Life coaching is not just for individuals looking for personal improvement in career, social, or financial areas of life. Life coaching is also extremely effective in putting families back on track. Many life coaches are finding themselves working with parents (or the family as a unit) to help parents create the relationship they want with their kids. And they are doing a fantastic job!
Life coaching is not only for parents in crisis who are in dire need of outside intervention. Many parents would agree their family is functioning well, however, they recognize there are a few areas that could use some buffering. Most parent clients usually come for one of the reasons below:
1. Parents know the type of relationship they want to have with their children but have a hard time reaching that point. It is not uncommon for parents to feel inadequate and hopeless. Coaching for these parents is about inspiration and reassurance to follow their natural instinct.
2. Parents feel lost and stuck. They are not sure what else they can do to improve their relationship with their child, to get their teen to listen, and have a happy well-adjusted household. They’ve tried many methods and they know which of the parenting techniques are not working for them but are not sure what to do next. Coaching for these parents is about recognizing negative patterns, re-establishing the bond they have with their children and setting up some new rules.
Parenting was not meant to be hard and it certainly wasn’t meant to leave parents feeling lost, confused, feeling like a failure and unfulfilled. Parenting today is not what it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago. The challenges parents face today are different than the challenges their parents faced. For economic reasons, many households have both parents working outside the home, some operate their own business from their home, however, feel tight with time and are unable to give their kids the time and attention they require.
Parents soon learn that parenting is much more than just modeling the right behaviour, providing their children with food, shelter, and sport and educational opportunities. Although all of these are VERY important, there is more to it than that.
When parenting consider these 3 areas:
1. Attachment: The strength of the bond you have with your child is extremely important and will determine how well your child is willing to listen to you and cooperate. If your child does not feel bonded to you and is more attached to his peers, he will be more likely to follow their example than yours.
2. Personal insecurities: Many of our personal insecurities stem back from our own childhood and they affect how we parent our kids. Whether we push them into activities they are not interested in, or push them to keep performing better and better each time, or try to relive our life through our kids it all provides incredible pressure on kids that can lead them to rebellion.
3. Observation and communication: Be present (physically and mentally) so you can observe your child, be alert to self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviour, and be alert to anything that may be going on outside the home. Have an open line of communication so your child feels free to speak to you without feeling judged or belittled. Approach topics with an open mind.
Best Wishes to Your Family!
Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto