ARTICLE | Supporting and Empowering Parents

At the Athens Solidarity Centre’s psychological service, we often encounter requests from parents regarding their role and the management of difficult issues concerning their children. It is worth noting that the percentage of women seeking help is clearly higher when it comes to the parenting role.

Most of the time the difficulties relate to the limits that parents are called upon to set for their children, limits that ultimately concern the child’s security and confidence in himself and others, as well as the development of autonomy and social adjustment skills.

Stability and dynamism in adhering to rules and basic principles are often translated by parents into strictness, rigidity, indifference, and abusive behavior. It is not uncommon for parents who grew up in an abusive environment to repeat the experience to their own children, underestimating the psychological cost.

Some of the phrases we often hear are “I grew up with screams and tensions, but I was very fond of my father” and “I might have been slapped, but I don’t remember much about my childhood”.

The work we’re called to do is to illuminate the trauma and make conscious the unconscious pain associated with the experiences, so that every parent is fully aware of the ways in which they can set boundaries safely, without passing on to their child the endless cycle of violence.

*Since August 1st, 2023, the operation of the Athens Solidarity Center by SolidarityNow is supported by the Swiss-Greek Cooperation Programme Embassy of Switzerland in Greece to reducing economic and social disparities in the EU and by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

 **The Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.