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.

Parent Coaching, Parent Mentoring, Parent Support, Teenagers

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Mental Health, Parent Coaching, Parent Mentoring, Parent Support

I turned into a sloth…

For the past two weeks I have been in a full blown sloth mode. My days of getting up naturally at 6am, hopping in the shower, and starting my list of tasks was abandoned. The other members of my family saw no need or urgency to accomplish anything within a time line, either for the day or week; and in reality, why should they have.

However, for me to not have a daily schedule or purpose results in me having zero motivation to do anything, and as a result everything started to look grey and dull. Definitely not the way I am used to seeing the world. My world is generally filled with joy and happiness and an occasional rainbow shooting out someones a**. My husband calls me a freakin’ Pollyanna, because I can see goodness in almost anything. I can be annoyingly optimistic.

  • My kid is struggling- “We will get through it”
  • My husband lost his job- “We will be okay”
  • Unemployment reviewing a claim- “It will all work out for the best”
  • Waiting for someone to respond to me- “I am sure there must be a valid reason”

That is until two weeks ago. After several months of this living with non-urgency crew (husband and two teens) I gave up my strongly maintained and structured schedule, and adopted the it will eventually get done attitude. This is great for a vacation, but not good for everyday life. I found my self lounging in my pajamas until noon watching the television or doing something inane like playing games on my ipad, or watching crazy people on TikTok.

I didn’t see any urgency in doing laundry, nor yard work, or anything else, as it would all get done eventually, right? Well, because of my new “attitude” the last two weeks have been the blahest of the last three months.

I need a schedule. I need a purpose. I need structure. I need to be doing something to push me forward. I now have a better understanding of how hard it is for our teens to have a sense of urgency about anything, when to them there is no immediate purpose. Why get up at 8am if there is no where to go or to be. The level of what appeared to be laziness, but I think was really apathy, eventually wore me down and I joined them.

Just this week I voiced to some friends that I have been the least productive person in the last two weeks, I felt like a slow moving no motivated sloth. Only after repeating it a few times did I realize that I had to snap out of it, and get myself back into a routine. While my family could live without urgency or a schedule, I just couldn’t.

So this week was a new start. Back to getting up early, making a To Do list and getting stuff done like the timeliness mattered. I realized, it does matter. It matters to me. I am not good being a slow moving sloth. So I have to say I feel like my old self again. I have purpose, even if that purpose is getting stuff done around the house, based upon my own personal timetable.

My mood is better, I feel human again and I feel like I have a purpose. I am back to being the me I like.

Parent Coaching, Parent Mentoring, Parent Support, Residential Treatment, Wilderness Therapy

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