“I’m sure you must have a far easier time managing your own children – not facing these constant challenges like us,” said a parent as I wrapped up my one-on-one coaching call with her.
Rushing for another engagement, I merely smiled. “I too have my challenges, dear.”
The exchange lingered in my mind for a few days; hers is a common assumption. But to say a parenting coach doesn’t face child nurturing hurdles is akin to thinking doctors never fall sick or face health challenges.
Of course they do; it is unavoidable. Challenges abound in everyone’s lives, even in your domain of expertise. We can’t wish them away.
As a parenting coach, it’s not that I don't face my share of discords, disagreements or mood swings when it comes to my children. The tough days don’t disappear.
But what helps is the ability to see through your child’s behaviour, and relate to their emotions.
Oftentimes, what helps to sort out the unfolding outburst is the objectivity to perceive the possible reasons behind it. By staying non-reactive and being objective, you can diffuse the situation, sometimes within minutes.
For instance, if your teen walks into the kitchen and bursts out angrily, “How come there’s never anything good to eat in this house? I am ordering food!”
As the parent who just made their favourite pav bhaji for dinner, you are bound to feel upset. And you snap back, complaining that they’re always looking for an excuse to order outside food.
A verbal duel follows as both sides try to prove the other as the villian and within moments, the atmosphere of the home resembles a battlefield.
But when the parent possesses the ability to be objective, instead of thinking ‘How could s/he talk to me like this?’, they pause to consider: ‘Why did my child say that? What do they need at this moment?’
That’s when they notice the child has had a bad day in school, or maybe a fight with friends, or is anxious about something.
And then, it’s easier to be responsive and instead of reactive, managing to calm the frayed nerves.
Now, like many other skills, this objectivity doesn't come naturally. It has to be learnt, cultivated and honed.
This is precisely what I teach as a parenting coach and I’m blessed to observe that in the process of preaching its benefits, I’ve ended up working on my own ability to be objective when I handle my set of challenges.
I may goof up at times, but what matters more is that I realise immediately, and pause to make amends.
This ability to decode not just your child’s behaviour but every other person around you who is losing their handle, is extremely empowering.
Does this sound like a worthy skill to hone in today’s time?
Drop a thumbs up or connect with me if you agree!