You might have read it or heard about it. A New York Times article that ran in early July called attention to the increasing demand for parenting coaches, specifically by parents who want to be better connected to their kids, and to do so with significantly less screen time. The tone of the article, as well as other articles that shared this news, isn’t, what I consider, to be positive, or even neutral. There’s an underlying tone of disapproval.
It got me thinking about our world and how parenting today is very different from the way our parents raised us, and how their parents raised them. The lessons we learned from our parents – whether those lessons were “what to do” or “what not to do” – are simply guidelines. Our world changes so rapidly and frequently without warning that parenting has joined the ranks of professions that are far from exempt from evolution. You need to change in accordance with what’s happening around you – and what’s happening with your kids – to ensure you can be the best parent you can be for them.
So let’s stop judging. Let’s stop pointing fingers, reprimanding or even rolling your eyes at parents who are asking for help. We should be applauding them and helping them. After all, isn’t the first step in making any sort of improvement in your life recognizing there’s something that needs to change and then asking for help to go do it?
So, kudos to the parents who realize change is needed.
Kudos to the parents who want to have real and better relationships with their kids.
And kudos to the parents who realize that sometimes an outside, neutral third party is exactly what is needed. In fact, one of the mothers who was interviewed for the New York Times article said, “…it’s just hearing something that’s so blatantly obvious, but I couldn’t see it.”
And that’s what coaches do: we guide our clients to develop greater self- and world-awareness. To see things and remember things that are otherwise not seen, ignored or forgotten. To remind people how to be tuned in, present and engaged in their moments.
It’s a skill that people have forgotten because our world today requires us to operate in a task-oriented mindset, one that’s dictated by efficiency requirements in both time and energy. Very few people know how to be fully present in each moment, gathering information from each of their senses so they can make a wise and intentional decision on how the next moment will be, because they need to just get it done. They need to move on to the next thing. This is where coaching can significantly help parents, reminding them how to be present to themselves and their families. With this expanded awareness, they have access to important information that can improve their decisions, interactions and approaches with their kids, and help them be more responsive instead of reactive.
Take 10 minutes to stop and notice yourself and your world. What is working in how your life is? What isn’t working? What would you like to change? Consider what that change could look like and what you want the outcome to be. You’ll be surprised just how eye-opening spending just a few moments to tune out the world and tune in to yourself can be.
If you find you’re struggling with this, consider engaging a mindfulness coach who can help you develop tools and a practice to tune in to you, your kids and the world you are all part of. From that point, you will have better information that helps you make better decisions everywhere.
Consider reading What Type of Parent are You?