Disappointment and failure are two things that you want your child to avoid at all costs as they are growing up.

Just kidding!

We all know that having a perfect rosy life isn’t possible and probably isn’t the ideal either and yet we try to provide that for our children; to their detriment.

Let’s start with disappointment.

As soon as your children turn two years old (or often just a couple of months before they turn that amazing age) they start to experience disappointment.  They are disappointed that they didn’t get to turn on the light.  They are disappointed that they didn’t get the red cup.  They are disappointed that they can’t eat the chocolate muffin for dinner.   As soon as they fuss and cry to show their disappointment, we want to relieve that discomfort of being disappointed and we give them the chance to turn on the light, we get them the red cup, we get them a muffin and then we become the saviors of the day!  Hooray! Disappointment averted!

However, disappointment is the best and healthiest experience for a young child.

Disappointment teaches resiliency, it teaches them about life, it helps them become an adult.

My husband works with young adults and he often talks to me about how parents can shape children to become functional adults.  He is currently reading Ownership Thinking: How the End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose and Profit.  Apparently this is a hot topic in all business as one google search of “Creating Ownership” will give you pages and pages of how to reduce entitlement.  The book talks about how employers should not “rescue” their employees just as a parent shouldn’t “rescue” their children.  

We have the option of creating the next generation of adults who aren’t entitled and who feel empowered.

How do we do that?  Allow our children to experience disappointment and failure.

Failures

Failures are different from disappointment as disappointment is the external world not going your way and failure is when your own actions/ choices/ attempts don’t work as you would have hoped.  As your children grow, they will start to have little failures and then bigger failures.

It might start with a lego set that breaks. Or maybe it is a lunch that was forgotten.  It might then be a bad grade or forgetting to do homework until the night before.  These are all little failures that are important for your child to experience.  These are tears that need to fall.

You can be there for your child to give them a hug and, but you can’t fix the failure.  Failures are how children learn and grow.  Failures are how children become adults.

So don’t avoid these two parts of your children’s lives.  Raise your children to become adults!

As soon as people find out that I’m a parent coach, the air around us changes.  There’s this expectation that my children are perfect children.  Why is this career the only one where this is assumed?  Do mechanics drive cars that break down?  Do doctors get colds and other illnesses?  Do the people at smartphone fix-it stores drop and break their phones (probably not, but that’s another story)?

One thing about having children is they push our buttons.  Not necessarily other people’s buttons (but that can happen too) but they really come down hard on us as parents.  As a teacher, I often work with kids that have a lot of difficulties with their parents.  That doesn’t mean that I know more than the parents, it just means that I’m separate from the issue so I have a different perspective.

That’s what it all comes down to: Perspective.

I recently read an article that is circling the interwebs about parents being their child’s expert.  This is so true.  Parents know their kids better than anyone and they know what is best for their little ones.  But if I may add on to that wonderful article: sometimes parents are stuck inside the cycle and sometimes they can’t see what’s just above them, or just around the corner and they need just a shift.  Just another set of eyes or ideas.

They just need a different perspective. 

I have used a parent coach myself because I have been in the same place that all parents have been in. Things were tough, I couldn’t see an end to it.  I needed help.

The coach was able to point me in the right direction and get me out of the hole that I was in and it was so helpful.

It takes a village to raise a child.

We see so many signs pointing to parent intuition, “you can do this mama!” and that you are the expert in your child.  All of that is SO true, but it doesn’t mean that we need to be islands in the ocean of parenting.  Ask your neighbor for help.  Call your mother-in-law and see if she can give a different perspective.  Call a parent coach.  And if you disagree with every single one of them then you can laugh at their advice.  But maybe, just maybe, they will have a different idea on how to solve the problem that will re-frame the whole situation.

My children aren’t perfect, nobody’s children are perfect.  We are all in this together!

 

perfect

If you are a parent, chances are that you have looked something up on the internet to see if it is “normal” or if there anything you can do about what ever is happening, or just to commiserate.  

During your journey on the internet, you probably came across something that made you feel guilty.  For some reason, there is a ton of “mompetition” on the internet and I don’t believe it should be that way.

