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May 27, 2017, 4:32 pm

Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.

Earl Wilson

Parent Coaching


Helping Your Children to be the Best They Can Be

Parent Coaching

by

I finally understood my life's purpose about a decade ago now:

"I Make Things Better"

I realise with hindsight, that I was doing it (and, for the most part, loving it) when I was a manager, that I tried to do it when I became a magistrate, (and left when I couldn't) and I'm doing it today as a coach and consultant. And I'm always looking for new ways to do it. [by the way, if you'd like to know your life's purpose you might be interested in this].

parenting
Parenting is Building Minds

Choosing Your Moment

As a magistrate I learned that turning folks around who have already left the rails is very hard indeed. As a life coach, I've learned how challenging it can sometimes be to undo the imbedded beliefs and behaviours which we carry with us, that crush our ambitions and limit our lives. That's why we don't commonly do it for ourselves - we need help.

The truth is, a person is largely completed by ten years of age. That's when our building blocks are collected and assembled. At school and at home.That is why parenting is so important. Good parenting is the very best way to grow happy children and healthy societies.

The Journey to Adulthood

If you're a parent, then nature handed you a wondrous thing. But, left to it's own devices, your child will not thrive happily in our society. We evolved from animals who needed to survive in hostile conditions, and that survival imperative gives us anti-social characteristics like selfishness, greed, and violent anger. In our early years we are helpless, and all our needs are met by our parents which gives us another set of problems - most notably, an entitlement mentality. Emerging into happy adulthood, we'll somehow need to be sociable, patient, resilient, tenacious, resourceful and honest. This is not an easy journey to make, and mistakes along the way often embed the seeds of life-long problems.

Parenting

Parenting, then, is the process of guiding your little dumplings from their instinctive raw state through to happy successful adults. And whether you like it or not:

"Parenting" is
everything that you do
that your children know about

Everything they see you do will help to shape their personality - not just those moments you chose to behave parenty. Rant at the telly or a bad driver, and you just taught your child something. Sulk with your partner and that's another lesson for your child. The way you stand, the way you comb your hair, or interact with shop assistants - are all master classes in adulthood for your child.

So - no pressure, then!

Of course, children are independently resourceful and resilient, and most of us come through OK, but let's not pretend we came through UN-SCATHED because most of us don't, and we carry the damage for a very long time.

If you're shy or lack confidence, or if you find you hate the world, if you feel you're destined for a second class life, if you drink or eat too much or have other unhealthy habits, if you find you struggle to know what you want, or to do what's necessary to get it, if you are too proud to join the world, or you're prone to overwhelming sadness or regret - then these are good examples of how different parenting could have helped you early on. If that had happened, you'd be a different, happier person today.

Most of us love our parents and we're grateful for all that they did for us - struggling as we all do in a world without manuals or training, and with all that life throws at us. But that doesn't mean they have not damaged us or our potential - either actively, through things they did or passively, by not doing other things.

Of course, as any parent will know, people tend to be themselves from a very early age - with personalities and tendencies all their own, and they must ultimately take responsibility for what they do and who they are in the world. But day in, day out, I work with people who are struggling with who they have become in the ways I showed you above. What I am saying, is that parenting is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow the best you, you can be.

Perfection

Let's think about what a really well-adjusted (note the word "adjustment" in there) adult might be. Here's my list:

  • Great self-image - they like themselves, They know they're not perfect but they really like themselves.
  • Realistic. They see the world as it is - no better, but no worse. This clarity of vision means they can analyse situations and problems more accurately, and are more likely to find working solutions.
  • Tenacious. They are not afraid to try and to fail and to be seen to fail. Actually, they see the failure as an experiment, and the result as useful feedback. They'll try something a little different, and they'll enjoy the process.
  • Honesty. They understand who they are are they speak truth about themselves and others. They do not hide behind untruths. They are not virtual with their honesty, and they have compassion to those who are truth-averse, but they do not suffer in that way.
  • People skills. Happy being among people. Able to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Not reliant on unhealthy relationships, and OK with occasional disapproval. Carrying their own internal values and sense of self.
  • Ambitious. Successful people know what they want and are OK with trying really hard to go for it.
  • Open-minded. They don't carry a lot of dogma about the way the world is or of people like us/me - they learn lessons in life, but they don't over-learn them - too soon, and too generally. They won't assume the worst and then not bother based on that assumption, they'll engage and see what the world sends back.

