Some see parenting the whole child as a paradox. It implies that we honor our children’s wholeness while we dissect and discuss the parts of the whole—physical body, mind, emotions and spirit. It may indeed be paradoxical, but it’s our way of understanding how the parts contribute to the whole and our job if we work with parents, families, and children.
We consider our children’s wholeness when we:
- Bear in mind the emotional and mental factors that contribute to strep throat.
- Look to a biochemical problem associated with a child’s temper
- Consider the negative self-talk and thoughts that can float around in the head of a depressed teen.
- Regard childhood patterns from a holistic perspective. These can include a child who falls down all the time, one who has allergies, one who is shy and sensitive, one who doesn’t want to be touched, and so on. We want to help, but do we help their biochemistry, their behavior or their spirit?
- Think about how children spend their time, and if their activities are balanced between stimulation and quiet.
Bundles of Energy
The foundation of whole-child parenting is understanding that our children are bundles of energy in the form of thoughts, physical activity, emotional expression and spirit. Rather than thinking about managing our children, think about managing their energy.
The energy of the body needs food, touch, air and water. The energy of the emotions needs positive input like optimism, smiles and support. The energy of thought needs inspiration and imagination, or it gets bored. The energy of the spirit needs connection, faith, compassion and quiet. It needs calm moments of awareness.
Most of us know these things and have our own intuitive ways of mothering and fathering our children. In fact, the joy of parenting the whole child is discovering how much you already know and do. The ease of whole-child parenting is that when one avenue doesn’t work, there is always another way. For example, because we know that the nature of emotional energy can be chaotic, we can find several ways to structure and channel positive emotional energy with our child. We might follow schedules, share meals, read books or see a heart-warming movie.
A Soul Living in a Child’s Body
Thinking of a child as an “energy bundle” helps us take our parenting less personally when a child screams, “I hate you.” What we want to take to heart is that this soul is living with us in a child’s body. We are responsible for helping this child to develop in the best, most fulfilling way possible.
Parenting is really about educating the mind and body so our children are happy, successful and healthy in body and soul. Working with the mind-body connection is the foundation for parenting the whole child.
What Is Creating a Good Fit?
The term “goodness of fit, refers to parents meeting the needs of a child by parenting according to the temperament of each child. Goodness of fit between a child’s temperament and your parenting style is essential for healthy social and emotional development for both you and your baby. In addition, you have to meet your personal needs as a parent in daily living from sleeping well at nigh (eventually) to having a date night now and then.
How To Create A Good Fit?
The Nine Traits inventory is helpful in determining reaction patterns in children and typically is used from infancy through the first to fifth grade. For example, two-year-old Lucy was very shy. Each month when Mom’s book group came for an evening, Lucy’s mom thought she was helping by pushing Lucy forward or holding Lucy while mom’s friends gave her a hug hello. Lucy, however, appeared frightened and pulled back.
Being with and observing your child, you start to note how your he or she responds to people, environments, stress, food, etc. You’ll be observant of how you respond. Are you reactive? Or are you proactive?
Your goal is to become an active parent by recognizing feelings and watching behaviors. The more you observe your child’s traits, the more prepared you’re a master at managing and supporting temperaments. You are watching your child adapt, and then you adapt to varied environments and situations as you go along. Lucy’s mom took the hint when a book club member mentioned that because Lucy seemed overly shy, why not let her hang out at the book club meeting for several weeks without pushing her into anyone or anything. Instead, the friend suggested that Lucy explores and find her own level of comfort in her own way. These moms would watch how she did it and learn what comforted Lucy. That advice was excellent for Lucy’s mom to allow temperament expressions to evolve.
What Does Adapting the Environment Mean?
Here are examples of how different parents handled changing the environment to meets the needs of a child.
Marilynn got upset when something new was happening the next day or an activity would be different. Her mom started talking about the exciting new event one week before it would happen. She’d mention in normal conversation each night, and the night before the event was the most critical. Marilynn asked, “Is it tomorrow?” Mom responded wth yes, which made Marilynn cry more. Marilynn would speak of being scared and not liking new things she didn’t know about. Mom adapted the environment by talking about the event with her daughter. She left an additional hour to get ready for Marilynn to get ready for bed, cry, read a book, and talk some more before turning off the light. On the following mornings, Marilynn did all right and held herself together. Somehow, her living through the fear seemed to make her happier to be there.
