Parenting is hard. The consequences are monumental and often irreversible. It’s been rightly described as life’s most important job, and yet we’re expected to wing it. You’re not the only influence in your child’s life. Still, it’s your job and you can’t leave it to chance. In these days when parents spend less time home with the kids, it’s more important than ever for us to come together, compare notes and learn from one another.
There are less productive ways of sharing. I hear parents commiserating — especially about teenagers; they exchange anecdotes about their alien behaviour, nod in agreement and throw up their hands in defeat. Kids obviously pay a price for this; so, in the long term, do parents. In reality, of course, they’re not that different. Like us they have lazy sides, insensitivities and minor obsessions. Unlike us, they’re enormously pliable and, despite appearances to the contrary, very unsure of themselves. They need you.
Remember when your parents tried to make you conform and you ended up rebellious? Have you ever seen yourself doing the same to your own children? Even when they really do seem like aliens, you know they’re intelligent and highly observant ones.
All of which is why I propose sitting with me — a life coach — and your peers to explore the full challenge of parenting. Starting May 16th, join us in a comfortable, non-judgemental and thoughtful workshop environment to broaden your perspectives and explore new ways.
These workshops are about parents, not children. Regardless of their age, what we’ll work on is your openness, your effectiveness, your willingness to accept, learn and change. Most importantly, you’ll become more aware of your approach and where it leads; that in itself has the power to change your relationship with them. It’s not easy to second-guess yourself, but there’s no better way to strengthen mutual respect and improve communication.
This are not lectures. You’ll practice self-observation exercises to make you more mindful, more clear-headed and more able to change long-standing habits. The goal is to develop real-time awareness that leads to change.
We’ll get to the nitty-gritty too: from busy schedules, the pressures of peer-pressure, acting out and bullying all the way to lying, sex and drugs; and then there’s divorce, single-parenting, step-parenting and the great dangers of non-parenting at the moments when it’s most important for you to step in.
The point is to improve your children’s chances in life by deepening your relationship with them. It’s the best thing you could possibly do for them. It’s the one thing they can’t get for themselves.
Caroline Courey is director of New Way Personal Life Coaching, co-founder and associate Director of Quiet Mind Seminars and a mother of four. Visit www.courey.com.