Today in “The Guardian” Zoe Williams is fed up with the clashes of parenting ‘gurus’.
Parenting is tough enough without this type of “’dagger-on-a thread’ hectoring”.
Here’s my different, and potentially more helpful perspective.
Parent Coaching provides parents with a support person (either on a one-to-one or in a group context) and trusts that you, the parent is the expert on your own situation.
In Koemba we talk about the ‘contuitive parent’ – the parent who uses both their conscious awareness of what is helpful in the particular context together with trusting their own intuition, ( hence ‘con-tuition‘ ).
Trust your intuition – that inner sense of what your child really needs. We have parented successfully for generations. We wouldn’t have survived as a human race if we didn’t know how.
Combine this with your conscious knowledge and you have what is needed to successfully nurture your children at both a physical and emotional level.
Yes – be open to new learning. Neuroscience has discovered more about how the brain works in the last decade than in the whole of human history.
It makes sense that if we know how the brain functions we will also know what is needed for young brains to thrive.
Think about the language we use – the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to parent or ‘good’ parenting- infers that there’s also ‘bad’ parenting. As Zoe says, parents have enough stress already – so let’s avoid the judgemental language (unless we’re talking about abuse). Try substituting with the question ‘Is what I’m doing helpful?’ When we use non-judgemental language we can figure out what’s working for our own individual children and our families.
I invite you to replace ‘should’ with ‘could’. e.g. ‘I should be … ‘ changes to ‘I could …’
Once we recognise we have choices we’re no longer helpless victims but contuitive parents who can meet our children’s needs.
I am finding that when I slow down and use the language i am acquiring on Val’s parent coaching programme, it really helps when my children are upset and angry. While awkward at the start, I am gradually finding that it invites my children to really express their difficult feelings and then move on. Looking forward to learning more about the Koemba approach in the forthcoming weeks!