Parents are People too
By Parents are People too
Communicating with your family has become challenging?
So much responsibility on your shoulders alone?
We hear you - and we've got you!
We help parents feel human again.
Julia Close and Anke Fischer are Professional Certified and accredited Coaches and your Hosts of this Podcast.
We bring you the topics that have come up in our workshops and private coaching practices to help you feel human again on this wild and wonderful journey of parenting.
Parents are People too Nov 14, 2023
What is fearless parenting? Lets be clear - we are not talking about parenting through fear which is what you might find if you google "parenting and fear".
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood" - Madame Curie
Even just thinking about what it would be like to parent without fear I can hear a voice in my head saying - ‘but isn’t a little bit of fear a good thing?’
It really is not even though it warns you, it keeps you alert and is designed to keep you safe. But when fear starts ruling your life, your behavior and every decision you make it quickly becomes very draining and limiting.
- Fear of failure as a parent
- Reflected fear for your children
- Fear of judgment of others
- Fear of change - the unknown future
- External fears (Climate change, economy etc)
And of course - we create stories that appear true to us that substantiate our fears!
Those stories are mostly driven by our past experiences or the fear of the unknown.
So how do we define fearless parenting?
We are talking about knowing we can handle whatever comes our way rather than controlling everything around us.
- What would it be like to parent without fear? Do you search for perfection as a parent and therefore always think you are not good enough?
Making a conscious effort to identify what it is, that you are so fearful of, where this comes from and how it is serving you as a person or parent is so very helpful!
- How fearful are you as a parent on a scale of 1 to 10
- And as a person?
- If there is a difference, why is that?
- Do you think you get less or more fearful with subsequent children?
- How has your fear/worry changed with your kids getting older?
- How did your own parents’ fears impacted you as a person and a parent?
Think about what it is you fear - and how different that would be if you understood instead. Go back to acceptance and look at what do you need to accept in order to move into that understanding stage.
Authenticity - How to parent in a waythat feels right for you - reasons for parenting from your gut
Authenticity has been one of the buzz words that are being used a lot when talking about self-development.
Authenticity is defined as “being genuine, being true to oneself” and in all sources we searched, reliability and trustworthiness were part of the definition.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be, and embracing who we actually are.” – Brené Brown
Why would the concept of authenticity matter for us as parents?
Knowing what your top values are, who you are as a parent and as a person and realizing that when you do not feel at ease with a situation, there most likely is a clash of values.
Parenting authentically has many benefits - it helps with decision making, taking advice, knowing you have done the right thing for you, boosts your mental energy levels.
It’s also a great way of showing our kids how being yourself and not trying to ‘fit in’ with what others think is the best way to be. Walking the talk is always the best way to create trust and respect.
Trusting the Process - does that sound scary?
We have been talking about Awareness/Acceptance and Conscious Choices and today we look at what it means for us as Parents to “Trust the Process”.
Hearing this without the context sounds a bit like letting your car park itself - which is a feature I immediately disabled in my car as it was just too scary a thought to give up my role in the driver’s seat…
When we talk about “Trusting the Process”, we are talking about the process of learning and of mastery NOT about letting go of your steering wheel.
We all do the best we can with what we know every day. No one intentionally makes a mistake! Every day, with every action we take, we will either achieve what we intended or we will learn and get a better idea what we need to reach our goal.
What do you believe is lacking in your life right now that will make the difference between being where you want to be and where you are at now?
Awareness allows you to see reality by determining the facts and your reaction to the facts.
Acceptance allows you to remain present and objective by accepting those facts and understanding and accepting your reaction to them.
Making Conscious Choices allows you to evaluate and discern the facts, not judge them, and to come up with a plan and discover what your personal success formula looks like.
Being able to respond to an unwanted outcome and asking yourself
“What did I learn that will help me next time” is much more powerful than asking yourself “Why did this happen to me”.
Trusting the process allows us to confidently approach situations, knowing that we are served by the outcome - one way or the other. Bumps in the road are part of life and part of the process, what we learn from them and how they allow us to grow is the important part.
Making Parenting Decisions
How often have you felt that you often do not have much choice when it comes to parenting? You feel either helpless or backed in a corner (when it comes to teenagers, this can be so difficult!)
Choices we make as parents start before birth - home birth or hospital, which hospital, our approach to medication during birth and how we feed our babies. To go back to work or stay at home.
As our kids grow the list of decisions gets enormous! What school, how they spend their free time, daily family rituals, discipline etc. etc.
How many of our decisions do we make based on fear?
Fear of what would happen if we left the “normal” path, of what other people might think or say, fear of missing out, fear of rejection, fear of failure and not getting it "right", fear for our childrens’ safety.
The definition of a Conscious Choice is a decision that is made with full awareness and understanding of the implications and consequences. In other words, it’s a choice that you make deliberately, rather than on autopilot.
Check our website and join one of our courses - it is so helpful to take inventory of how we do things and where we want to be when doing it with others who are in the same boat.
Acceptance Part 2
Last week we were talking about how to be ‘in the now’ - for ourselves and our families by accepting, without judgement, what was and what is.
It’s such a big topic and one that we have both wrestled with on our coaching and parenting journey.
We talked about how Acceptance does not mean you give in or agree - but it simply means to try to embrace where you are at without labelling it as good or bad, right or wrong.
Today we look at why this can be so hard to do, and what it can mean for how we parent!
What if you could embrace that
"All experiences have value" and that
"Releasing expectations and attachments to a particular outcome or path allows us to find opportunities everywhere” (COR.E Foundation Principles)
Awareness is our first step because it allows us to see our past conditioning but
Acceptance allows us to not only understand the past, but not to be limited by it!
What do you need to be aware of and then accept to move forward?
What does acceptance mean for me as a parent and a person? How to be in the “NOW” as a parent and a person
Do you ever wish you could turn back time to when your children were smaller (with smaller issues!). Or are you constantly wishing for the next stage to happen sooner? Both of these can mean you are struggling to accept what is the NOW rather than accepting what was or wishing for what is to come.
This week we are talking about how to be ‘in the now’ - for ourselves and our families by accepting, without judgement, what was and what is. It’s such a big topic and one that we have both wrestled with on our coaching and parenting journey.
Often, people see acceptance as a weakness - as giving in or agreeing - rather than seeing it as the strength of acknowledgment of “what is” without rating it as good or bad. And that is one of the reasons it can be so hard to do!
We are so used to judging others, ourselves or situations as good or bad and are trying to change others, ourselves or the situations to create an outcome we favor.
Sometimes we cannot let go of what was because we berate ourselves for not doing a good enough job- we go over and over in our minds how we could have done better - guilt and shame come in and stop us from moving forward.
Defining Acceptance what it means for you, is a first step.
"Before we can change or move forward, we must first embrace where we are" Core Foundation principle
“Acceptance doesn’t mean you agree with, condone, or give up. It simply means you stop fighting reality.” – Dan Millman
Keeping all of this in mind :
- Accept that you did the best you could do at the time with the information that you had.