Do you see how common sense the adaptations can be?
BY KRISTY DIXON
Parents should also thoroughly examine themselves to see if they are getting all of their needs met as well. All too often parents neglect their own needs for the sake of their children. While this seems like an honorable sacrifice, the parent may not be doing the best parenting they could be doing if they are feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially unhealthy. The whole-parent parenting coach should inquire about the parent’s needs and which ones if any are being met and which ones are not. I can identify with this personally. When my daughter was born I was so exhausted and overwhelmed not only from round the clock feedings, but also from visitors. I literally forgot to eat. When I took her to the pediatrician for her 2 week check up she had not gained much weight. Immediately after taking her off the scale the pediatrician told me to stand on the scale. This did not make any sense to me at the time, but looking back now I see why it was important and how gaining information about the mother gave him information about the child. He said that I was loosing too much weight too fast and that my milk was probably too low in fat for her to gain enough weight. He ordered me to eat spinach dip, a rib eye steak, and a glass of red wine. He also told me to pump milk for a bottle for my husband to feed her at least once in the night to give me a little extra sleep and to allow him some bonding time. She started gaining weight so fast after I did that. As a parent who forgot to eat because I was too busy taking care of everyone else and trying to be the perfect hostess, I cried a lot those first few weeks. I have learned a great lesson from this experience and plan to do things differently with the next baby. I also plan to share this experience of what-not- to- do with my future, overextended clients.
Many parents try to do everything on their own. They try to control it all and be in control of everyone. However, parenting never used to be and was never intended to be a one or two person job. Pam Leo tells us that the key to Connection Parenting, not Controlling Parenting, is support. Children’s needs are best met by parents who’s needs are met. Parents need to learn that it is ok to date their spouse and to relinquish control of their kids to friends and family members once in while in order help each other become a parent and spouse.
When coaching a parent, child or family member, the best coaching model is the wholistic viewpoint: involving the physical, mental, emotional, intuitive, spiritual, and social intelligences affecting each person. It can be of no benefit to simply examine one or two of these intelligences. This would not give you a holistically complete and thorough view of the child and parent. Coaching is more beneficial when you look beyond the surface level of behavior and symptoms. What is truly influencing or causing the reaction or behavior?
For example, if a child gets an ear ache or undefined tummy ache, do you check in with the doctor? Are medications enough? Not likely. It would be in everyone’s best interest to look at what is going on with that child from a whole perspective. Determine what is going emotionally, mentally and/or socially. A child may also be having trouble with a peer at daycare or school or maybe even with the teacher. Emotional and social problems can show up as physical symptoms.
ACPI Coach and parent Kristy Dixon explains why: “In whole-child/parent coaching the parent is guided to self-discovery of their internal and external influences by envisioning their parenting goal and feeling baby steps of success along the way. When looking at the whole child the parent is better able to help rather than punish that child. For example if a child is having a fit the parents would allow that child time to release their anger, frustration, disappointment, whatever it may be that needs to be released rather than labeling that child as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant, challenging, or out of control. If looking at the whole child one may find that the true culprit of this fit may be the result of the child “using up all of his good” (self-control and restraint) at school, or again of too much sugar in the diet or reaction to a food allergy, or of not feeling heard by his or her parents. Children struggle to learn how to express their feelings and needs appropriately. It is our job to investigate the mystery of what is causing this type of behavior. Then help the child express in a more effective and safer way. However, we cannot do that if we do not thoroughly look at all influencing factors in the child’s life.”
The certified parent coach, as a family partner, is an upbeat example and influence in assisting families today. Coaching Families could include defining their values, creating a family crest, or making communication maps. Many parents have told ACPI coaches that finally understanding how their core temperaments clashed with their child’s developing traits was a profound experience. Coaching families could include systematizing the routines that help being a family member enjoyable. The coaches will define:
the roles they wish to offer families,
design the family-coach agreement,
decipher their personal brand, strengths, and their coaching tools,
Discuss their ideas of how coaching with families looks and works.
