As a parent, have you ever felt lost between often contradictory advice and recommendations in regards how to raise your children? For example, you have just packed the fridge with recently promoted foods while next day the news shouts it is all wrong? You are following the democratic approach to child rising and try to be friend with your kids, but realizing they do not show respect, which you find distracting?
Nowadays, in the era of fast developing knowledge and technology we are bombarded with news (often fake) and information that are difficult to filter. There is definitely a good side of it, which is fact, that we know more and also have access to most recent findings. Likewise comes awareness of what is damaging to well-being of humans with children and their wellness being widely researched. Yet, on the other hand as parents who have been brought up in more authoritarian way, we are not having clear concepts or tools how to act. Hence, the search of parents for ideas and help.
Parenting is a journey of particular individuals with their unique vehicle and unique characteristics of the road. It is therefore difficult to create general rules and models. Hence, there might be some universal directions of what to do and how to act but each family needs to find and create their own way of functioning. Parental coaching supports well such process and has been shown to be effective in helping particular families finding best solutions.
Parental coaching also eases transformation of the perspective of looking at parenting. As parents we often believe that ideal parenting leads to having ideal children. Parental coach will try helping parents to realize that such notion is a huge misunderstanding. Firstly, parents need to know there is no such a thing as ideal parent or ideal child. We are all humans, we all make mistakes. Another misconception is that of cooperative children. Cooperative children are an illusion! If you want a child mentally healthy, psychologically adapted and coherent let him or her explore and say no! View your child as capable of doing things and taking responsibilities. A competent learner who given the right environment, will grow to her or his best. Therefore respecting your child, believing in him or her and allowing taking up responsibilities are the clues for healthy parenting.
Some parents might experience fear of losing control which they perceive is related to including child in decision making. In such case parental coaching clarifies that there is nothing to be afraid of. Treating your child as capable partner and allowing responsibilities as early as possible will not diminish parental decision power. Usually when the child is asking for the right to make decision in fact she or he asks about the right to be responsible for themselves not to decide for others or family as whole. And if we do not give the right to make choice we cannot expect from child to deal with consequences. It is a relief for child to become responsible and success for parents to see their child self-realizing and growing as a person.
Every family needs rules to function, however as parents we cannot really set the boundaries for children, we can support them to find and set them by themselves. It starts with parent’s awareness of their own frontiers. Self-awareness is therefore another aspect strengthen through parental coaching. Parents need to know or learn if needed, to say “no” in situations they find it adequate. Assertiveness is a skill to be learnt which helps parents feel coherent, self-worthy and whole. It prevents suppressing emotions and acting against one’s values and beliefs. There is another part into it. While being assertive you teach your child assertiveness. While allowing child to abuse, parents are modeling such behavior as acceptable. Parental coaching works on parents because children are great observers and they learn mostly through vicarious experiences (modeled behaviors of their parents and care givers). Therefore be your best self and leave the role of parent. Relax and last but not least – enjoy your children. Be with them fully engaged and give experience instead of stuff.
Parental coaching which incorporates experience of working with children, research and knowledge together with caching tools and skills assists parents to overcome habitual behaviors and reactions. It also provides assistance to parents so that they can find inside themselves courage and strength to become parents, their child needs the most.