- Ask yourself - Which aspects of yourself and your parenting do you accept or not accept?
- What judgements are you making about yourself that makes it difficult to accept and let go?
- What would be different for you if you could accept the situation?
What is your parenting blind spot - and why does it matter? Awareness 2
Many of us have had that awful crunching moment when we have accidentally reversed into something in our blind spot (Julia's garden wall is testament to this). Even with a back mirror we can still crash!
Anke even had a back camera but it did not show that the lamp post close to the parking spot had a concrete pedestal protruding...and it dented her bumper pretty good.
We are talking about why awareness is so important, how to identify your parenting blind spots, and how it is the start of a process to make long lasting change to your negative patterns possible.
What, if anything, have you become aware of in your parenting recently?
For Julia it's balancing living as housemates with a grown up child and then thinking as a housemate but still actually being a parent. This causes her all sorts of mental conflict so she has to remind herself that she is a parent and she therefore thinks like a parent. If there are boundaries that she thinks are being crossed (chores for one) then she needs to be open and explicit in her expectations rather than festering housemate type thoughts on unfairness and inequality in the relationship!
Awareness and its importance
We were listening to Tara Swart, (a neuroscientist) talking about stress and she commented that having an awareness of your thought patterns was 50% of the solution to breaking negative thoughts. 50%!
Wow, that is a lot!
But it makes a lot of sense because once you’ve become aware of something, you are sensitized to this issue and pay more attention to the way you think, act and feel and can address it.
Anke's parent moment came a few weeks back, when she noticed how much she was still in the “hovering mom mode”, always ready to jump in and rescue while her daughter was actually managing beautifully all by herself. It took her a little while to digest that her kid does not need her to be there all the time but it was quite freeing after she told herself, that this was a result of a job well done... Now she thinks twice before she offers any advice or help. She realized, that her daughter will ask when she needs support.
Sometimes, it is a situation that makes us aware of an issue, other times it watching others and seeing ourselves in them and then it also often is the direct feedback that others give us.
How to identify your blind spot - the importance of Mirrors in our lives
In the business world, there are 360 feedbacks to let you know how you are performing - in the "private" world, we need to find the system that lets us discover our blind spots best.
What’s your mirror? Or who's holding it for you?
Accepting there is a problem with ourselves (and not that it's our children that need fixing) is the first step - that is self-reflection.
Honest friends/family can help to make us aware of how we come across to others and help us see our impact.
Coaching or therapy are great tools if you want to dig deeper and not have someone with a bit more of their own agenda be your mirror.
Being listened to and feeling acknowledged and respected even if we disagree is very important!
We are all a work in progress - accepting that we have a blind spot and readjusting our mirrors to help us see can help us find new ways of parenting that work, new supportive thought patterns and deeper self awareness. Practice new patterns of thought or behaviour to make long lasting change - build your mental muscles so it becomes the new way of thinking.
Johari's window is a great tool to make this visual, we found @Lyssa deHart's model very helpful!
Ask yourself today what you have learned about yourself today that you didn't know before and what does that mean for you?
What does Self Awareness have to do with how I parent?
This week we are starting our journey of the 8 Skills that will help you with your parenting. Starting with Awareness as it’s one of the major building blocks of self development
Being self aware of the effects of what you say and do (how you come across) helps you differentiate between facts (the Truth) and how you are interpreting a situation (the truth) - therefore starts to breakdown self- judgement and will give you clarity and choice in any situation.
For example, being more self aware can help you answer some of your parenting issues such as
- "Why won’t anyone listen to me?”
- “Why are we always arguing?”
- “I’ve lost control of my kids and I don’t know why”
- “I feel really disconnected because my kid is not sharing anything with me”
- “My kid is sad and struggling, I am going to talk to the other parent/teacher/professor to set this straight!”
Can you relate - does this sound familiar? Have you struggled to communicate with your kids, tried to get them to listen, to stop arguing over everything, share their experience and their feelings or even how the school day went with you?
Does it feel you have tried to change your approach 100 times but nothing changed? Thinking about how you react - can you pinpoint what is triggering you and why - and can you identify the motivation behind your reaction?
Being self aware about what it is that triggers us, how we react and what kind of effect that has on our kids is the first step to a solution!
We are usually so busy, so absorbed and on autopilot that we do not think about these things. We do the best we can based on what we have learned and experienced, we feel pressure to be perfect; and we tend to compare ourselves, our kids, our lives and usually feel worse by doing so. Parenting starts to feel lonely and disconnected.
When you’re not performing to the best of your ability, make a list of what might be off. Brainstorm as many factors as you can—don’t limit yourself. You can even put down “silly” things like “I’m wearing my red shirt, not my white one.” Try to come up with at least 25 possible factors. Work with your Specialist to help you decide which ones are most affecting you.
At work we often have 360 appraisals to help us build self awareness - you can try this with friends and family by firstly noting down the 5 top words that describe you at your best and 5 at your worst and then asking them to do the same. You can then compare the two and see if they match - starts to reveal your blind spot which we will talk about next week.
I got a great email this week from Dr. Tascha Eurich talking about building self awareness and what she calls ‘The Dinner of Truth’ where you invite a close friend or family and ask them what irritates them about you! Instant (potentially brutal!) feedback
Being self aware of what is sending us into orbit and why are the first steps to being able to respond appropriately to situations rather than react. Understanding the real Truth (with a capital T) of a situation rather than our own one dimensional interpretations can help us parent calmly again.
We offer customized, impactful and personal courses to create your own Parenting Playbook or your Personal Mission Statement. Check our website at www.parentsarepeople.com for details!
How are we letting our children learn - and what can we learn from them?
What do we inadvertently teach our children and what can we learn from them?
Leaving home for college or stepping up to a new year group at school brings all kinds of challenges and learning opportunities.
This leads us into our first topic of season 2 - how are we letting our kids learn?
Julia: I dropped our youngest daughter off at university and as we were doing a trolley dash around her new local supermarket she commented that she was really grateful that both of her parents cooked. All I remembered what the mind numbing daily chore of preparing dinner for 3 kids who would only eat macaroni cheese together! "Cooking" never felt like a culinary art or event but as I said - like a chore and I was not proud of the results. My husband on the other hand is a good cook. I was taken by complete surprise as to what in those situations was important and what my daughter took away from it - me preparing food for the girls, sitting with them and my husband doing the same. What counted was the act, not so much the culinary value.
What have you learned from your child?
Anke: I too dropped off my daughter at Uni 2 weeks ago - and she’s not a plane ride away like her siblings but stayed local. I am happy about that, and was ready to help her with whatever she needed now that it was logistically possible!
Well, I texted my girl the day after we helped her move to the dorm asking how the first night went - and she replied “why? do just want to know?”
Wow. I felt almost rejected and at the same time embarrassed. She clearly did not want my opinion, advice, help or even my empathy.
What she needed was my trust in her ability to figure things out herself.
And she was afraid that I would take charge when she wanted to do it herself. I am proud of her for standing up for what she felt she needed even though it must have been hard for her.
