It’s hard to be a parent.
There is no individualized handbook specializing in your child that was given to you on delivery day. You were not blessed with specific instructions on how to handle every big and small situation the "RIGHT" way. Most families I have come into contact with consist of parents who are tired, exhausted, confused and are left feeling defeated, judged, ashamed, guilty, inadequate or even just alone. When this is the case it is very difficult to find the "joy" in parenting, the gratefulness in our role as parents, and to look at our children as blessings. "Blessings" aren't supposed to scream and yell and throw fits until you feel like you're losing your mind - Right?!?
But why does it have to be so hard when it seems like it’s supposed to be so easy???
This is the tough part. And maybe this is where you begin to feel mixed up.
Some families do seem to have the whole "joyful family-life" thing figured out. But that’s something they’ve mastered with time and skills, whether they be natural or learned, that happen to work for them. The problem lies in the truth that their way of doing this may not be what will work for you. This leads to the other truth that there is no “RIGHT” way to parent. Each family has unique dynamics, between personalities and experiences, that lead them to interact in their own very personal and individual ways both good and bad. This is why reading the books and blogs and trying to implement strategies that “should” work sometimes don’t for this family but do for that one. This is especially true when we're parenting children with special circumstances, such as those with ADHD, Autism, or other health or mental health conditions. Not only are there different challenges present but these types of children create a whole new type of guessing game for parents - which moves them further and further from feeling successful.
Another common issue I have come across in my 10+ years as a family therapist are the disconnects within the parents themselves. You may struggle with parenting due to lack of agreement on how to parent with your partner, or you may lack agreement of how you were parented and want to do it differently, but don't know how. This makes the whole situation all that much harder.
So to be clear…. You were hired with no experience or training. You were given a manual or two (possibly written in the '70's) on what other people in other offices with a whole different set of co-workers may be doing with the job they have, which may or may not help you with yours. Your trainers may have trained you poorly leaving you confused, angry and that much farther behind the learning curve. Your co-workers may be trying to take apart what you’re trying to put together, or switching out tools on you every so often. Then finally at the end of the day the world is watching to see if you showed up and did your job “RIGHT,” while smiling and making organic gluten free brownies (using pureed broccoli, of course!)
So what can parent coaching with Courageous AIM do?
Well, since you asked....
My main goal is to help parents identify the uniqueness of their particular family, including strengths and challenges, and help them move forward into feeling more confident with their approach to parenting, while also making progress on conquering the hard stuff. This is done through personalized assessment and strategies for your family that make sense to you and also align best with the natural gifts you already bring to the table as a parent.
This begins with the one thing I believe we all have in common - we love our kids. I believe how we parent should center around that sense of love. I find families make the greatest positive change when the foundation of love and relationship are present. Once that is firmly established, the cooperation and respect from children follow suit. With the right strategies in place to motivate and guide kids to be well and act well, you can begin to enjoy the love you have for your children.
Because I believe all parents love their kids and are desperately trying to do their best in this crazy, hard, and humbling job of parenting, I do not judge or criticize how or why parents do what they do. I believe we all are doing the best we can - but sometimes just end up off track.
We weren't given a yellow brick road with a promise it will all work out. But we were given love. We were given instinct. And we were given the power to create action and change. Sometimes this feels overwhelming. Sometimes not only do you NOT feel like you're on a yellow brick road heading to something special, but instead feel as if you're on a cracked alley headed toward the Apocalypse. Or maybe you feel like you're standing on the side of the road, completely lost and disempowered. Wherever you're at, I would like to help. I can help you grow clarity on where you want this parenting road to go and help you decipher what changes need to take place to get on that road. You don't have to take this trip alone any longer.