Parent Coaching In Mindful Flexible Parenting
A Too Familiar Parent’s Experience
When your child is struggling and having lots of big feelings and big behaviours, you feel pressure to respond in that moment. Pressure to either somehow take away the big feelings, or to give consequences to the big behaviours. At the same time that’s not the only thing that is going on. Your own private events (thoughts, feelings, sensations) are also happening.
Often you are not just responding to your child’s emotions and behaviours, but you are also filled with thoughts about the past (you own history as a child, your previous mistakes as a parent) and the future (what will my child’s future look like, does this current struggle represent their future, how will they cope with all the challenges in life…).
You may also find yourself making judgments (my child should be able to do this, what did I do wrong as a parent, what will others think of me). There is no shortage of stories your mind will tell you in those moments.
Let’s not forget the flood of emotions and associated physical sensations you may be experiencing such as anxiety, frustration, anger, elevated heart rate, higher blood pressure, faster breathing to name a few. That’s a lot to deal with at one time!
The pressure of what is happening for your child and your own private events can be overwhelming to the point that you are not able to be the kind of parent you want to be in that moment. You can fall into reactive parenting rather than mindful flexible parenting.
With support and practice it is possible to learn ways to turn down the volume on the inner monolgue that is our overly anxious mind, to connect to and respond differently to our private events in a way that feels in line with what you value as a parent and a person, allowing you in the moment to stay flexible and supportive to your child and yourself.
ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
This is a therapeutic approach which seeks to increase psychological flexibility and resilience in the presence of very difficult emotions and life events in the service of helping the person who is suffering to live a rich and meaningful life.
CPS – Collaborative and Proactive Solutions
This is a model of care first developed by Dr Ross Greene, that helps caregivers focus on identifying the problems that are causing concerning behaviours in kids and solving those problems collaboratively with their child.
RCE – Respect for Childhood Experiences
When we practice stepping back, and sensitively observing we learn to differentiate our children’s signals from our own projections. We become more aware of the habits we create and habits that can then become our child’s needs. We also support our