The skills a family coach receives through ACPI training and brings to you include:
- Knowing personal core values
- Knowing core temperament
- Demonstrating how you recognize core temperament patterns in your life.
- Demonstrating why this is foundation for your coaching skills
- Demonstrating why this knowledge is beneficial in working with a family member or members, and how it empowers your ability to coach people.
- Determine family needs – time management? Financial planning? De-stress times? Prioritize values and family decisions.
- Coaching through discipline issues
“ll tell you about Parent Coaching? You have to have a plan and it has to be a plan that works. You should not settle for the mediocre in life. Coaching helps you set goals. I collaborate with my clients. I am on their side. As a coach, I help and strategize with my clients so they can achieve their goals. Coaching is about personal evolution, vision, what’s next, what’s now, and moving forward. It’s about having standards, not settling for the mediocre in life, but looking and feeling your best.
General Coaching focuses on listening, empathizing, asking questions and sharing love. Imagine how relieved frustrated parents will be to have someone listen and clarify the problem they feel.
The feeing is very personal, very individual. Some parents want to “teach” their children. Other want to “discipline” their children. These words become confusing and don’t realize…
how empowered they are or how powerful they appear to their children.
People can turn their problems around. They can be whatever they want. They can have whatever they want. Coaching is about that process. You help them and it is an incredible job.
Coaches review a client’s strengths and focus on them. The medical/psychological establishment focuses on problems and pathology.
We look at wellness and not what is broken. If a coach finds a true pathology, the coach refers that person to a psychologist or other appropriate specialist. Troubled persons with long-standing problems may not think rationally and that is why coaches refer them.
In coaching, the model is that the client is whole and wants to achieve goals. The parent is open to advice and discussion, and looking to the future, not the past.
The clients who employ coaches are healthy and happy people who want to improve their lives. They want to go from good parents to better parents.
2-Discover Your Life Purpose
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the pull of what you really love.” Steve Mitten
If you’re like most people, you might not have figured out what you’re supposed to do with your life. What is your purpose? What is a life purpose anyway?
What Is Purpose?
For our uses, we’re define the purpose of your life as something that you love to do that also has a great impact on the world. It’s that sweet spot where you’re having a great time and doing something wonderful for as many people as possible.
10 Discovery Steps To Your Life Purpose
There are several ways you can attempt to discover the purpose of your life:
- Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is essentially perfect. What would your life look like? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day?
- Who is in your life? Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
- Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Leave the food at home, but bring plenty of water. Limit your sleep and just sit with yourself. When you’re miserable, bored, lonely, and tired, sometimes the answers become obvious.
- Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be a good way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something important.
- Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
- Write. Perhaps the most effective way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind. When you find something that stirs strong positive feelings within you, you’re probably on the right track.
- Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
- Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear. This can be challenging and it might take some time, but get started today.
- Spend a day being totally inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state. You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?
- Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? What would your life look like? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?
Keep trying the above tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you find your life purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living. Finding your life’s purpose will make life exciting and meaningful!
Practicality Versus Passion
Our passion skills set is best recalled from enjoyable childhood moments. Do you remember moments in your childhood that felt freeing and fun? One that I remember was bike riding on a Saturday afternoon. The freedom to explore and wind around different neighborhoods cleared my mind and rejuvenated my body. The passion skills set of exploring neighborhoods and enjoying the outdoors is now my walking daily to clear my head and get a fresh perspective on business or a project.
Such childhood memories that we’re passionate about aren’t really the most practical things to do when we grow up and become “responsible.” So we often put off when more pressing “responsible” concerns arise like taking the kids to extracurricular activities.
Truths About Passion Skills Set
If your passion feels obscure or far away, you may not think that the practical skills are worth exploring. However they are, and if you identify with even one of these three reasons, then do explore how to make your passion skills set practical.
- Fifty percent of our motivation to pursue a passion stems from our core temperament(s). From temperaments comes what we value, and our innate drive keeps pushing us toward using our strengths and putting talents to use. If you don’t use your innate talents, you don’t lose them. Quite the contrary happens. They rise up and get in your face!
- Thus you cannot squash your passion. It keeps nudging you, reminding you, trying to motivate you to a course of action.
