Patricia Fitzpatrick’s Effective Parenting Series – Episode 1

News, Monday 10th February, by HSSCU

At HSSCU, we are passionate about caring for our members not just with their finances, but in every way we can. Equally, we will always do our best to promote our members’ endeavours. Here, caring for our members while supporting their talents came to a perfect marriage with strategy psychologist, author and HSSCU member, Patricia Fitzpatrick, writing a series of articles on how to bring effective parenting to your home – in a fun way.

In this series of articles, Patricia will share her knowledge with the rest of HSSCU’s members. We hope you find this series insightful and enlightening.



Parents should not be judged as GOOD or BAD. The vast majority of parents are ‘GOOD’. A good parent does three things:

  1. Feeds the child
  2. Clothes the child
  3. Provides shelter for the child

A tiny minority of parents are either unable or too absorbed in their own wants and desires to do all or some of the above.


However, what all parents need to strive towards is being ‘EFFECTIVE’



An effective parent creates a home, which facilitates the child’s development into an emotionally secure, kind, compassionate, generous, caring and tolerant adult. You will achieve ‘effective parenting’ if you:

  • Focus daily on building and sustaining a positive relationship with your child.
  • Educate yourself on your role in supporting your child’s emotional, social and academic development. Then develop and use the appropriate skills in your daily interactions with your child.
  • Ensure your child’s safety by having and enforcing appropriate rules and boundaries.
  • Facilitates the development of good problem solving skills in your child.


In a series of articles over the next weeks and months, I hope to outline how to best to achieve ‘effective parenting’. Today the focus is on building a Positive Relationship with your child.

  1. Good Faces…Smile, Smile,Smile…

Become aware of the face you present to your child. Often a parent/caregiver is preoccupied with other important matters and their face displays stress, worry, anger, sadness etc. Children are acutely attuned to the face of their caregiver and the above facial expressions can result in the child becoming anxious and seeking reassurance. The parent’s response, having no idea why the child is seeking reassurance, may fall short of the attention and reassurance that the child needs to feel secure again. This just further increases the child’s anxiety and a negative spiral can ensue. To prevent this from happening become aware of the face that you often show to your child.


Effective Parent Guide - Patricia Fitzpatrick - HSSCU


Endeavour to show your child a pleasant face.  Make a commitment to smiling at your child as often as possible when you are in her company.


  1. Play:

Play is a child’s work and is essential for all areas of your child’s healthy development. Make a commitment to playing with your child every day. The following are three key principles to keep in mind when playing:

  1. The child chooses the play activity. Keep in mind that play at the kitchen table in the form of Lego, arts and crafts, baking, jigsaws, etc. are very suitable.
  2. The child leads the play. Your role is to comment positively on what the child is doing, e.g. “Wow! You are using beautiful colours there.”
  3. If it is not fun, it is not play. It has to be enjoyed by the child.


Effective Parenting - HSSCU - Patricia Fitzpatrick


Other important factors in play are:

  • You are 100% present during this time. No phones, no distractions.
  • Ten to twenty minutes is playtime is sufficient. Give one or more warning prior to play ending. When your child object to the end, remind him that you will play again tomorrow.


Learning More

We hope you enjoyed the 1st of our series of effective parenting articles with Patricia. Should you want to learn more, please ensure to be signed up to our eZine and keep an eye out on our website. Equally, you can purchase Patricia’s book, as featured in The Irish Times.


‘Effective Parenting; A Simple Guide for a Happy Home’ is available at Maynooth Bookshop, Maynooth, Kildare; Hanna’s Bookshop in Rathmines and online at


*Please note that Health Services Staffs Credit Union is not an expert on parenting techniques and that all above advice is from Patricia Fitzpatrick, trained psychologist and effective parenting expert. Any views above are not made on behalf of HSSCU.


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