Parenting Coaching 101
The tricky thing about trying to help other parents out is that none of us have the same gig. People, particularly little ones, are unpredictable and unique so a parenting strategy that works for one child may not work for another.
If we are honest with ourselves, we cannot really tell if we got parenting right so who are we to say to others what is the correct way to raises children? What are we basing our methods on? Furthermore, the definition of successful parenting is subjective.
In my case, I believe I have done my job well if my children turn out to be loving, happy and adventurous souls who grab life by the balls and live a life full of purpose. Other parents may consider their parenting successful if little Timmy gets good grades and a solid career with the $$$ flowing in.
My father had simple expectations for my brother, sister and I. His definition of success, in his own words, is “If you don’t end up in jail, I am happy.”
To date, none of us have been in the slammer, so kudos to you paps, you are a success!
Parenting has to be the hardest and most high pressure job in the world. Not only do we judge the crap out of each other based on our children’s behaviour and achievements, we also have those “professional parents” who turn their noses up at the less-than-perfect, always-running-late and forgetting-to-bring-in-signed-notes parents.
Most parents do their jobs the best that they can at the time. When our little cherubs have grown up though, we may start reflecting upon the past and feel that we could have done something differently. We start second guessing ourselves in hindsight and may even beat ourselves up because, let’s face it, this is a person’s life we are gambling with. What they turn out to be, is on us or so we have told ourselves.
My personal belief is that this is all absolute rubbish and we all need to chill out on the guilt trips and “shoulda, coulda, woulda” moments. Your children will be what they intend to be, regardless.
We are our children’s parents for a reason. We have insights to show to them. What they need, is in you. Whether it is learning what not to do or aspiring to follow in your footsteps, both are helping them on their path of discovery.
Funnily enough, because of my incessant tardiness, my 11-year-old, Banjo, tells me frequently that when he grows up he will never be late for anything. It drives him nuts that I can’t seem to get anywhere on time. So, you are welcome Banj, I have helped you along your path to become a punctual individual.
Despite everything, Banjo has also learned how to manage his emotions positively and turn to meditation and self-reflection with what I have shown him by example and spent time teaching him. All lessons, whether from our positive attributes or from our flaws, are valuable opportunities for them to make decisions about who they want to be in this life.
If all our mistakes are going to screw them up, then why is it that some of the most inspiring and successful people had a pretty crappy time growing up? Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Charlize Theron and many other influential people had traumatic upbringings and they chose to use this as fuel to create a better life for themselves and others.
What we cannot control is how our children perceive their life and how we parent them. All we can do is be the example we feel in our hearts is best at the time and be willing to think outside the box when required. We also should not allow outside influences that don’t align with our values to affect how we raise our children.
If you are parenting from your heart, then you are parenting right. This is the message we want to give our children. So be the example. Be happy and passionate in your life. Make mistakes in front of them, apologise when you yell or act all crazy.
Becoming a parent is not a free pass to perfection, let them know you love them everyday in your own way and for god’s sake say no to the little punks once in a while. The worst thing we can do is parent out of guilt for working too much or divorcing or whatever it might be and ruin their sense of worth just to try and make ourselves feel better.
I believe that parenting is unique to each family. Each individual and couple needs to write their own rules and jam the expectations somewhere unpleasant because if you are coming from a loving place, then you are doing a good job.
Big love to all the parents out there, you are amazing x