You probably know I have five children. Five adorable, rambunctious, full of life, spirited children. My children overflow with exuberance and willfulness.
You probably also know that in the past year we have completely revamped our parenting stratagem. Gone from corporal authoritarian parenting to gentle unconditional parenting. I’ve posted a little about that here and here.
You likely do not know I grew up in a home, while filled with love, that was also filled with anger, pain, rage, yelling, shame, and abuse. My parents and I have a wonderful, growing relationship now. They did the best they could based on their own upbringings and the tools they had at the time.
This combination has left me ill prepared for the kind of parent I want to be. The kind of mother I feel God is calling me to be. The kind of peaceful home we desire. It is so hard to change the very way I think, the way I react, to what I know to know to be true, but is not at all natural to me.
Enter Parent Coaching. I was searching the internet one night looking for some gentle parenting ideas to help me with one of my children in particular. I have found the more I read to reinforce my beliefs, the better I do and the more it becomes part of my core.
I had not even heard the term parent coaching before and I was intrigued. I perused Kassandra’s site for a while reading her blog and getting some idea of who she was and if her philosophies aligned with mine. When I was satisfied they did, I filled out the form on her site. She emailed me the next day and we set up a time to talk on the phone when Kevin and I both would be available.
After talking with her for a while, getting to know one another and what my expectations and hopes would be, we decided to move forward and agreed to six sessions. That was in late October, and I am still meeting with her via Skype, weekly.
This work has been life changing for me personally and the landscape of my family. Kassandra introduced me to the world of inner empathy. At first, it felt a little awkward and weird–listening to myself essentially have conversations with parts of myself. I would normally identify those parts as emotions, feelings or physical sensations but for the purposes of this inner empathy work, we call them parts. When you listen to and hold the parts of yourself in your own compassion, without trying to change or fix them, miraculous things happen.
This work has been SO life changing for me that I went through a training Kassandra held to become a parent coach myself. This work has been so life changing, I can’t help but want to offer it to the rest of the world!