So I learned that even though she is close by, she wants to do things on her terms as she should, I learned that by me trusting her to be capable of this, I am helping her more than by physically doing things for her.
Trusting the process is hard. Trusting your kid to do the right thing can be too. We want them to have a smooth transition, no hiccups, no bumps in the road. We want to know they have friends, food and are safe and happy and do not fail this new beginning.
Well - what if FAIL stood for FIRST ATTEMPT IN LEARNING?
Confidence and resilience need to be learned. As parents we can help by letting our kids FAIL, given them the opportunity (still kind of under our watch) to learn from experience. THEIR experience. Make it clear that perfection is not the goal, but learning from actions is.
And when you have this urge to just go and fix whatever it is that you see wrong with the situation, ask yourself
“Am I preparing my child to do this independently next time or am I preventing him/her from learning how to do this alone?”
The line can seem very blurred. We might feel fearful, frustrated, anxious - but just pause and ask yourself if you want to truly prepare your kids to be independent, confident and resilient adults.
- Be intentional - if you find yourself trying to do it all - ask yourself why?
- Do you need the validation of being needed?
- Is it because of learned habits or your own journey or culture?
- Is it because you think you know best?
You have to let go of being right if you live by the First Attempt in Learning Rule. You can try using
‘I’ve got some ideas but first what do you think you should do’ instead of advice.
then think about what is your intention - a quick fix or a long term self learning for your child.
CHECK OUT OUR GROUP COURSES! www.parentsarepeople.com
Endings and Beginnings
Summer starting - end of school - how are you feeling about it all?
Are you always thinking ‘I’ve just got to get through this’ or do you actively seek out change to make life more exciting? Or maybe somewhere in between. With the school year ending it’s often a good time to evaluate where you are as a parent and most importantly where you are as a person and how you want to approach your summer and onwards.
Time to reflect on what went well this year and what did I learn from everything that happened? Every family has a unique situation - are you experiencing your first summer with an empty nest? Are the kids away at camp or are you juggling work, children and me time?
Dealing with disappointment
Disappointment is defined as feeling unhappy because someone or something was not as good as you hoped or expected.
It is one of those feelings that gets us in the gut - as parents we set ourselves expectations for success and we also set expectations for our children, their behaviour, their sporting or academic achievement and sometimes their choice of partner!
Maybe your child's team did not make it to the State Final, maybe they didn't pass their last physics exam - or maybe they did not get into the college of their (and your) choice.
It often feels as if this is an overarching and doomed situation that defines the future path. As we said - it can easily feel like that. The failed exam that does not represent what this student had actually learned and how he/she has grown over the school term. The college acceptance that did not happen - and now it feels that there is no future - alas a much less bright one for the kid.
Big or small - we all struggle when things do not go as we hoped, planned for and expected. We always are very attached to certain outcomes and we often do not see any other way forward.
Depending on the situation, it can feel really heavy. So - what can we do, how can we actually move on?
Listen in to find out!
It is Exam time - help!
This time a year is usually super stressful for any student and parent of school or college aged children - it is exam time.
The outcome can decide the path forward, for many kids it is imperative to get good grades, and studying for the tests is often extra difficult as the material covered includes everything that had been taught over the past school year.
No wonder that the kids are really stressed out….but why are we parents…? Why is the word exam or quiz triggering us to go into overdrive and stress mode?
My youngest daughter finished her High School Exams last week - and I had many talks with other parents about how very stressful this time is for families. It usually starts with the parent stating that “we have exams” next week.
And then they go on talking about how much there is to study for, there is not enough time with everything else that is going on for the student. They wished their student would not procrastinate, they fret how it is impossible to check how and what the kid is studying and preparing for the exams….
We get the stressfulness of this time,which is multiplied by the “all or nothing” approach a lot of schools take, with those tests deciding the overall grade for the student.
It can impact where they can go to college, and change all that they - and you - had planned out for them.
Very, very understandable, how this time stresses us parents out.
So - is there a solution, or do we need to feel like this every time our kids are taking a test?
First of all, we need to take a step back and look at the fact that it is your student taking the exams - not you…
And while empathy is a very good thing, it does not help your kid when you are stressing as much as they do.
It might actually make it worse for them because they don’t want to disappoint you.
When you take a deep breath and that step back, can you identify what exactly it is, that causes you stress and anxious feelings?
- Do you feel out of control - you cannot make your kid study or take the test for them. So you feel you are giving up everything in this situation that could help change the outcome.
- Do you have a plan, you know what is best for them and their future - and it might feel that all of this is on the line now.
- Do you want to see them succeed, it makes you proud, it means a job well done by you when they perform well?
- What would it be like for you to let all of this go?
- What would you need to address to not be attached to the outcome?
- What is it, that you can do to truly support your student during this time?
What do you need to do to remind yourself to let go - even if it is just a tiny bit?
Stress and anxiety during exam season are completely normal - we don’t even realise how we have these hidden agendas that get in our way of being able to let our kids do their job and support them with what we can control.
Let's talk Energy! What kind of Energy do you need for parenting?
This week we are discussing all things energy! What happens with our energy when we are stressed? How we can keep our energy levels high in stressful situations to enable us to think, feel and act in a way that we want to rather than being hijacked by anger, frustration or helplessness?
Do you remember the physics concept that energy never gets lost?
Becoming aware of the fact, that there is actually energy present at all times, we can now try to pin point WHERE our energy is being spent.
It sounds contradictory to how we feel at times, doesn’t it?
And that makes sense unless you know that there is more than one type of energy!
There is anabolic energy that revives, recharges, heals and reenergizes and catabolic energy that depletes and drains us.
That means even though we feel depleted, unmotivated, and low, we haven’t LOST our energy. We just experience the negative, destructive kind.
It's about where we are putting our focus - the more we judge a situation/person/ourselves as right or wrong our focus (and our mental energy) is completely taken up by that judgement and its difficult to move on and find solutions.
Using this framework (Energy Leadership) - We are differentiating between 7 Levels of energy you can experience.
In a nutshell, there are 2 levels of just catabolic energy and 1 level that lets you experience negative energy before you are able to shift into the positive kind - with each level, the energy gets more anabolic and you are experiencing the feeling of being at choice.
In other words, your attitude towards others, and to the world around you defines which energy levels you experience on a good day and where you default to under stress.
Do you experience situations with calm, trust, confidence, curiosity, or with fear, caution, worry, anger, resentment or caution?
What kind of energy do you need to parent the way you want to?
More importantly, how do you deal with your stress and recharge your own batteries? Understanding our own energy levels (emotional and physical) really helps us be less frustrated and angry or overwhelmed and to really enjoy family life.
If you are feeling in L1 and unable to move from it, might be the time to think about a therapeutic route to help.
Learning to be less judgmental, don’t take things personally will help you to be able to choose what energy you want to experience.
So it helps you to respond versus to react to the situations.
And to clarify - we are not our energy levels, we just experience them.
