As a Mum of three and a counsellor specialising in parental support, it would be fair to say that Blarney-based psychotherapist, Bethan O'Riordan, knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a family tick.
Over the past 15-years Bethan has worked with people across a range of addiction, mental health, suicide prevention and homeless services, working with individuals, couples and adolescents seeking to change their lives.
However, her real passion lies in working with parents and, in her own words, "supporting them to work through what is stopping them being the parent they'd like to be."
"My personal and professional life has taught me that we all experience ups and downs. How parents interact with children in the early years shapes a child's brain for life and this isn't spoken about enough," said Bethan.
With this in mind, she conducts regular 'Understanding Parenting' courses, aimed at supporting parents, fleshing out the difficulties they face and working through triggers to develop practical solutions.
Concerned at the overall lack of supports currently available to parents, especially since the onset of the Covid pandemic, Bethan also has established the 'Calm and Confident Parenting' a free Facebook advice and help group.
The group is different to others in that Bethan uses her personal and professional experience to support and empower parents through "sharing information, challenges and inviting honest discussion".
"Last March, life as we knew it changed and became more difficult, particularly for children and those who look after and love them," said Bethan.
"I focus on structuring the group with mindset and motivation activities to support mental health. The group really normalises all the struggles, both for parents within themselves and difficulties they experience with their children and their emotions and behaviour," she said.
Each Thursday at 11am Bethan hosts a live tea break chat, inviting people to take a break and come and hang out with other parents in a supportive and completely non-judgemental environment.
"It is also an opportunity for me to share my personal and professional knowledge and interview other mums and professionals who people will connect with. We are basically a group who are showing the reality of parenting and life," she laughed.
"Another free initiative, a 'Five Steps to Calmer Parenting' workbook is also available through the Facebook group," she added.
For more information about Bethan and the group visit www.bethanoriordan.com.