Updated: Oct 3, 2020
By: Faith Kenton- parenting & couple coach
Amidst the high pace of life and demands we are all facing, connecting authentically is more vital than ever. We are all connected. Connected to our work groups. Connected to the PTA board at our kids’ school. Connected with our parents for special occasions. But how much of that connection would you qualify as meaningful human interaction - more specifically, with the younger members of your household? The kind you feel when you congratulate your daughter at the end of a gymnastics meet, knowing you walked with her through the highs and lows of her past season? Or the kind you feel when your son leans into you at bedtime and you know he wants to stay there? Parenting is one of the most challenging parts of our adult life and has the potential to be one of the most rewarding. Yet why is it that so many of us feel over-stretched, depleted, or worse - a failure in some sense, when we measure ourselves against that invisible yardstick of successful parenting? You may feel you’re the opposite of a Pinterest Mom. Or you’re a parent who’s doing so much already, working hard to provide for your family and still be present for your kids, even when you have the demands of work or expectations of your extended family playing in the back of your mind. Parenting in real life is hard work. But there is hope! Here are some ways you can connect more deeply with your kids:
Start looking at your kids not from a deficit point of view but from one of strengths. Your kid’s teacher says he is constantly moving around in class and you’re concerned about his lack of focus. Instead, see his energy as an ability to seek out new challenges, explore new places and inspire those around him with a similar enjoyment of life.
Learn to identify your own strengths as a parent. You are uniquely gifted. Yes, you. We all have strengths as a parent, whether you are the one who keeps others committed to their goals, come hell or high water, or the one who will defend those who may be treated unfairly, even if by your own children! When you start shifting your energy to areas that give you joy and find ways to share the activities that fall into more of a “daily grind” category with others in your circle, you will get more enjoyment out of parenting. And your kids will start to notice.
Get coaching that will allow you to discover your kids’ strengths and yours. As a professionally-certified strengths coach, I use rigorously developed assessments based on the last 60 years of research on best practice in parenting to open parents’, educators’ and care-givers’ eyes to the innate gifts that lie inside their kids and inside of themselves. We explore the why and the how of family dynamics that shape daily conversations, as well as your kids’ reactions to the world around them. More importantly, we dialogue together to develop action plans tailored to your circumstances, with measurable success markers. You can learn that the traits you see popping up again and again in your kids are not something to be “managed” as much as they are areas brimming with the potential for them to be happier, achieve more academically, and make a deeper impact on their world of influence, for years to come.
You hold in yourself the immense privilege of being able to shape your kids’ trajectories for much of the rest of their lives. Even if your kids are no longer kids, but teenagers, you haven’t missed the deadline to re-write the script of their beliefs about themselves and the world they are walking into. You have the ability - and some would add responsibility - to cultivate a family environment with greater presence, more peace, and simply, more enjoyment. This isn’t all resting on you. A coach can make the journey less stressful. There will be no better time to tap into this potential than now.
Faith is a certified Incredible Family and MarriageTeam coach with 10+ years of experience and clients ranging from couples to corporate and government agencies. She is completely dedicated to helping you and your family flourish. Faith will help you understand your situation and yourself, the opportunities before you, and your strengths and potential. She will help you set goals, support you when you struggle, and hold you accountable to your potential. In short, Faith will help you and your family become the people you want to be and have the relationships that you want to have.