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.