How do parents obtain relevant information about how to meet their children’s developmental needs and stay the course within an industry-generated culture that uses mass media and screen technologies to amplify misleading, even dangerous information, that leads them astray so quickly and so completely?
OK, that’s a really long question. Let’s break it down to a few shorter questions:
- How do parents obtain relevant information that is exactly right for their personal circumstances and the unique needs of their child?
- How do parents obtain that critically vital information in an easy way with less stress filtering the abundance of information “out there?”
- Since about 5 white guys own and operate 90% of all mass media and the screens its delivered on, how do parents see their way through mass media’s obfuscation of what’s best for kids, and come to know what’s best for their kids?
- And once they are clear on what is best for their kids, how do parents implement new ideas and fresh approaches, given the difficulties all humans encounter in staying the course with any new habit or decision?
Or better yet, let’s boil it down to one essential question:
How do moms and dads stay accurately informed and inspired to live from their core values while teaching their children from their inner wisdom in a society that makes it hard for parents to do that?
In pondering all this for decades, I finally decided, with the launch of the Parent Coaching Institute in 2000, that coaching parents was a most effective way to proactively address the complexity in order to help parents in authentically effective ways.
Often we best examine our perceptions of ourselves and others, our attitudes and behaviors, when in relationship with another person. It seems that the more intimate our relationships, the more opportunities they provide for us to grow in new ways and discover important things about our lives and priorities. Friends, spouses, relatives, a caring involved teacher—we all can name specific individuals in our lives that had a significant impact.
Coaching, over time, allows parents the opportunity of a relationship with a professionally trained coach who walks “shoulder-to-shoulder” with them, looking and reaching in the same direction together. Compassionate understanding; non-judgmental listening, and open curiosity are integral to an inquiry process that over time can have a profound effect on parents.
Parent Coaching not only can provide context-specific practical strategies in a timely way, but also an opportunity for parents to reflect upon what is important, choose ideas and applications to try out, and explore what works best in his or her own situation.
A relationship model invites deep change without blame or judgment. When people feel coerced by outside influences they often adopt practices that they did not freely choose in order to be accepted by the group. A personal relationship with a trusting person who asks careful questions can encourage them to courageously live by their convictions, freeing them to act upon those convictions and not follow group consensus mindlessly.
Life coaching began in the 80s as an alternative to therapy. Today, it is a 2 billion dollar industry worldwide—compelling evidence that many looking for a quality life express their growth mind-set by hiring a life coach. And certainly executive coaching has come into it’s own, too, now a normal part of day-to-day operations in thousands of companies. Most forward-thinking businesses no longer provide stand-alone workshops for their mangers or executives and then expect them to implement the ideas from those workshops. Rather, they follow-up the workshops with one-on-one or group coaching to ensure that what was learned in the workshop, is used in daily activities, thus supporting the “bottom line” more effectively.
Like life coaching, parent coaching is about thriving and blooming one’s potential. Like business coaching, parent coaching is about the bottom line: Raising healthy, capable, emotionally sound children and teens,
Parent coaching is often inaccurately portrayed in the American media. Too often it’s discussed as a way “to outsource” parenting, deriding parents for choosing to be coached. This attitude is narrow-minded and vindictive. In reality, parent coaching is about helping good parents become better while affirming them for all that they do on behalf of their children. Putting down parents seems to be a favorite past time of many media outlets. I find it ironic and somewhat sad that coaching is acceptable and understood as a support system for the businessman or woman. No one questions their commitment to their work or their skill sets for the job if they choose executive coaching.
In fact, executives are often praised for making a wise choice. On the other hand, parents who seek coaching are seen as ineffectual and in need of rescue. It is very important to understand that PCI parent coaching does not seek to rescue parents or to assume that they are broken and must be fixed. Rather, coaching is a fresh way to catalyze change, enhance energy, and provide opportunities for parent reflection on what is truly important to them in a respectful and honorable way. In essence, a powerful way to inform and inspire parents.
Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano. 2016. All rights reserved.