“Play is a uniquely adaptive act, not subordinate to some other adaptive act; but with a special function of its own in human experience.”
Families with children with behavioral disorders…
…may not remember how to play, have fun, and spend peaceful times with each other. Rather, energy is spent in repeating relationships.
When I step in to coach this type of family, who have forgotten, the concept of joy and family time is often painfully absent. Rather, focus is shaped amidst the turmoil and enormous energy spent caring for a child with difficult behaviors.
As parents practice new skills to calm their internal landscapes as well as the environments of their homes, they must also re-learn how to have fun. A vital part of healing the family is reintroducing fun, connective activities, joy and humor into the schedule. A new module in the Coaching Families With Special Needs In Behavioral Regulation provides practical information to help coaches and parents co-create a plan for repairing relationships through family fun.
The other day, when I was in town, I witnessed a shocking event. A funeral procession was slowly making its way down Main Street.. The hearse appeared to have engine trouble at the top of the hill. Suddenly, the back doors of the hearse burst open, and the coffin flew out the back of the vehicle! A few people screamed as the coffin skidded down the street and crashed into a pharmacy at the bottom of the hill. Remarkably, it came to a stop right in front of the pharmacist’s desk. In a flash the lid popped open, and the guy inside asked the pharmacist, “Doctor, doctor! Can you give me something to stop this awful coffin?”
NOTE: What just happened in your brain and body?
Some significant processes occurred in your neurophysiology that have the power to alter not only the way you feel, but also your perception and outlook on past, present, and future situations.
How does the joke relate to self-regulation and repairing family relationships?
[ctt template=”5″ link=”ueYc6″ via=”yes” ]Laughter IS the best medicine. No, really! It’s true. We had a decent laugh over the joke I just told, and each of you are still benefiting from its effects. @parent_coach[/ctt]
Laughter and humor cause the brain to release ‘feel-good’ endorphins that flood bodies and minds with well-being. Laughter causes us to breathe deeper and fills our lungs and bodies with stress busting oxygen. The wonderful combination of endorphins and oxygen culminates in a feeling of happiness.
Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic as recently as 2013, show that laughter and smiling relieves depression, anxiety, and helps the body to produce natural painkillers. Additionally, positive self-affirming thoughts, release neuropeptides that improve our immune systems and help us fight stress. This strikes at the heart of our topic.
Neuropeptides make it easier for us to cope in difficult situations. Here are the chemical reactions we WANT to occur more regularly in the brains and bodies of disorganized and dysregulated families and children. This is just the prescription families need to coax them back to emotional balance and relationship; only, they do not know if you are a parenting coach, who arrives to model and teach this concept.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”bza94″ via=”yes” ]Now, here is the challenge. How do you coach the long-suffering, overwhelmed parents to initiate a plan to have fun while they are still suffering the after effects of secondary trauma and high stress? @parent_coach[/ctt]
Here are some of the challenges you face.
Some parents do not believe they will ever have fun or smile again.
Others ache to smile light-heartedly and long to regain some of their previous carefree lives.
Some parents have convinced themselves that a strict schedule where the child accounts for every minute of the day is the only sane way to keep their child on the straight and narrow; therefore, they do not have time for fun.
Others are resentful and angry because of the extreme difficulties a behavioral child brings to the family dynamic, resulting in radical changes in lifestyle.
Parents, brothers and sisters have learned to live compartmentalized and disjointed lives in the chaos and conflict that sometimes ensues when living with a child with disruptive behaviors.
All of these caregivers may believe the simple pleasures of life are long lost. It is likely that none of them know how to break current ingrained negative patterns of interacting and bring family together again in playful ways.
Been There Too!
Referring to my personal experience, I recall feeling old, tired, depleted, and played out. (No pun intended!) However, the words of George Bernard Shaw are appropriate here:, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
We know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and this is true for parents and kids alike. The ramifications of a life without the emotional glue of experiencing happiness, love and joyful interactions with those persons who mean the most to us are profoundly limiting.
So, how do we draw our hard pressed and pressured caregivers out of their old paradigms and beliefs and into the lighter side of life? Here is the four step secret formula to help families begin to have fun together, even while dark clouds linger.
