When my husband and I began our own family, which ended up with 4 amazing, vastly different kids, I was the first of my friends to begin this parenting journey. I was also 3,000 miles away from my original family with minimal support, felt isolated and quite frankly, I didn't know what I was doing. There was so much to figure out and I questioned every parenting move I made. Through various experiences and realizations along the way, I ended up learning to parent intuitively, which changed my entire parenting journey. What does this have to do with Parent Coaching?
Parents and families used to have a built in tribe. They had their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and cousins around them for support, guidance and encouragement. Many parents today aren’t able to experience this natural tribe, and that can be isolating. Through my own experience, I knew I wanted to support to new moms who found themselves in the same place I was, feeling uncertain and unsure of what to do, needing support and an occasional gentle reminder "Hey, you're ok and you're doing a great job!" Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have many opportunities to do just that for new mamas starting out on their own parenting journey and I LOVED it! I knew this was what I was meant to do. Until I went back to work…..
I was a stay at home mama for 12 years before I went back to work at a Health and Counseling center at a small local college, over 10 years ago. It was there I found myself talking to, supporting and encouraging parents of incoming college freshmen and it hit me! These 17/18 year old college freshmen were the "babies" of these parents. The questions these older parents had were not all that different from the questions a new parent has. "What do I do now?" "How do I parent them?" "Am I doing this right?" It's just another parenting transition within the parenting journey and that journey really never ends! Instead, evolves and grows and these “seasoned” parents had challenges and struggles of their own. I found myself drawn to these parents and I loved being able to listen, support and encourage them as well.
This led me to go back to school to earn a Masters Level Certification in Parent Coaching through the PCI, The Parent Coaching Institute, at Seattle Pacific University. This was a year long, intensive process which allowed me to grow immensely, not only as a parent coach, but personally and as a parent as well. Learning to be more intentional in all I do, looking at situations and focusing on what is working, has been so empowering for me. What a gift it is, to me, to help other parents navigate these questions and explore and discover those same internal insights for themselves and their family. What are the strengths of the parent, the child, the family? Identifying the true parent within and realizing that parenting from that place brings incredible creativity, positive energy, peace, hope and CONFIDENCE, even in the midst of the day to day challenges they may face.
I have been, and continue to be, so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to walk along side parents within their own personal parenting journey. Enhancing their intentional parenting, deepening connections with their children, creating a positive family culture that benefits not just the parents, but the family as a whole.