Life happening for you rather than life happening to you - you cannot control the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Learning more about yourself and your overall attitude towards life can help you to put the remote control to your happiness and purpose back in your pocket.
Am I being selfish?
Being selfish is having your own gain, well-being or success in mind without considering others, but self-care is all about replenishing your own resources without depleting someone else's. Restoring your own energy promotes a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Finding and connecting to your ‘something larger’ , brings meaning and happiness, reduces stress and that’s got to be a good thing for everyone, right? Working out what you need to recharge is important.
Why is it important to highlight these feelings?
As parents, we have the responsibility for our kids- it might be the most important job you will ever have. It can feel like if we don’t exhaust ourselves mentally and physically doing the job - then we are not doing it properly.
Feeling selfish is certain to bring your energy right down - for us it almost feels like a stain! Very difficult to wash out...
It feels heavy to carry around, causes stress and that has real health implications - too much cortisol and adrenaline have long term effects on your overall well being.
And - it stops you from doing things that are important to you - it is like a vicious circle...you feel guilty and selfish doing what recharges you, and hence do not do it - and you feel more and more depleted.
Human Giver Syndrome (from the book Burn Out) and this is a direct quote- "if you were raised in a culture shaped by HGS you were taught to prioritise being pretty, happy and calm, generous and attentive to the needs of others above everything else. Maybe, maybe you can pursue your own personal (read selfish) ‘something larger’ IF you've thoroughly met the needs of everyone else, and don’t stop being pretty and calm while you do it"
Why is it so difficult to put ourselves first?
These are some of the things we tell ourselves -
Because i don't have the money/time/space/
Because everyone else’s needs in the family are more important than mine
Because after I have looked after everyone else I won’t have to energy to …..
Because I don’t earn my own money
Because that’s not what people do in my family/around here
Because I’m frightened of doing anything different
Because others might say I am not a good parent/person and will judge my actions
I would feel I am not a good enough parent and person if I did more of what only I wanted
What is actually wrong with putting yourself first?
Spring is in the air and it reminds us to let the fresh air in and have a good look at everything we’ve got stored or put away. We hang on to stuff that we no longer need or that frankly gets in our way - often because we just don’t notice it anymore. Space gets tighter, life gets more complicated and we can feel trapped or frustrated. The same applies to our emotional baggage - thoughts and feelings (and therefore habits) that we have been carrying around for years about ourselves, our kids and our family. So let's have a good look at the sort of things those might be and how we can decide what to keep or get rid of.
Lets talk about actual stuff rather than the emotional kind to begin with (how you do anything is how you do everything).
I am lucky to be married to someone who is an excellent sorter and tidier - I like to hold on to things because of the emotional attachment or comfort I have in an object. He does not. I am learning to travel lighter and more easily because of his example. On the habit or emotional side, recently with the help of my coach I have ditched saying sorry for things. This might be an English habit and for me it feels deeply uncomfortable to not apologize all the time. I am learning that I can still help and support people without being apologetic. I am finding it much easier to get things done and also messages and emails are a lot quicker and shorter to write!
Are you a hoarder or do you travel light?
45% of our actions are habitual - multi tasking for example is something that many of us do on a daily basis to save time - how often have we tried to have a conversation with our children whilst preparing the dinner/feeding the cat/putting out the rubbish and we wonder why our message never lands! Being present with our kids is something that takes practise and we can only do it by not doing anything else at the same time. Many times I have walked my dogs whilst listening to audio books . I've stopped that and am trying to be more mindful whilst walking. I’ve found that by the time I’ve got home I have a full days plan in my head, sometimes sorted out a difficult problem and feel refreshed and energized - multitasking by accident if you like!.
If you are ready for a bit of spring cleaning why not join our next flagship course, Mission I’m Possible and travel with fellow adventurers! A five week course to help you rediscover your genius, ditch your clutter and have a plan for the future. Waiting list is open - registration via our website!
Parental Expectations vs Reality - What to do when the two don't match
“Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans” - John Lennon’s lyrics have resonated with us many times over the years…
We start planning, and building up expectations - and that, before our first kid is even born! After a gender reveal future Dads might be dreaming of playing catch and watching sports with their soon to be born little boy - and the Mom to be might be fantasizing about how she will watching her little girl to take ballet but also grow up strong and independent. And - There is nothing wrong with planning - it is a great tool to be prepared, to manage time and resources etc. It is essential to have a plan in life - it’s just, that we cannot rely on LIFE actually sticking to what WE had been planning!
So are expectations helpful, or are they hindering?
First of all, they are something totally normal and human…they are a like a combination of our hopes and dreams and needs, the things we think of as “normal”, as desirable and what we feel we deserve.
They can be a great planning motivator (if you expect your kids to go to college, you likely start saving for it ahead of time)
We’ve identified 5 different types of expectations starting with -
Expectations how we will feel as parents
Expectations that we have of us as parents - the way we want to parent or don't want to parent
Expectations from other people - how they think we should be parenting
Expectations about our children
Expectations about situations
It is important to remember that the only thing we have control over is ourselves and our approach to dealing with a change in plan.
We cannot control the waves but we can learn how to surf.
Resilience is basically learning to deal with changes - and life is never linear.
Each type of expectation carries judgment -As soon as you have an expectation and you are fixated on a result and things go ‘wrong’ then judgment comes into play and often our egos get in the way of being able to see what’s really going on. Start by noticing your reaction when plans change - you will start to see some patterns that will help you learn how to surf!
Plans help us have structure and goals but when we become fixated on achieving them, reality can really bring us crashing down if we don’t hit our targets. being able to be flexible and ride the waves can help us stay focussed, be creative in our thinking and take the judgment and pressure off difficult situations. We will be talking about some of the issues we raised here in the next few weeks.
Next week we will be talking about "Spring Cleaning" - Now is a great time to take mental inventory as a person (not just as a parent) and work out what’s good to keep and what’s good to go.
Conversations with your kids
Why does it seem so difficult to have real conversations with our kids? Why can it feel like a battle rather than an exchange of ideas, opinions, and information?
I am sure every parent of a pre-teen, teenager or tween has had that moment when a simple question you asked started a shouting war or a door slamming contest. Your kids stomps off loudly announcing that “nobody ever understands me, you just don’t get it”!
As parents, we long to connect with our preteens, teens and tweens, we hope to share some wisdom we hope will spare them trouble, we wish to share inspiration we hope will encourage growth, or we simply just miss feeling connected to them. And so often, our best intentions are met with stone cold resistance.
Having a true conversation, exchanging ideas, opinions, emotions and information, requires you to feel safe, to trust your conversation partner and to feel respected. The natural state of defense many teenagers find themselves in due to their changing hormones and self-perception makes this much more difficult.
When you are struggling to have a basic conversation with your child and they are not willing to engage, it can feel a bit like rejection. For me that went straight to the heart of my ability as a parent - if I couldn't even have a conversation with my teenagers, what kind of a parent was I!
What can we do about rectifying the situation? Often it starts with finding a way in, a sort of key to get things started.
