Parenting the whole child 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.
If you read this post till the end, you probably are kind of person who wants to help folks live to their maximum potential. Your hunger for having an influence on people forced you to read this article and much more that you already read. It’s just the right time to take a step further and become a certified parent coach and give your purpose a meaning. Have a look at our coaching certification and decide which one suits your talents best..
See also Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 1 and Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 2
Parent-Family Coaching Programs
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other." ~ Meryl Streep
Get Paid For Your Talents
The ability to resonate with another person on a deep level is the talent of a parenting coach, and all coaches for that matter. Such resonance is achieved through empathy, the ability to feel with her client, not to feel for them or about them. Resonating with clients is a striking intuitive knowing which enables you, as a parenting coach, to predict their needs and provide an unprecedented quality of caring.
The ability to resonate with others is the character strength of a person whose core temperament is Interpersonal, adaptive, or supporting. You are a natural in being supportive and caring in your responses to others. The mottos of the Academy for Coaching Parents International are focused around this concept of empathy:
"To empower and sustain loving relationships" and
“To make a difference.”
The first thing a coach does is establish a loving relationship with the client, who may be a parent, grandparent, caregiver or anyone who has hired a coach to help them better parent or serve as a more effective guardian or caregiver to children.
Parent coaches assist, help, inform, inspire, and educate. They provide clarity, reflection, and reality checks for parental illusion, and support a parent's intuition. They are responsive and responsible as they provide frameworks and structures for conversations around sensitive issues.
A parent coach may serve as a coach for a parent’s personal confidence, or is involved with family relationships and parent/child issues. A parent coach is a mentor, not a doctor, minister or therapist. A coach is a friendly person a parent can call with everyday problems. A coach provides encouragement and expertise, coaching and challenges, all with the foundation of empathy. Through empathy the connection is made.
Are We Born With Empathy?
- Empathy is more than feeling pain; it is also connecting to one’s struggle, emotional intention, as well as feelings of joy and celebration.
- Babies demonstrate empathy in a global sense. If other babies cry, then babies respond with crying.
- By the time a child is 2 ½ years old, he or she has developed a self-identity and understands the feelings of distress belong to his playmate or parent or sibling.
- You will see preschool children empathize by reaching out to alleviate another’s distress through words or touch.
- By age 8, a child understands the human plight of birth, death and vulnerability.
Children depend upon the demonstrations of responsiveness, warmth and empathy from the people in their world to continue cultivating connection and empathy within themselves… or their ability to remain empathic is up for grabs.
A parent coach is the model for empathy, helping a parent to learn the use of empathy through modeling. In turn, a parent who feels successful will model responsiveness with their children. AND…we will have succeeded in making a difference – the truer mission of a parenting coach.
Let your genome make you successful:
Now you think have an empathy gene? Would you like to use it for making a difference in the world and at the same time get out of this rat race and be financially successful at the same time?
When coaching whole 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 whole parents and whole children is more beneficial when you look beyond the surface level of behavior and symptoms. What is truly influencing or causing the reaction or behavior?
- Emotional frustration?
- Lack of Understanding?
- Need or more information?
- Need for more experience?
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 in 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 coaching whole parent and whole-child, the parent is guided to self-discovery of their internal and external influences. They envision 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."
See also Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 2
Entrepreneurship is my journal that several coaches suggested I write, not only for myself, but for them. "The lessons of heart wisdom are for everyone," they said. So, here goes.... if you like the lessons or find them helpful, please comment and let me know.
When a web site or a relationship fall apart, do you listen to the Pragmatic Voice, or the Challenger Voice
My friends and I felt good and celebrated surviving the emotional, chaotic energies of 2012. Boy, we should have waited until 2013 to celebrate. Because 15 days into the new year, when the web sites disappeared like an earthquake swallowing a home, my heart broke.
The easiest solution was to turn my back on the whole entrepreneurship mess, walk away, and figure out another way to earn a living. And I had to do it quickly. But that was too easy, and I am a neat person and can't leave a mess behind me. I would always wonder What if?
When the What if? questions start rolling through the mind, they take the form of a personal voice I call The Challenger: "But what if you DID start over? What if you had new ideas for entrepreneurship? How fast could you make it happen with the right support?" The Challenger was trying to inspire me again.
"Not a problem," said Pragmatic Voice: "When we have new ideas, we will use them, When a tech support person shows up who will work for free, I'll interview them." Ah, voice number 2 is so obviously pragmatic, and kind of kills the joy of being creative and entrepreneurial.
"That's okay," Pragmatic said, "You can think this second voice of yours is a killjoy. But one day you will thank me because this whole web of creativity you opened never stops flowing, and you focus it well when you do focus it, but .... you now need to listen to my common sense, pragmatism for new entrepreneurship ideas?"
I hate it when I lecture myself, but I accepted all of the inner wisdom voices a long time ago, because if I didn't, the inner wisdom nags until I pay attention.
If all in my outer world of entrepreneurship is a reflection of my inner world, then I need a safe place, and to feel safe. I don't like to make important life decisions from a place of fear. Like the Bengal cat who hangs out for a while, I do things on my time, my intuitive time. Like many sensitive people, the internal timing does manifest when the foundations are right. Sometimes, my creative downloads may take a year to manifest.
[ctt template="5" link="e4349" via="yes" ]"And what happens when you push a project, creating when the heart and gut are saying don't, no, not yet." @parent_coach[/ctt]
Yes, pragmatic voice is right. When I exert my entrepreneurial will into my world, and I am not aligned with the heart feeling about the project, something does go wrong, When I do not listen to the gut level intuition, the organ for assimilating life, walking my talk, something goes wrong. I did that in 2012, thinking my entrepreneurship foundations were solid, running into snags, facing personality issues with my team members, and I stayed the course.
if only you has listened to me, heard me. Like a baby who stops crying when her needs are met, my heart stopped trying to get me to feel out the situation. Instead, I pushed so hard, that my heart energy cracked wide open, vulnerable tears flowed. Surprisingly the tears were of relief. The tears meant that crazy cycle of over-extending self in time, energy and focus was over. 2017 is the year to take one step at a time, insuring that I feel great about each step on the new path of entrepreneurship.
Do you listen to your heart feelings and voice?
When you listen, do you take action or turn away?
Do you hear the Challenger?
Or do you hear the Pragmatist?
© 2017 Dr. Caron Goode, Founder of ACPI.