How do you define SUCCESS? One defnition is success is achieving your financial goals through your online coachinfg or consulting business.
Not a Destination
The problem is, success isn’t a destination. Success is a journey with stops along the way. Being successful is moving toward your goals, this the way to achieve it is to be constantly moving forward with the goals in the distance. Your happiness isn’t dependent upon actually reaching that goal, however. Your success is based on the sense of accomplishment you derived from having closed the distance and achieved that goal.
The bottom line is that your definition of success is on the path to get the things that you want, one at a time, and to continue to improve yourself and to inspire yourself to reach the next level.
That brings us to the framework for those goals that you want to achieve – your habits for success. The practices that you cultivate will result in the success you desire. Habits for success are clearly defined, well thought out and designed to take you to the goals that you have set for yourself. To understand what a pattern for success is, set some goals first. But for demonstration purposes, here are three different examples because it can be difficult to know how to identify the successful habit.
The reason that people have problems becoming successful is that they have not figured out exactly what it means to be a success! Defining it for yourself is the first step in achieving it. AT ACPI, we have varied goals for reaching our audience as well as monthly financial goals to tell us we are on target.
The problem is…success isn’t really a destination. Success is a journey with stops along the way. Those stops are the destinations where you want to arrive, but there is no final destination. Being successful and happy is moving toward your goals, and the only way to achieve it is to be constantly moving forward.
You are going to want more, and that’s okay. You set another goal – a higher purpose – of being able to attend charity dinners where the price of a plate is over $1000 for example. Your happiness isn’t dependent upon the actual goal achievement. It is based upon your hard work and your sense of accomplishment derived from having achieved that goal
The bottom line is that your definition of success is never a specific destination. Preferably, your destiny is being on the path to get the things that you want and continue to improve yourself and inspire yourself to reach more and more goals.
That brings us to the framework for those goals that you want to achieve – your habits for success. The practices that you will be teaching yourself result in the success you desire. Habits for success are clearly defined, well thought out and designed to take you to the goals that you have set for yourself. To understand what a pattern for success is complete, you set some goals first.
Five Lessons from Warren Buffet
You might be wondering what super-investor Warren Buffett can teach you about life. You might be thinking that he knows a lot about money, but that has little to do with being an expert on life. You might be surprised. Warren is famous for his simple lifestyle and love of his work. Let these lessons in life be a guide for contentment in your own life:
1. Focus on what you love. Warren has a beautiful, modest home, and drives a $40,000 car. He could own the most expensive house and vehicles in the world, but he doesn’t. He drinks Coke, buys what he likes, and enjoys a relatively simple life.
Enjoy your life and the things you have. Avoid being concerned about what everyone else has or about what you could have. It’s more satisfying to own one perfect painting than to own ten that don’t thrill you. Seek out the things you love and avoid wasting your time on the rest.
2. Quality is more important than quantity. You only need to make a few right decisions to be incredibly successful. Warren Buffett has hundreds of billions of dollars to invest for himself and others, yet he frequently only owns 20 or so stocks. Be picky. Be happy with a smaller quantity.
Warren has a very famous line that states, “Your financial wealth would be much greater if you could only make 20 investments in your lifetime. You would make sure they were great if you had only 20 chances.”
3. Do what you love. Warren has said that the essential part of success and contentment is doing what you love every day. That’s why he’s never stopped investing and making money. If you’re spending your time doing what you love, you continue doing the same thing regardless of how much money you have.
You might not enjoy the career you have right now. But are you doing anything to change that? Do you have a plan? Imagine how much more content you would be if you enjoyed going into work each day.
4. Mind your own business. You needn’t be concerned with what the competition is doing. Avoid being influenced by everyone else. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll simply be average. Avoid comparing yourself to everyone else. Follow your intuition. Most of us are overly concerned with others. We’re worried about how we compare. We’re concerned about their opinions of us. They’re probably thinking the same things. Get yourself out of that loop and do your job.
5. Stick to your talents. Warren is famous for shunning high-tech investments, even when they were practically a sure thing. He has stated that he doesn’t understand them well enough to invest in them. Stay in your areas of strength. You don’t need to do everything. Focus on what you know well.