- Pick a time or moment that is not too intense - in the car for example.
- Start with an open ended question when initiating.
- Ask to understand, not to share or advise.
- Be mindful : Are you trying to control or converse?
- When they come to you and ask for something, listen!
- Remember how you wanted to be treated at their age
To help you getting a little different perspective, try this exercise by Positive Psychology.com!
As always, we love to hear from you! Please like us on FB, Instagram and LinkedIn and follow us!
No one ever listens to me!
This week Julia is "going solo" as Anke is away on Spring Break with very intermittent internet reception.
She is exploring that feeling that no one ever listens to me!
Sometimes everyone in the household can feel like that as everyone is shouting and no one is being heard. Or you can feel like you have lost your voice in the family. We are talking about why this happens and what you can do about it.
There are so many reasons why we sometimes feel we are disappearing into the background of our own family.
I know Mums who have sons and feel alienated by all the sports talk that goes on, or Dads who have daughters who don't feel like they are part of the chat.
Cultural differences can also make a difference. For example, if your mother tongue is different from your childrens’.
Likewise, number of children in your family or how you grew up can also have an impact - did you grow up in family that actively encouraged lively debate or were children seen and not heard?
If you are more introverted and just need time on your own after a busy day you may not feel like entering into long discussions with other family members.
People often feel like they have nothing interesting to talk about as well - maybe you have been talked over once too often and that has affected your confidence. And there are so many other things that can affect our confidence - hormones for example!
Listen in - or if you are more of a visual processor find all of our Podcast Episodes as Blog articles on our website! Follow us on Spotify, Amazon or Google, like and follow us on FB and Instagram! If you want to share your story, your struggle or have feedback for us - we'd love to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Living with your adult children
During the pandemic, more than a third of young adults moved back with their parents - for multiple reasons. And many remain until now, the empty nests are suddenly not empty anymore and it can get quite crowded with now all grown up birds.
As parents it can be difficult to adjust to the changing dynamics of our relationships with our children as they grow older and become more independent. They are not usually open to listening to what advice we have to give - and we are not usually good at holding back with our judgement and observations. Communication can get even more difficult as it had been during their teenage years.
Retaining independence for parents and children whilst living under the same roof can be challenging but by working out your family non negotiables and how to stick to them can help you all live together.
Here is a free assessment for you to check out what can get in your way to set your boundaries!
What Role Model are you for your children?
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
He’s just like his father.
Like father, like son
A chip off the old block
She is definitely her mother’s daughter.”
Are these and similar analogies just old fashioned sayings, or do they hold some truth?
Scientific Research, simple observation and common sense show us that children are watching and often modeling their parents’ behavior and attitudes. We might not realize ourselves how big an example we are setting for our children - but as parents we definitely are their first and closest role models.
So we believe this is a wonderful opportunity for us parents to become aware of what exactly we want to model for our kids.
If you look up the definition for role model, it is defined as “a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”
The term in itself does not imply any judgment - that happens, when we judge the behavior that is being imitated or the example that is being set.
There are many discussions about the "nature vs nurture" theory - we will not go deeper into this because we cannot control the “nature” part.
What we can do as parents is take control of the “nurture” part by becoming aware of WHAT we actually are modeling for our kids.Taking honest inventory of our behavior and our parenting style can help us discover if we are truly modeling what we aspire our kids to learn.
If we never questioned any of the beliefs and values we grew up with and live with today, we have unconsciously taken over a system that might not at all reflect our true goals and convictions.
“Do as I say, not as I do” - how is this setting a positive example?
And how often are we actually doing this?
Use the attached Wheel of Life to look at different areas (family/parenting, personal development, spiritual awareness, career, personal finance, health, relationships, fun and enjoyment) of your life and rate yourself in each area as to how you think you do in terms of being your ideal role model. Then pick one area that is important to you and think of how you can make your score better.
Becoming aware of what it is we really want for our kids out of life determines a lot of how we act!
What do you do? The dilemma of valuing what you do as a working parent and a stay at home parent
When someone asks ‘what do you do’ does it bring you out in a cold sweat? Do you feel put on the spot and somewhat judged? How do you feel about telling people you are a housewife or stay at home mum or conversely, working full time? Why does it matter if we are labeled ‘professional’ or ‘part time’ or ‘stay at home’? Why does what we do seem to matter more than who we are?
Stay at home Moms feel shame because they think what they are doing is not enough…and
Working Moms feel guilty because they think they’re not doing enough.
Regardless of whether you are pursuing your career or choose to stay home - it is NOT a competition about who has the longer to do list or which choice makes you look more important. Only you can decide what the right choice for you, your family and your situation looks like. Be the best you can be given your situation.
- Notice when you are judging and what you are judging - what assumptions are you making?
- Watch out for different kinds of judgment - judging of self, judging of others and judging of the situation.
Ask yourself the following questions to feel better about your current situation:
- What is it that makes you want to stay at home or work?
- What are your motivations for working or staying at home? No right or wrong answers here
- What are you and your partners joint values that are guiding you to run your family in the way that you do? in other words - what’s your plan?
- Maybe you work because financially you have to and yet in your heart you would be happier at home with the family.
- How has this changed for you as your children have got older?
Having a mastery mindset when it comes to parenting means ditching the comparison to other people. Embracing what it is you decided to do and ignoring the "I’m not a good enough parent" voice.
Then hopefully next time somebody asks you ‘what do you do’ you will be more than happy and proud to tell them!
I feel so unappreciated and taken for granted in my family
Feeling appreciated for what we do as a parent is a totally normal expectation - we get it at work through annual reviews/pay rises/promotion - but at home, we often feel taken for granted and overworked - is this, what parenting is supposed to feel like?
Being a parent is perhaps the most all-inclusive and demanding job we can imagine. It’s difficult to truly convey what running a family with school-age children entails these days, but here’s a very, very, very short list of what this job includes - and it really does not matter if it is Mom or Dad, it will resonate with whoever can relate to this topic.
Here is the list we came up with
-Life management: schooling, homework, tutoring, forms, academic, athletic and social schedules, playdates, activities, camps, birthdays, health care, appointments, child and family travel, holidays, vacations, weekend planning, scheduling, grocery shopping (remembering everyone’s faves) cooking, cleaning, laundry, house repair, date night planning (if still applicable).
-Responsible for providing primary connection and emotional glue for all members of family (also the spouse’s family): knowing names and details of who’s who in the children’s and spouse’s lives, who’s being mean and nice, the latest crush, when the next test happens, who needs something for tomorrow’s science project, and all the other i events that go on in everyone’s day to day life.
-Be that person who makes everyone (else) feel appreciated, seen and known. And many times, there is also a job outside this universe that is your home where everyone in your family believes you begin and end.
Finally, in their “free” time, they are still picking up stuff, answering cries for help, and responding to the unending stream of needs. Usually started with “Could you quickly…” or “Since you’ll be at the store…” or “would you mind …”. And - we are not supposed to expect our family to be grateful or acknowledge for what we are doing - that would feel selfish. It is part of an unwritten job description and expectation.
