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Constructive Conversations in Parenting

Parent CoachingParenting from a self development perspective

The art of parenting is all about helping children discover who they uniquely are so that they can blossom into fulfilling lives.  Parallel processes include helping them become responsible, compassionate individuals who are able to have satisfying relationships, bounce back from painful experiences (see Bouncing Back, a special report on depression and resilience), and take joy in living.

A self-development approach to parenting focuses not only on your child's development, but also on your own development as a person and a parent.  Your capacity to help your children discover themselves is dependent on your own ongoing personal growth.  It is your own process of self development that is the most powerful factor in your ability to raise children who become self-actualized adults, able to tap into their own potential [see learning to say "why not"]. 

The sources of sustainable self esteem

In the ideal, parents consistently do these things for their children:

  • They provide a mirror. They reflect back, with delight, the positive core and accomplishments of the child. They enjoy their children! To them, each child is a walking celebration. They are charmed by their kids. 
  • They serve as an anchor. They provide a stable landing place when their child is experiencing an emotional storm. This is how children ultimately integrate the ability to modulate their own emotions. They don't gain this ability from being ordered to  calm down! Rather, they develop a core belief from the experience of the calm strength of the parent that whatever is happening can be handled.
  • They offer empathy. They are innately attuned to their children's emotional experience. They reflect back those emotions and do not deny, correct or deflect them. This acceptance feeds a core sense of worth, a sense of rightness and self acceptance.  “How I feel is how I feel. I am not fundamentally Wrong for how I feel.”

If you were lucky enough to be raised by parents like these, all of this is innate.  It seems to go without saying.  If you did not receive this, you may feel like your self esteem is on a roller coaster.  And if you're experiencing that, your children may be, too.

Sometimes things get in the way, and that's where coaching can help.

Your personal development and your own experiences as a child come into play over and over again in parenting.  For instance,

  • You find yourself becoming angry and embarrassed when your child is having a meltdown in the middle of a restaurant.  Her behavior feels like a reflection on you; in order for you to feel like a good-enough parent, the tantrum must stop.  Yet this personal pressure can block your empathic understanding of your child’s experience.
  • You respond to your child’s plea that you bring his forgotten homework to school, even though you’ve been working with him on staying organized, because you want him to feel loved and cared about – and you hate to see him upset by having a detention.
  • Your stomach ties into a knot of misery when you see your book-loving eight-year-old alone on the playground.

In each of these situations, as in countless others, the feelings, assumptions and experiences that you bring with you as a parent can complicate the process of responding in ways that are most helpful to your children.  Examining those feelings, assumptions and experiences can free you to give your best to your kids.

If you'd like to explore how coaching might work for you, please use our contact form or call 513.677.9800.

Coaching sessions can be scheduled at The Self Development Place or can be held by phone, at your convenience.

Learn about coaching fees and packages here.

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THE PARENTS' HOUR -- Workshops for Parents Groups -- Powerful topics that address the real challenges of parenting, always from the gentle perspective of self development
NEW Divorce Survival Guide!

Reclaiming Your Self – your companion for moving through divorce is now  available for download.  A combination ebook and journal, Reclaiming Your Self is designed to help you -- and to help you help your kids.          
Learn more…
As a parent, there are clear things you can do every day to build your children's resilience so that they are far less susceptible to depression when life delivers a blow.
Download Bouncing Back to  learn key strategies for raising  irrepressible kids.


Contact The Self Development Place

Phone: 513.677.9800

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