I could go on, but I hope you get the idea. These people live wonderful lives! Is that you? And in this context, more pertinently - Is that your child?

Good Parenting

Often in the name of love, parents avoid conflict with their children. Since children don't have the maturity to see the big picture, they will resist casual attempts at parenting. If you let it go, then you're throwing away your parenting. This means your children will sail on through to adulthood being every bit as selfish as they were at five years of age. They'll expect the world to do everything for them, and to love them un-conditionally, and of course, they'll be wrong because the world simply isn't like that. Their teen years will be a collision of expectation and reality, and they will suffer greatly in the wreckage. This is not a happy way to be 14. It's far better to learn life's lessons earlier, when you're more plastic, before the "mistaken certainties" set into hard stone.

As I mentioned, parenting is everything that you do around your child, and the effects are complex. Here are a few ideas I use in my work with parents:

  • Never parent when you're angry. Don't leave it that long. Parent when you're calm and in control. If your children become angry do not echo their mood, nor their insults.
  • Parent to conclusion. Don't try - then give up. If you need your child to do something (which is a legitimate parenting request), then make sure it's done. If you don't get co-operation, then push it through, there and then, to a conclusion - whether that's compliance or the naughty step or a grounding or whatever.
  • Logical Foundations. If a child asks you why - be sure you have a rational answer, and "because I said so" isn't one. If necessary, sit with your partner and maybe the child too, and thrash out what is a sensible way to be. Be flexible within limits. Your motive should be to build a harmonious, safe, fair family life and one that develops your child towards healthy adulthood.
  • Do not indulge stupidity. As far as it's sensible, debate with your children why you want things a certain way, but recognise that often - because they're too young, or in the fog of anger - they cannot debate rationally. In these cases, end the conversation by re-stating your decision. Do it kindly, but close the door on it.

There is so much more to say! But this is not the place. Maybe I'll write a book. But for now, I want to tell you that I am very happy to work with you on your parenting issues. When your home is not a constant battle ground, everyone wins, in the short and the long term.

As well as my extensive coaching expertise, I have a lot of life experience, and I've also been a teacher of young people and a private tutor, so I have a broad base and considerable dept of experience from which I can help you with your children.

  • If your child is shy, I can help you to help them build self esteem, and show you how to avoid destroying it.
  • If you are a butler or a taxi service for your children, I can tell you how to resign without the roof falling in.
  • If your child struggles with anger or persistent unhappiness, we can find out how to dissolve it.
  • If there is bullying at school, we can address it.
  • Pretty much whatever your issues, I can help, unless there is a neurological cause underlying the behaviour.

Parent Coaching

Parenting coaching works like any other coaching, in the sense that it's usually a weekly 45-minute phone call. In our call, we'll explore your issues, and I'll help you (but not push you) to come up with an action plan, and between calls, you can try it out. In the next call, we'll sort out what happened and what you're going to do about it.

You're always in control - but I'll have some powerful observations, insights, ideas and practical strategies to move your parenting, and your home life, and your child, to a better place.

When you feel you have enough tools in your box to continue alone - we can say goodbye. Four sessions is a good average for that, but sometimes it's far longer, and sometimes one session is enough.

If you'd like to explore the possibility of parent coaching a little with me, then your next step s to book a 20 minute initial consultation call. You can explore what existing clients say about my services here.

I hope we can work together soon!

 

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