What you can do:
Do you maybe speak another "appreciation language"? All of us have different ways of expressing our thoughts and our feelings - my youngest, for example, will not use many words but maybe just give me a quick hug - look at what your family might actually be doing to express appreciation, it can quickly make you realize that they do - they just express it differently.
Work out your oxygen mask:
Be clear on what you will say no to and stick to that. It’s not selfish, its self preservation. It also helps the others to realise that you are NOT available at all times all the time.
Take honest inventory of all the things you do - all they all really necessary?Are you maybe a bit of a people pleaser and need that external validation to feel good about yourself? It might be helpful for you to think about your motivation behind your actions. Too much of going out of your way can lead to feeling drained and resenting others.
Keeping yourself busy for the sake of being busy?
Be clear what is really important to you - what principles of parenting really matter (e.g. nurturing for me means healthy food you probably choose to cook from scratch)
What are you grateful for ? Keep a gratitude journal for a few days - at the end of every day think of the best 3 things that have happened today (even if they are very small things)
It’s also ok to admit (to yourself) that you need something to change
Recognise the amazing job you are doing - your best in any given situation with the information/resources you had at the time.
We are here for you Team@parentsarepeople.com
When you and your partner have different ideas about parenting
Do you find yourself disagreeing with your partner (or parents/in laws) about the fundamentals of parenting your teenager or young adult? Do you find yourselves in good cop/bad cop roles but don’t know how to change that? This week we are talking about common issues of disagreement, why they happen and what to do about it.
Common issues that cause conflict
Traditions / Religion
Discipline - sanctions
How teenagers spend their time - online vs real world
Safety - on line and when out and about
What they do when they have finished formal education - money, supporting themselves, ‘proper jobs’
Boys and girls - parenting differently?
Where did we learn to parent...? And what does that mean for us as a parenting team?
Listen in and hear what we have to say - and we'd love to hear from you about your challenges regarding this topic! email@example.com
We found this article by @Generation Mindful very helpful - check it out!
Planning for Big Changes
Most companies have a strategic plan for change - be that responding to external factors or change to help them work better and there are many great coaching tools we can use to help us plan for big changes within our own families.
Resistance to change is natural and to be expected and getting buy in from other family members or giving yourself permission is the first step to plan!
We brainstormed the changes we might experience as parents
- Marriage or a new relationship
- Arrival of a new baby
- Parenting an infant, child, or adolescent
- Growing up and moving away from home
- Adjustment to college or the workplace
- Empty nesting
- Divorce, separation, or recovery from infidelity
- Retirement, job loss, or career changes
- Financial gain or loss
- Serious illness or disability of self or a loved one
- Issues of aging
- Death of a loved one
- Questioning faith or spirituality
- Questioning sexual or gender identity
What’s your time frame? Is the change imminent, 1 year, 3 years or longer? - How far can you look ahead?
How does that look, feel etc to you? Make it real, try to visualize and feel how it will feel for you.
The 3 V’s
- Vision - where do you want to go
- Values - how to you want to travel (what’s important to you deep down as you navigate your path
- Va Va voom - how are you going to fuel yourself (what motivates you, what do you need to feel really energised?)
First step is to eValuate - where are you at?
Then Vision - medium to long term plan - visually, record it, write it, cut and paste it - however it works for you
Values - set your intention - fun, excitement, adventure, peace, harmony, honesty
What do you need - sleep, people, money, confidence,
Don’t wait to start until all the traffic lights are on green because when does that ever happen?!
What’s the first small step (make it too small to ignore)
We have a few spots left in our upcoming Workshop (starting on January 26th and 28th) - where we will be shining a spotlight on you and also look at how you deal with change and transitions in life. If you'd like to join, please sign up here, we'd love to have you!
The only constant in life is change, it is totally normal and part of all of our lives and yet, it can feel strange and uncomfortable.
Have you recently had a change that had a big impact on you or are you expecting one this year?
Family change tends to have seismic ripples that affect all areas of our lives. So how do we know if we are finding it hard to adapt?
- Thinking that you've "just got to get through this"?
- Feeling stuck, frozen, out of control and having a difficult time making decisions?
- Having a sense of loss more than a sense of gain by the change?
- Feeling angry, frustrated and thinking "why me"?
All of those feelings are very normal and there is nothing wrong with you!
To hear our suggestions to start addressing those feelings, listen in - and if you think that you would like a deeper dive, and a more personalized look at your situation, please consider joining us for one of our workshops.
We start on the 26th and on the 28th for our 5-week workshops. Register through our website!
New Year - New Me?
This week we are talking about clarity and peace for the new year and how to get rid of some excess mental baggage so that you can feel lighter and have more energy for your own life and also your family life.
Take the time to evaluate WHO you are, HOW you do things and WHAT it is you want to do. Put yourself a the centre of your life, not the periphery. Be(come) the main character in your own life, like Julia's daughter calls it.
It is like a mental inventory - put everything out on the table, and sort through what is still serving you well, and what is no longer helpful or needed.
You do not need to be a New Year's resolution person, but if you have a dream, or a goal personally or professionally, then look at what it is you want to carry over into this year and what you want to leave in the old one. Look at any regret you have about last year - that is a great way to get started, because that regret can easily become your goal.
Check out our website for a free downloadable reflection sheet and also for the info regarding our Mission I'm Possible course starting 1/26 and 1/28!
Your Purpose - as a Parent and as a Person
This time a year, change is coming as well as the holidays.
Many people are finding purpose and meaning in helping others and we are conscious that at this time a year many families are also concentrating on their children's college or university applications. For them, life and the schedule as they have known it for a long time are changing.
So - the holidays as well as change are coming.
And with that we were thinking that the epitome of purpose is Santa. He has a whole year to prepare for his big moment to make children and adults happy overnight.
What is your purpose? How does it feel to have a purpose? We are aware that not everyone has Santa's sense of purpose and might struggle with upcoming changes or also with the current status quo.
There are loads of good resources about this topic on the internet, but the power of a good group coaching workshop makes a big impact. We are starting our Mission I'm Possible Course on January 26th and 28th and would love for you to check out, if this could be valuable for you. Know your values, we will explore that in our courses. Your values are unconsciously driving so much of your feeling and behavior - it is so impactful to make them a conscious choice!
Who you are - how you do things and what it is that you want to do. Shining the spotlight on you can be uncomfortable. You have to be ready to be honest with yourself.
For now - check out our free downloadable Ikigai exercise!
The only constant in life is change
We had our podcast topic for today all planned out - but my co-host Julia Close found herself needing to attend to a family emergency. Many of you can surely relate how difficult it can be to care for your teenager or grown but not quite flown kids and your aging and ill parents at the same time.
I decided to take the opportunity to talk about change - as we all experience it and are impacted by it. There are those who seem to be managing it with greater ease than others - why is that? How do you deal with change and with situations when life does not go according to plan?
