Parenthood is an internal process by which we feel capable of being parents and bonding with our children. However, this is not an easy task. In this article we will see which are the main challenges of parenthood , and the implications of each of them in our lives.

The main challenges of parenting explained

In the 21st century, being a parent requires an important ability to tolerate uncertainty and adapt to rapid change. But one thing remains the same, despite historical and cultural changes: the need to create a secure and supportive bond .

In this process, there are some challenges that we will have to face in order to respond to the needs of our children in a “good enough” way:

1. Feeling adult

Regardless of our age, the degree of maturity we feel can vary. When we feel like adults, we take responsibility for our own life and position ourselves as the protagonists of it . Having reached a certain degree of internal coherence and confidence in our resources facilitates the task of being parents.

2. Resignifying one’s ties

When we become parents, we place ourselves in a completely new role that is qualitatively different from any other bond we have experienced before. From this new position, our image as children and siblings can change and acquire new meanings .

Particularly important is the revival of the bond with our parents. The image we had about them can change, understanding their behaviour from another perspective.

3. To care for, support and teach the world

The main parental functions are to care for, support and teach the world to the children. In caring for them, we provide them with basic physical care but also help them to know and coordinate their own body. When we talk about the capacity to sustain, we mean the acceptance of their emotions, whatever they may be.

As parents, one of our tasks is based on helping our children to express their emotions in an appropriate and tolerable way . In addition, when we introduce them to objects and teach them about the world, we help them to relate to and inhabit it.

4. Accepting imperfection

From the moment the desire to have a child arises, we also begin to visualize ourselves as mothers or fathers. We imagine what our child will be like and what we will be like in the upbringing . But when the baby is born and, as it grows, one of the tasks to be carried out will be to get to know it and discover what it is really like. If the reality is very different from the expectations we had, difficulties may appear.

In the relationship with the children, there will be moments of frustration, of greater and lesser understanding, but if we accept this as something normal, without hyper-demand or guilt, the capacity to contain and sustain will be maintained.

5. Facilitating differentiation

As soon as he is born, the baby depends totally on our care and on our look and assessment. If everything goes well, we will develop our sensitivity to tune in to their needs and respond to them . We will also be able to admire him.

But, as they grow up, this dependence should become less and less, as our children learn and develop resources to do things for themselves. It is important to leave them space and time to develop their own capacities, both on an instrumental level and in terms of self-regulation and emotional support.

6. Transmit the desire to live

Children capture our emotions and feel the family atmosphere. It is not a question of denying negative emotions or of always being happy, but of transmitting that life is worth living and letting them experience it at their own pace.


In short, from the very moment the desire to have a child appears in us, we assume ourselves as responsible adults with resources to cope with the upbringing. Some challenges may arise, especially when we have had difficulties in the relationship with our family of origin or have developed very high expectations regarding parenthood.

In any case, it is not about being perfect, but about being receptive and available for our children . Our main function as parents is to provide our children with the capacity to be themselves. That is, the capacity to think for themselves and the confidence that they have the resources to face their own life.

Bibliographic references:

  • Rotenberg, E. (2010). Difficult children – disoriented parents. Buenos Aires: Lugar. – Dio Bleichmar, E. (2005). Manual of psychotherapy of the parent-child relationship. Barcelona: Paidós.