- You will always feel out of sync when not aligned with values and using passion skills set. The best examples I can provide are the men and women who have pursued the careers of their parents or went for what they “thought” was the right thing, only to be disappointed later.
The solution to staying motivated is to bring your passion skills set into practical living and practical projects. It is possible to find the practical skills behind your passion. My passion has always been writing, and eventually in my adult years, I followed these steps to embrace my passion. If I didn’t, it hounded me.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Writing Short Stories
Let’ start with the more common one. There are many secret writers, who love to create poetry or prose, but we all know that most authors don’t end up on the best seller list. In fact, most writers never make a dime from their writings. They write and narrate because they are feel the calling to do so. They enjoy writing because it motivates them and makes them happy. They are using their core strengths, which is a natural thing to do. The are building a skill set and making it better each time
The Creative Magic Sparks
When someone is following a normal talent or motivation or nudge, a spark of magic happens, and the door of creativity opens. Ideas pour into the writer’s mind. A strange character for the novel introduces herself. The ending of the story took a new turn and recreated a new ending.
Like the old writer’s joke says: How can I start writing?
Answer: Sit down and start start writing. In the literal sense, when you practice your passion, even for fun and just for yourself, you are honing the creative skills.
“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison
Here are more steps to discover these skills.
- Take an objective look at what you do as a writer.
When you sit down to write something, take a moment and jot down all of the things that you’re doing or are about to do. For example:
Create a story
Organize the idea
Research/describe the setting of the story
Commit to a project from start to finish
- Research the job descriptions of writer. Do a web search for “writer job description.” This will give you some great insight into the skills built through writing.
Make a list of the skills you find in a few of the job.
Go through the list and pull out skills that you feel apply best to you and add them to the first
- Research writers’ websites and look at the services they provide to give you some insight into skills you hadn’t considered. Add them to your list.
Now you ave created a real-life practical skills list for a passion that motivates your path. If you decide to take the next steps, they are mix, mingle, and learn.
Writers are often solitary souls who need a writer’s group for support. Join one or start one.
Go to writing events and talk to other writers who love what they do as much as you do. There are conferences, festivals and networking events for a wide variety of topics.
Find local writing events by doing a web search. Not only will you learn about the skills that you have developed, you might meet some cool new writing friends to support you in following your passion..
You can use these same steps to find passion skills sets in any area, and start using them to follow the natural course of your motivating strengths.
Do You Have Limiting Personal Money Myths?
I find that people believe the following money myths, mostly on an unconscious level, yet the unconscious runs our daily lives. Coaches are savvy on self awareness, so take these money myths to heart.
Most people assume that adults are money savvy. However, many folks hold ideas about money that aren’t true. It’s troublesome to form sound financial ideas once you’ve supported false beliefs over time. Wow, they do become burned into our brains. Change limiting beliefs and you’ll strengthen your foundation for sound monetary selections.
- Money equates with being happy. Actually, a study done at Princeton University showed there is a correlation between financial gain and happiness, to a point. Happiness and emotional well-being improve with a rise in pay, up to $75,000. On the far side that, however, any increase failed to offer further benefits or enhancements.Other analysis shows that the amount of respect and social influence someone receives is the most valued asset. Of course, Money has some influence on these two things.
- A disproportionate number of very successful individuals come back from poor backgrounds. It’s staggering what number of extremely successful individuals never finished high school because adversity can build resilience. Average individuals tend to be predictive of average results. If a person learns from their experiences, their resilience seems to naturally carry them forward. Move beyond average.
- There will be enough time later to retire, save money, or pay for the kids’ college education. This is a myth because conditions don’t always get better, as this last economic crunch proves. However now is a always a great time for saving.
- Additional education means more cash. There is a difference in lifetime earnings between those with high school educations and those with college degrees. However skill sets vary for earning income when the economic cycle fluctuates. In some fields, those with graduate degrees really earn less.
6. Budgeting is the best plan to tighten your belt. A home budget could be a nice plan, however, is there room in that budget for a larger purchase or an emergency item?
Do any of these money myths limit you in any way? Being real and recognizing and eliminating false beliefs is powerful in opening your mind to new possibilities. Continue learning and your monetary experience can still grow.