As always - we can only scratch the surface in our Podcast. Next week we will be opening enrollment for our small, private and impactful workshop "MISSION I'M POSSIBLE" (conveniently online) - if you want to shift the way you are currently dealing with stressful situations or changes in your life, this workshop will help you to see what you need to address in order to manage it with a lot more positive energy and clarity. We shine the spotlight on you and help you to reconnect to what is truly important for you! We only take 8 participants per workshop to ensure maximum benefit.
To learn more check our website for more information about this and other workshops and our FB and instagram page!
Or simply drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org - we always love to hear from you!
Next week's topic : Your purpose as a parent - and a person
Why is it so hard to ask for or accept help?
Brene Brown once put it "Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help."
This week we are looking at why it can be so difficult asking for help and some of the reasons behind it.
If you are a 'giver' - think of your own motivation to give - what is your expectation when you help someone or what does it mean for you?
Often as parents we are "copers and we have to get on with whatever issue comes our way because we are the person on point - even though sometimes having an extra pair of hands or a shoulder to lean on could make all the difference.
What is your job description as a parent? Is "having to do it alone and independent" your definition of being competent, strong and able as a parent?
Join us as we explore how accepting help can change the way you interact.
PART 2 - Family Tables, Energy Vampires and Boundaries
Last week we talked about big holidays being just around the corner - and how we all know that gathering with the family isn’t always happy and enjoyable.
We left you with a few questions to ponder upon and today we want to look at what it is that we need to do to make those get togethers less stressful and more fun.
We had identified that we usually go into those occasions with the best of intentions and big expectations - thinking that “this time it will be different” - and usually that never happens!
Your fear of judgement, a feeling of being "on show", a perception of a competition are immediately triggered when someone makes a comment you interpret not to be in your or your kids favour, and the dinner table conversations turn into arguments and passionately heated discussions - and everyone is expected to pick a side, and you just want this to be over.
We had asked you to think about what has been very triggering for you in the past - and what you would need to let go off, so you can enjoy the holiday.
So - how do we deal with all of that? What do we do when we start feeling triggered, annoyed and aggravated?
The very first thing we want to tell you is, that you cannot change or control anyone else or their behaviour - and what people say has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
Accept, that you can and will not change anyone. Not even, when you really think it would be very beneficial and you’ll just have to find the right words. There are no right words, and people only change when they work on it themselves.
Acceptance does NOT mean that you are giving in. It does NOT mean that you let others push you around. It simply means you are aware of the facts and are not judging but just acknowledging them.
Have realistic expectations, be honest with yourself about what you can expect of the event, the other family members and your teenagers. Maybe it is time for a reset of old traditions and habits? Think about ground rules for conversation and have a plan about how to address it when they are being breached. Observe others' behaviour and try not to label it right or wrong.
Stay flexible when giving and receiving help. trust and accept that things will get done, even if it may not be done your way. Open communication about needs and expectations is important. Express gratitude while being honest about what you are available and willing to do.
This 6 step process (credit iPec) will help you to stop feeling triggered - it really works!
- Ask yourself "How appropriate is my reaction to this situation?"
- "What story am I telling myself that is causing the upset?"
- "What else might be really going on here?"
- "How do I want to handle the situation next time of it happens?"
How would your response look like if you were aware of what triggered your reaction - and how would your response change how the other person interacts with you?
Part 1 - Family Tables, Energy Vampires & Boundaries
November marks the beginning of the holiday season which means time to get ready for those family dinners. We know reuniting family during the holidays is not always stress-free… so much so that we even had to split the topic into two parts!
Does the idea of hosting a holiday get together or going to one bring you out in a cold sweat? Do you dread it because of potential drama and conflict involved? Does it always seem to take you long to recover? In this week's episode we will talk about common issues that come up for many of us now that the holiday season is upon us (but they are also applicable throughout the year whenever extended family gets together).
Family dinners might not be the norm for everyone, for various reasons. You cannot really "practice" and when they happen, you might be feeling they are a like a test for your ability to host, being a Mom, being a (grand)daughter, a niece, even a friend or for being a great guest, coming prepared with everyone (your kids included) in the greatest mood and showcasing the best of table and socializing manners.
- There can be a fear of judgement, a feeling of being "on show", a perception of a competition going on.
- Your interpretation of the words spoken and the actions taken are most often not in your favor and you forget that what people say has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
- Your expectations of the event as a whole and your family in particular might not be very realistic.
- How do you feel about arguments at the table? Are there "no go" topics?
- Culture can add another layer of complexity, both from an origin perspective as well as from a generational perspective!
When you think about what we have touched upon (Test, Judgement, Competition, Expectation, Interpretation, Conflicts) - what comes up for you?
Which issues resonate the most for your family situation?
What has come up in the past that has been really triggering for you?
What you need to let go off, so you can enjoy the holiday?
This time we will leave you with questions to ponder on - next week we will be talking about what you can do to enjoy the time together more!
Follow us on FB or Instagram and come join our free Drop-In Sessions every Friday at 9am EST (1pm BST/2pm CET)
Communication - Family harmony at any cost?
Who can relate to those feelings of remorse when we have boiled over and shouted at our kids or partner? We may also feel that however loud we shout, we are still not feeling heard – as if our true voice has got lost along the way and it is making it difficult to calmly respond to situations or even join in a discussion.
In this episode we will talk about how to deal with those triggers, what might be causing them and how to be more calm and responsive instead of just reacting.
Start by looking at your values – it will lead to greater understanding of what is driving you and therefore when you are more likely to be triggered.
Work out a plan – what will you do when you are triggered?
Notice what you are hearing the other person say and how it makes you feel
What would be your "default" reaction because of these thoughts and feelings.
You can CHOOSE or respond to the situation rather than react, when you are aware what triggered your reactiveness.
It can help to write down everytime you are triggered because then you can start to see patterns emerge too.
Example: Dinnertime - I was being extremely triggered by the comments of "Chicken - again?" or "Why do we always have to have this kind of food when we love asian food so much better" or such (I have an endless memory library of dinner related comments...)
I took my family's reaction to the menu as an attack on my character or abilities as a person. It made me feel not appreciated, not respected - and also not able...because had I been "better" at this, I would've managed to present various nutritious 5 star meals on a daily basis. I simply had not communicated clearly that I was just tired and uninspired of coming up with ideas for a healthy and yummy (my values) dinner and needed a break by either ideas or practical help with this. What we hear is often not what has been said!
ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED
When you say this xx
I think this xx
What I need is xx
Please can you do xx
See you next week for "Around family tables, Energy Vampires and Boundaries"
The problem with unsolicited advice
Advice, help, suggestions, fixing, guidance, recommendations – they can all be great when asked for or paid for but when they come without asking then they can feel rude, unhelpful and at worst a criticism of what we do or who we are. In this episode we will explore why unsolicited advice is so triggering (especially from family) and what you can do to help yourself deal with it.
We have all been on both ends of this. You are telling someone about a challenge or issue you are having, and they immediately start telling you what they believe you need to do. You find yourself justifying your own feelings and actions, are even more unclear about the situation and are possibly feeling smaller and even triggered. You do not feel heard, and you were not able to process and to feel supported.
