Parent Coaching

How I Became the Parent I Wanted to Be.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of our son returning back to our home after a working hard on his mental health in a residential program. We have all worked so hard at learning new skills and increasing the deepness of our relationships. While I have spent years parenting, these last few have taught me the most. I wish they actually did have a parenting book they handed you the day you were handed your child. But alas, we all have to learn the hard way.

Celebration of learning

This is a long list of things that I have learned in the recent years. They have helped me become a better parent. A parent who have learned that love and law are not mutually exclusive, and can exist simultaneously in my life.

  • My son is doing great, I am doing great, but the learning never stops.
  • Kids need a parents to be the parent, not their friends.
  • Kids will screw up, make mistakes, relapse, use any word you want-be prepared.
  • How these incidents are handled by the parent will determine future behaviors of him and us, more than the event itself.
  • Kids need at least one stable parent to be the parent. If you and your partner can’t be on the same page, decide who is the leader and stick with it. The follower doesn’t get to judge, suggest, or eye roll after the decision has been made. Sounds harsh, but if you agree ahead of time, it is a game changer for both your child and your relationship.
  • Kids thrive with mentors; find one if you can.
  • Continued regular therapy first 12 months is vital (even 1x a month)
  • Seek out therapists with experience in treating “your kind” of family. Otherwise, more often than not, they won’t get “it”
  • Be aware of your other children’s emotions. You are bringing home “trouble” again, and it might be scary for them. Give it time.
  • Do set house rules. Use short time frames. Start tight and loosen up. If you start loose it will be very, very hard to tighten up.
  • Your kid doesn’t really need, a car, phone, or any privileges that he didn’t earn. He survived the last year without social media. If he isn’t ready, don’t give it to him.
  • Keep kids busy. Make them do their laundry, clean their rooms, etc.. whatever you think is important.
  • Let them get jobs to earn gas and entertainment money
  • Do not pay them for regular work around the house, that is part of being a family. However, if you are digging a one time ditch then go ahead and pay the muscle. They will quickly learn the value of a dollar they earn.
  • THEY WILL F**K UP. They know it, you don’t need to beat it to death. They feel bad enough already, even if they aren’t letting you see it.
  • Anger is a front for some other emotion- Common emotions known to trigger anger are anxiety, shame, sadness, fear, frustration, guilt, disappointment, worry, embarrassment, jealousy, and hurt.
  • The term “Natural Consequences” should be at the forefront of you mind, it will save your ass more times than you know.
  • You will survive and be able to handle, the call from the cops, the stink of week, lies, alcohol; whatever triggered you before. You are not the same person, you are a better, wiser version of yourself.
  • Create your own team of people who have walked the walk. Hire a parent coach, mentor, therapist for at least the first 9 months. Someone on-call who will work through “it” before you ever open your mouth to your kid. Someone to check yourself with, and even walk you through the words you will use-priceless.
  • WORDS CAN NOT BE TAKEN BACK- choose them wisely.
  • Ask yourself, “Why does this really bother me?” Get to the root cause before you let loose on your kid. More often than not what you think was bothering you wasn’t, it was something deeper.
  • Set the behavior example. You can’t be upset with a kid who yells at you, if you are yelling at him. Your poor behavior, give them permission for their poor behavior.
  • It is okay to say, “I am deciding not to speak with you right now, I have to think.”
  • Sometime you just have to say, I need to say this, and I do not want or expect a response. I am not looking for you to agree or disagree, then make your statement statement and walk away.
  • Learn to walk away, but not run from the issue, there is a big difference.
  • Best time to discuss an incident is after you kid has cooled down-sometimes that is a day or two later.
  • Them waiting for the “boom”, sometimes has more impact than the boom.
  • Never try to discuss anything with an non-sober kid.
  • Be kind to yourself, you will make mistakes.
  • When you are overwhelmed or frustrated it is okay to cry, spend a day in bed, go to the golf range, or whatever works for you. If it lasts more than a few days, seek out some help.
  • Negative thinking breeds negative thinking- don’t get sucked into that wormhole by others.
  • Support and validation of feelings is not the same as jumping on the trashing bandwagon.
  • Seek out positive forces. If a person can find a little positive in every situation no matter how bad you think it is, grab that person and hold onto them, they are golden.

I hope that this gives a little insight into what I learned in my re-parenting journey this year. It has been a transformation year for me. I have learned how to be a be the best parent I can be. I know I can not control the actions of others, I can only control my reaction to those actions. Very simple in words, very very hard to do, but when you get it, ah life looks rosy.

2 thoughts on “How I Became the Parent I Wanted to Be.”

  1. Absolutely incredible. You covered all the bases and I admire and love your family so much. Keep up the good work Mignone family!


  2. It’s great to hear how well you are and that Edward is home safe and also doing well this past year. Tight hugs, mad luv and laughter along the way, Dano


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