We usually enjoy doing the things that showcase our strengths. That’s human nature. It also makes life easier. Work on your weaknesses, but leverage your strengths.
You might be thinking, “Yeah, anyone could be content with $50 billion.” But that’s not true. Studies have shown that happiness and income correlate to $75,000. Above that income level, happiness does not increase.
Super wealthy people became wealthy mainly because they were comfortable living a particular way and kept moving forward to those goals or achievements they had scheduled into life. You can be just as content, even if you never amass a mega-fortune. Aim to increase the amount of contentment in your life. It might not be an issue of money, possessions, or the other things that most people think to lead to happiness.
Parent coaching has all the right stuff. As a career, it offers flexibility, personal satisfaction, and unlimited earning potential. It is also one of the fastest growing home based businesses today. This makes it ideal for parents, career switchers, and retirees, but is it right for you?
Parent coaches come from all walks of life. They are teachers and therapists. They are mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They are former corporate leaders and nine-to-five refugees. They have in common an intense desire to help parents get the most out of family life. “Coaching is solution-oriented,” says seasoned parent and lifestyle coach Natalie Gahrmann. “It is not someone just guessing. It is, ´Tell me about the problem, then tell me what you are going to do about it.´ If you don´t know what to do about it, I can help you with that, but don´t tell me there is nothing you can do about it and you are stuck here as a victim.”
Characteristics of a Good Parent Coaching
A successful coach/client partnership is built from the ground up and is essential to the entire coaching process. To help parents reach their personal or family goals, a coach must be able to develop a trusting and respectful relationship with the client. It is at this point that she can begin to chip away at the parent´s insecurity, which gives parents the confidence to handle problems and reach their desired goals. “A parent coach is someone who partners with you to help you remove all your fears of parenting,” says veteran parent coach Peggy Alvarado. “They help you gain the confidence to raise the type of children you always wished them to be.” Alvarado, a former software technology executive, believes that even though each person has a unique coaching style, there are certain characteristics all good parent coaches share. They include: Inquisitiveness. Parent coaches must have an inquisitive nature. They need to be able to ask thoughtful questions that require action-oriented answers. “It isn´t just about listening,” says Gahrmann. “It is also about being provocative and helping people get to a new place. I help people find their solutions, and together we come up with the action to do that.” Objectivity. Parent coaching is about maintaining objectivity when it comes to clients and their situations. Coaches are not friends who are called upon for unconditional support. They are people who you enlist to help you define your goals and help you devise an action plan to meet those goals. They are someone you depend on to see all the picture and support you in the decisions you make. Assertiveness. Parent coaches must be assertive enough to challenge their clients and ask questions that demand answers. “There is a synergy that happens between people that helps come up with other solutions,” says Gahrmann. “Some people say I can do A or B, and they are often opposite ends of the spectrum, but if I say well what if you do this, the next thing you know, they have ten choices in front of them.” Openness. Having an open nature is one of the greatest attributes any parent coach can have. Coaches are open-minded in regards to people, situations, and themselves. Coaches must be open to all people in all stages of life, but they also are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They must realize that no one person can ever know everything or be the most non-judgmental or objective you can be. Curiosity. Parent coaches are curious people and are interested in learning about their clients, their situations, and what resources and information are available to them. Coaches are continually working to find new approaches and solutions for their clients and themselves. They are always learning and interested in learning because parent coaching is a continuing education field. There are still ways to develop yourself and learn. If you feel a calling to start a new profession as a trained and certified Parent Coach, visit parent-family coaching course page to understand how you can achieve this goal in six to nine months.
Recently, this coaching topic has been the target of a lot of jokes and demeaning cartoons. Many people have no realistic notion of what it is all about. Life coaching is more than assisting people to set and attain personal or professional goals.
As a life coach, my definition of life coaching is: catalyzing in others personally-desired changes they will make to create a lifestyle of their dreams…one that will work better for them.
In order to effectively do my job described above, I regularly make inquiries about the client. There is a difference between “questions” and “inquiries.” The former can be answered immediately after they are asked.
[tweetshare tweet=”Inquiries however, are designed to be thought about, deliberated upon and regularly reviewed by the client.” username=”parent_coach”]
Some of the best inquiries a qualified life coach can make are described below.
