Please read my full disclaimer prior to listening.