Just today, I was reading some article about parenting and the comments afterwards to each other were very biting and angry.  

There are no perfect kids, and there are no perfect parents and that’s OK.

I wanted to be the perfect parent.  I read all the books, I have a background working with young children and families and I figured, if anyone can do it, I can do it.

One of the philosophies I wanted to follow was attachment parenting because of all the research supporting it, and because it matched my beliefs.

Then I had twins and realized that carrying both of my children into toddlerhood wasn’t going to happen.  And the guilt that I suffered from this was not fun.  I tried carrying one child and putting the other one in the stroller or bouncy chair.  I tried carrying both of them some of the time.  

Then I would give it up for a while due to the exhaustion of trying to carry two babies.  But lo and behold, after a week of not holding them all day, I would read another article online about how children who aren’t carried through infancy will have more emotional problems and the guilt would come down like a ton of baby books on my head.

I struggled with this for my first year of being a mother and one day I realized that it didn’t matter.  My boys were going to be fine.  I’m not the perfect mother and I’m ok with that.  We need to accept where we are as parents and not buy into the guilt that we aren’t good enough.

Parent coaching isn’t out there to make you a perfect parent, because what you are doing is already good enough.  We are just here to support you as you are and keep your head above water. 

Parenting is rough and we need to support each other as much as we can.

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I am amazed at how many support groups and resources there are for Boulder Parents.  Each day, I come across a new one.  

Here is my list so far, and I’m sure there are others that I haven’t found.

Check them all out and then let me know if there’s one I forgot!

Holistic Moms Network This is group of non-judgmental moms who get together for community and support at the Rayback Collective

Mama Love Prenatal and post-natal yoga classes with the lovely Kelly Roche-Sproul.  

The Joy Collective A Boulder gem with everything for birth, post-partum and parenting

Campanizer  A Local Boulder Mom started this company to organize all of your summer camps

Moxie Moms They offer discounts on everything in town!

Boulder Rockin’ Moms A group of Boulder moms that talk about anything and everything.

Boulder Meet-Up Groups Find a group of moms with similar interests for social activities.

Boulder Families A weekly update of things to do in Boulder

Parent Engagement Network A resource for Boulder parents to help their kids succeed in school and beyond

Jeff and Paige Great local children’s band with music all about the outdoors

Kids Love Kindness A children’s volunteering group here in Boulder

Bundle Baby Shop This is the one stop shop for cloth diapering.  They will help you with everything.

Boulder County Kids A resource for everything kid-related in Boulder plus information on child care. 

The Family Village- A Longmont Cooperative A new resource for parents in the community- check them out!


That’s the list for now.

 Let me know if I forgot anyone!

parent coaching boulder

 

This question has come up a lot lately, and although I have touched on it briefly, it deserves a whole post. 
These days, we reach out to professionals in just about every aspect of our lives.  If we need help with our car, or if we just want it to work better, we go to a mechanic.   If we’re not sure about how to deal with a pest problem, we call an exterminator.
However, with the accessibility of the internet, we often solve a lot of our problems by researching on the web.  Instead of going to the mechanic or the exterminator, we may look up some options on the internet for taking care of it ourselves.
This is even more common with parenting.  A lot of questions can be answered by googling the problem and seeing what other parents have done.  And for a lot of situations, that does work. 
But many times, it only clouds your judgement.  You will most likely hear differing opinions on the same topic and although both will have good ideas behind them, second guessing yourself as a parent will only worsen the problem.
Thankfully, our relationships with our cars and spiders aren’t everlasting and intertwined.  But our relationships with our children are.   It is important that we understand the consequences (good or bad) of our everyday actions and this is where a parent coach can help.
You already know what you want for your child and you may even know how to get there.  But something is standing in the way and a parent coach can guide you to be the best parent you can be.
Similar to a sports coach who helps runners have a more efficient stride, or helps bike riders improve their lung capacity; a parent coach fine tunes your parenting skills and brings you to the next level of parenting.
Call me today to take your parenting to the next level!
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