What would you like to gain by working with me as your life coach? In order to assist a client to attain their desired outcomes, it becomes important in life coaching to know what those outcomes are
How can you modify your thinking and behavior so that you increase the probability those outcomes occur? One definition of “insanity” is engaging in the same behavior over and over while thinking the outcomes will be different.
What new thinking habits, emotional habits, behavioral habits or social habits are you willing to develop that will increase the likelihood your lifestyle will be different three months (six months, a year, 10 years) from now? If you want to learn and practice new habits, you need to practice them regularly for at least 3-4 weeks in order to make them “unconscious.”
What can you think, do or say today that will give you practice at strengthening those chosen new habits that replace the old ones? You can never “unlearn” the habits that created your current lifestyle. You can only learn and strengthen new habits that will replace engaging in the old ones! Th.is is the heart of life coaching.
What are some new choices and decisions you can make that will move you toward creating and enjoying the outcomes/consequences you want to incorporate into your new lifestyle? Despite making mistakes and engaging in unskilled behaviors, you might as well risk making new choices that you will enjoy.
With what kind of people will you surround yourself to be supportive of you as you create this new lifestyle? No one ever accomplishes important lifestyle changes without the support of others…even if such support is indirect or out of your awareness.
What are your current strengths, talents and abilities you can use or strengthen that will assist you in attaining your desired outcomes? If you are still alive, you already have some personal abilities that are useful in creating a modified or new lifestyle.
What new habits will result in:
A lower stress level;
A new sense of accomplishment;
A positive redefinition of negative experiences;
An ability to focus internally and lessen your “reactivity;”
An increase in your awareness of the consequences of your choices;
A lessening of your fears and anxieties;
Developing beneficial and enjoyable social and interpersonal relationships;
Developing your happiness and enjoyment about being alive.
If you would like to explore the above inquiries, you just might want to receive assistance from a qualified and experienced life coach…despite all the jokes you may have heard.
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Dr. Thomas is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified life coach. He is on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He is the co-author of the book, “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills, and Techniques to Enhance Your Practice…and Your Life” (W. W. Norton, 2005). He leads seminars/workshops on: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Life Coaching; Business Coaching; Creativity; Academic Excellence; Creating High-Quality Relationships; Effective Communication; Effective Leadership and many others.
Why would a parent coach or a family coach take particular care in defining the type of person who would be their best customer or client?
1: Relationship research suggests that if we are relatively healthy in mindset and emotionality, we attract people, who are similar to us in Emotional patterns, Cultural preferences, Levels of empathy
2. Also, core temperaments influence whom we meet with and coach. Are you the personality type that can be authentic with all four temperaments? Can you work with the types of person who
Want to talk about it, and not do much about it
Becomes angry at you rather than the issue
3. Likewise, our values influence the decisions we make about our business and ideal clients.
This values of your ideal client affects everything you do from setting fees to determining your coaching programs, which will offer solutions to their problems and value to living an inspired life.
4. Spend your time on the most valuable task to make your business successful by defining your ideal client.
To make this list real, a clever trick of successful authors is to write a story. Authors write about their ideal reader, and you write about the client who is most compatible with you. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her, you think.
If you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best clients because of temperament incompatibility.
Temperament Style Mismatch
The topic is rarely considered in the “ideal client” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: core temperament style.
If you’re bossy, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for you. WHY?
Natural exuberance may overwhelm the person.
If a client needs to start with small steps, and you whiz to the finish line, you’ve left the client in the dust.
Either he will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance.
Drive Determines Success
Check in with your client about their drive to success.
Adaptive Supporter type clients are slower to take the initiative, although they always meet their goal. An achiever may be internally motivated but could move too fast and fail to plan adequately for meeting his goals. Both clients can be frustrating to coach unless you understand the core temperaments and what motivates each person to succeed.
Review your current and past coaching clients, and you’ll identify the disposition patterns of those you attract. Review: What characteristics did your most enjoyable client bring to the table? What time frame do you expect a customer to meet their goals? Which client behavioral patterns are those you do not want to deal with? How do you handle your disappointment? How do you celebrate your client’s successes?
Compare your new potential clients to this ideal profile, and you’ll never again sign on with a less-than-perfect client.