Please tell your friends...
by Chris Wesley
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, 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:
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.
Let's think about what a really well-adjusted (note the word "adjustment" in there) adult might be. Here's my list:
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?
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:
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.
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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