So what can you do? ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED!
If you need to just brain dump and talk through issues then ask for listening. If you don’t want to hurt feelings then ask for advice on a small issue but for thinking help them to work through the bigger issue. It starts right here,with you - working out what it is you need.
Politely but firmly put up your boundaries and communicate what you need.
- I know you mean well, but Im not looking for advice. What Id really like is ___________________.
- Right now, I just want to vent. Im not looking for solutions.
- The most helpful thing you can do is to sit with me and listen - I appreciate your ideas, but I want to figure this out on my own.
- I feel inadequate and annoyed when you repeatedly tell me what to do.
And if you are on the other end, look for the reason and motivation WHY you are giving unsolicited advice.
Someone telling you about a problem isn't an invitation for you to give advice. Often, people just want to be heard and understood, they want to process and feel supported, they don't want to be told what to do or what you think.
Let’s start by looking at some of the reasons for giving unsolicited advice:
- We want to be helpful.
- We want to get someone to do what we want or what we think is right.
- We think we have the answers, that we know more than the other person.
- We want to feel needed
- We want to reduce our own anxiety. Sometimes were really worried about a loved one and feel powerless. We don't know what else to do, so we give unsolicited advice to calm our anxiety, to feel like we're doing something.
BTW ... Your teenager might also just need to brain dump (and yes, it can trigger the "fixing mode") – but ask them what they need too! You can take the advice monster quiz to help you get going if your monster is taking over.
Next week we will be talking about Communication - learn about the workshop we are offering on November 9th!
Part 2 : Children moving up, on or out - where does that leave me?
The only constant is change
Last time we talked about some of the emotions and feelings we experience when our family dynamics change – when we become empty nesters for example – and how the stages of the cycle of change affect how we are able to deal with change. This time we will be sharing practical steps to help – there is gold in there!
If change is the only constant - what can we do to help ourselves ?
What do we need to address in order to feel that life is happening for us and not happening to us, and to move into the action phase of change instead of feeling triggered by thinking about everything that is not staying the same?
Spiritual – connecting ourselves to a ‘bigger thing’ – why purpose matters
Social – who do we need to surround ourselves with?
Physical – sleep, eating , hormones and health – what’s best for us – what can we do to best help ourselves?
Emotional – what do we need to acknowledge, how do we choose to feel moving forwards
Environmental – what is the best environment for us to thrive?
Mental – What will help us find clarity?
All are connected – when we understand how to set ourselves up for success then we are ready for the next part
Take each factor at a time starting with the one that is most important to you and take a small step to implementing a change – make it that step too small to fail and celebrate!
Finding a new purpose when children become independent is a big deal for many parents but by acknowledging emotions, cutting yourself some slack and breaking down what will help you the most can seriously help you start feeling that life is happening FOR you again and if you are a parent who just gets that anyway, please let us know your secret!
Children moving on, up and out! PART 1 - The empty nest - what to do when you feel you are no longer needed
It is without doubt one of the biggest events in the life of every parent when the child is graduating from school and moving on to college or work. It means leaving the nest, it means more independence for them and less supervision / control for the parents. And it also means a time of true blues for some parents - when they feel that they are not needed anymore and find themselves struggling to see purpose in their empty nester lives. Grief, sadness, loss of purpose and fear of the unknown impact on your little family unit are often accompanying this transition. How can we see this as gaining space and not a void?
Does this resonate with you? Share your questions, comments or story with us! We want to hear from you! email@example.com
And check out our website, see if you can make a Drop-In Session and share it with your friends and colleagues! We want every parent to feel that they have a space to come to for sharing, resources, coaching - and feeling good!
What to do if you have tried everything?
This week we will be talking about those moments when you feel you have hit a brick wall - you have a tricky family situation or issue and you've tried everything and nothing works! A situation we - and our clients - have been in many times. It does not matter if your kids are little and are constantly fighting or having tantrums, if you are dealing with uncommunicative and hormonal teenagers or unmotivated, stubborn young adults. The feelings of helplessness, frustration, and anger are just the same for us parents.
What can we do to stop feeling stuck and start finding solutions?
Well, firstly we want you to know - it is absolutely normal and totally understandable that you would feel the way you do - after all, as parents we all want our kids to be happy, safe and successful in life! We want the best for our children and it is really hard to accept when they so vehemently and obviously rebel against us. We fear for their future, we feel guilty (so many reasons...), we feel shame (what are others thinking of you or your child?)
I mean, we want to be the best parent, we plan and organize, we make sure that they are set up for the smoothest launch. Obviously, you have tried everything but you have not been able to resolve your challenges. So in order to help you do that, let us take the focus off of the "problem", the child that doesn't comply, the terrible situation you are in - and look at a bigger picture. Widen your lens - and look at your own contribution to the situation.
Realizing that you cannot control other people (not even your children) but only yourself, is the first step! You cannot control them BUT you can take charge!
Start by finding out what your needs are instead of concentrating on what you think your child needs. What are your non-negotiable values? Identify your triggers - can you see a pattern? It is difficult, but try to walk in your child's shoes and see it from their point of view (You do not have to agree - just notice it) Share - have an amnesty where each of you just talks and the other listens without comment or judgment.
Feelings of frustration and anger are normal when confronted with a road block.
- Take time to listen to your own needs and those of your child, teen or young adult. Differentiate between your own needs and theirs.
- Ask yourself if your actions are empowering them, helping them to grow and find a way themselves?
- How are your actions and behaviors aligned with your own values?
- Where is the common ground?
- What assumptions are you both making about each other?
- Be honest about what is driving you - this is big stuff, so it will take some time!
Please know that we can only scratch the surface of this very layered and complex topic, we will pick it up again during our Drop-In Sessions starting Friday, October 7th (9am EST / 2pm BST) Registration starts next Tuesday .
If you'd like a personal chat about your situation, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org schedule a free discovery session. Check out our upcoming group workshops - and join our free and private FB community!
Wishing you more fun and ease on your parenting journey!
Anke + Julia
Welcome to Parents are People too!
We are Anke Fischer and Julia Close, we both trained as Professional Coaches and Parents are People too was born out of our joint experience of helping parents feel human again. As our individual families grew older and we juggled family, work and aging parents, we both really missed having a place to go when things got tough and family life felt so different from how we had imagined. Our mission is to create a parent centered community where you can find resources, new awareness and perspectives on how you parent through drop in groups, courses, 1 to 1 coaching and retreats. Our vision is to make world class personal development coaching available to every parent. Our approach is different as we put YOU at the centre. We won’t tell you what to do, how to think, how to behave and we absolutely will not judge you. However you choose to work with us there will be a space to share, to learn, to discover, to be supported and to feel you’re not alone. Contact us at email@example.com or visit our website to see how you can become part of our community. We will share real life parenting challenges with you every Tuesday and we are hoping that they will resonate with you! www.parentsarepeople.com