Self-Reflective Approach to Becoming a Better Parent

Becoming a better parent doesn’t only involve our present actions. To truly develop ourselves as parents, it is important to look at our own past . Child development expert Joyce Catlett talks about how making sense of our own childhood experiences can help us to become better parents to our children.

About the Author

Joyce Catlett, M.A. Joyce Catlett, M.A., author and lecturer, has collaborated with Dr. Robert Firestone in writing 12 books and numerous professional articles. Most recently, she co-authored Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships (APA Books, 2005), Beyond Death Anxiety: Achieving Life-Affirming Death Awareness (Springer Publishing, 2009) and The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships (Karnac Books, 2009), with Robert Firestone  PhD. Ms. Catlett began her career in psychology in 1972, working with autistic children at the Camarillo State Hospital Children’s Treatment Center in Camarillo, CA. A founding member of Glendon Association, she has been a national lecturer and workshop facilitator in the areas of child abuse prevention and couple relations. With Glendon, she has co-produced 40 video documentaries on a wide range of mental health topics. Ms. Catlett was also instrumental in the development and training of instructors in the Compassionate Child Rearing Education Program and in training mental health professionals in Voice Therapy Methodology.

Related Articles

One Comment


I haven’t taken any seminars of classes on this, but I’m where you describe. I’m naturally empathic, and although it’s not a good thing generally speaking, it does provid you with alot better insight on people, which can be good at times. So, yeah, I’ve looked back and examined how my own parents treated me, and why, in other words how they were [mis]treated and how they brought that in the triangle when they had me and how I was fed all that baggage, unwillingly mostly. However, I beg to differ in one point, that I may justify and forgive and understand but that doesn’t change the fact. And it doesn’t change the way I’ve felt and feel and have flet throughout my life, and the way this has shaped me. So compassion and understanding is all well and good, but in the practical aspect of it it’s rather useless. Moreover because the behavioural way you follow is based on the way you were brought up and no matter how conscious you may be about it, when push comes to shove you will fall back to familiar patterns of behaviour, good and bad. So, I may have vouched that I won’t be like my mother, but I find that I can’t distance myself at the very moment that is needed in order to judge whether or not I am behaving like her, cause that happens almost on automatic.

Leave a Reply