Every time I tell someone I am a parent coach, they ask: “What is parent coaching?”
I’ll start by sharing what parent coaching is not. Parent coaching is not about telling you what to do or making you feel bad about the way you’ve been parenting. It’s not a quick fix to change your kid’s behavior, and it’s not just about your kids.
Our daily interactions with our kids shape them and the generations that follow. Parent coaching helps you recognize the many ways we slip into traditional parenting, and then supports you as you learn to parent using a peaceful approach.
As a Fit Bottomed Mama, you already know that it doesn’t matter what size you are; you work towards loving yourself and your children where you are, right this minute. Peaceful parenting works the same way. You learn to show love that is not conditional. And this is very important: peaceful parenting and being coached is not about achieving perfection.
A parent coach guides you to develop a relationship based on connection and respect. It helps you move away from the traditional styles of parenting, and keep you accountable.
I never wanted to be the mom who yelled at my kids. But I’ve done it because it’s how I was raised. For me, simply knowing how I wanted to parent wasn’t enough because I still get emotionally triggered. When we’re triggered, emotions always overtake logic.
For instance, when your kid is in a tantrum, and you want to stay calm, but you can’t walk away to take five minutes to breathe, you might start to yell. You know you want to stop yelling, and you know you should stop, but you don’t know how to stop. This is why reading books and knowing what to do isn’t enough.
How Our Own Childhood Shows Up in Our Parenting
Here’s an example. When my 4-year old is blatantly ignoring me, I think about what my parents would have done to me if I behaved that way. On really bad days, I get triggered and I don’t want to “get in trouble” so I get anxious and start to yell. When she continues to ignore me, I think all the things I thought when I was a child: I’m not important, I’m not worth listening to, I’m not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, etc.
I’m thinking all of that because that’s what my childhood was like. The love I received was based on conditions: I was worthy of love if I behaved or looked or performed in a certain way. My parents did the best they could, because that’s how they were raised, too.
But raising our kids that way leads to low self-worth and those beliefs are deeply ingrained. They show up when you’re triggered, even though you know you don’t want to parent that way. This is what makes traditional parenting so damaging, and it’s why I became a parent coach.
Parent coaching helps you learn to let go of the way you were parented so you can model the behavior you want from your children. When you do this, you won’t need to manipulate or become dominant over them. Your relationship will be based on respect and empathy, and you’ll find more peace in yourself and your kids.
Have you ever found yourself knowing how you want to parent, but not capable of it? —Cati