Parent Support - Stopping the downward spiral

Published on 19th February 2018


My relationship with my son (like any intimate relationship) has moments of great closeness, fun, camaraderie, connection and love. Imagine that being the centre of the number 8. Then something happens and the two of us we will move apart and sit somewhere along the line that makes one of the 2 circles of the 8.  Maybe I am tired, have had some bad news or am swamped with work and he does something to annoy me. (Possibly he picks up intuitively on my lack of being present for him and does something to get my attention).

If I react negatively we will move further and further apart. The relationship may even get so fractured that we become 2 separate circles, living almost separate lives.

This is common, but it is up to me as the adult to do something as soon as I can to bring us closer and hopefully to be back at the centre of our 8. It may be as simple as an apology or a hug.

Dan Hughes advocates PACE. playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy and it really does work.


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"It has helped me gain perspective on my stresses and stressors and helped validate how essential it is for me to look after myself and to be able to start the discussion with my husband. We have talked about an actual action plan, starting with some quick fixes and then to move on to more substantial lifestyle changes that will help me be a less stressed parent."

- Julinie Mohamad Nasir -

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Member of the International Stress Management Association

Member of the International Stress Management Association 

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