Friday, June 7, 2013

The Results of Coaching Parents

As a Parenting Coach, I have the opportunity to work with families who struggle to parent their children.  The challenges of learning how to have a better relationship with your own child, is all to normal for a lot of families.  One of our jobs as parents is to UNINTENTIONALLY screw up our kids.  We do our best at the time and hope that it all works out.  When it doesn't, we either avoid it and hope it goes away, we continue to do the same thing over and over hoping for different results, we feel a lot of guilt for things not going well in the home.  There can be a lot of different reasons that we may create in our minds of why we are not able to make a change or make a difference.  All in all, in our minds, we are overwhelmed and stressed out do to the lack of accountability on our child's part. 

Working with families is one of great worth for me.  When the family is committed and willing to take risks through learning new and different tools, it's awesome to watch the progress.  I love the saying, "It's not about Perfection, it's about Progression."  Helping families to recognize their progress gives them hope.  Even when working with families who have a difficult time owning up and taking responsibility for their individual part in why the family is not working as a unit, gives me the ability to focus on the best way to go about helping them to commit.  It's about relationships and the need to be of support, being honest and upfront with what it is I am doing.  It is helping parents to understand why they do what they do.  When they are able to fully understand that concept, they will help their children understand it as well. 

You cannot teach what you do not know.  As a parent myself, I continue to have those great opportunities to be taught by my children.  The importance of allowing them to have a voice in the home, creates the safe environment and teaching moments for the whole family.  I love that this program and its values has taught me the value within myself.  And because of that, I am able to teach and help others to recognize it in themselves.  Especially in my own family.  I am not one who is perfect.  I continue to make mistakes and at times, fall back into old behaviors.  However, the beauty of taking ownership of my choices and my kids experiencing it from me, is what's important in building on the relationship and making the time to talk with them about it.  A Parent Coach is definitely not perfect and does not have all the answers.  However, a Parent Coach of CHOICE definitely has the desire and compassion to help families to move forward in a positive direction that will give them hope.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taking It One Day at a Time

Working on the "self" can sometimes be a challenge.  The need to have self control in the everyday life of responsibilities.  Whether it be through relationships, at work, church and/or especially at home.  I have recently reconciled with the father of my children and we are planning to remarry.  We have decided to move into a small town home and start fresh with living our life together as a family again.
The children seem to have adjusted okay.  They are happy with dad and mom being back together.  It has taken some adjustments with making a few changes in how the house is run and the kids understanding that mom is not the only one who has a "say" now.  They are learning to accept and understand that dad too has a "say" in what goes on in their lives.
I recognize the challenges that I have been facing since we've been back together.  I've also noticed the confidence in my actions and choices when certain things that he might do, in the past I can see how I would be quick to react.  Today, it's so much different.  Being able to recognize where I stand in this relationship and how I see myself and value what I feel and think, has helped our relationship tremendously.  It has also helped with our communication not just with each other, but when it comes to talking with our kids.  Don't get me wrong, we have our moments, but one thing I know to work through when this happens, is controlling me and what I am thinking, feeling and going to do next.
I am thankful for the knowledge that I have today and the knowledge I will continue to learn about and grow from because of me wanting to be a better mom, wife, sister, daughter, etc. 
Taking it one day at a time is important for me to do.  I challenge myself on a daily basis to focus on the "here and now."  This helps me not to stress over things like finances, school, laundry, etc.  I definitely need to work at it, but when I do. I feel a lot more competent and confident things will turn out fine, if I just focus on working on one thing at a time, taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Recently while sitting and running a parenting group, the topic and/or question came up of “How do we start focusing on the positive rather than what’s wrong?”  This topic tends to be a general issue rather than a parent specific issue.  The issue at hand is that we spend more time focusing on what is wrong and thinking by doing this we can fix what is wrong and that our issues and troubles will be over.  The struggle is that when we spend our time on what is wrong we tend to see it as a continual stream of wrong. 

I enjoy working on motorcycles. I like being able to take a motorcycle that isn’t functioning well and by process of illumination, track down what is wrong and fix it.  After stripping it down, this strategy works in helping me find the issue and putting the bike back together. The bike then tends to work more effectively. While this strategy may work on bikes, this does not work when it comes to human beings.  Human beings are more complex creatures than a simple animate object that is designed to do specific tasks. Since it tends to work well in those areas, we have the tendency to apply this philosophy to the complexity of humanity.   I cannot look at myself and simply through a process of elimination, track down one simple issue, fix it, and have my life become flawless from there forward. 

There are a series of factors that play into the issues we all wrestle with.  Rather than spending our energy focusing on fixing what is wrong, there is a more effective strategy when it comes to dealing with humans and our own humanity.  One way is to simply shift our focus to look for those things that are “working” and “not working” in our lives.  When I identify the “working” pieces of my life, I can then start to see them as universal truths. I can then apply these truths not only to the issues they are working for but also use them on the things I may be struggling with.  For example, if I have the ability to let go of obsessive thoughts when it comes to work, that means I have the tools to let go of obsessive thoughts.  Therefore, if I am struggling with obsessive thoughts in my personal life, by focusing on how I am dealing with them in my work life and the processes I used to let go, I can then apply these same tools to my personal life for similar results.

We as human beings have a tendency to default to wrong and right thinking when it comes to problem solving. That may work on a carburetor; it does not work on hearts and minds of men and women. 

Dean N Nixon
Seminar Director, Life Coach

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Giving Up is not an Option!

Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding and challenging responsibilities I have in my life.  Like other parents, I want the best for my children.  I want them to be honest and value themselves.  I want for them to work hard and do their best in all that they do.  I want them to make good choices and when they don't, take accountability for it and be a problem solver about it and/or ask for help when they are having a difficult time. 

I  have been truly blessed with wonderful kids.  That doesn't mean we don't have bad days.  Believe me, we have them.  I've recognized over the years of parenting my children, about 70% of it has been motivation through fear.  I use to beat myself up inside and hold a lot of guilt for the way I parented.  It stopped me from changing the way I chose to run the household.  When  I finally started to learn more about myself and the importance of taking care of my needs and the relationship I have with myself, it was then, that I started to take healthy risks and set boundaries with myself. 

I slowly discovered the greatness of my self worth and working on me mentally and emotionally.  The commitment I made to myself at that time was telling myself "Giving Up is not an Option."  I valued myself enough to be humble and allow others to help me.  Learning new skills and tools of how to create the same value in my children became such a success.  I no longer put myself down or hold on to the guilt.  I am quicker to forgive myself for past mistakes and mistakes that I continue to make.  And most important, my children are learning to find value within themselves and letting their voice be heard in the home.

"Giving Up is not an Option," it has helped me reach out to others when I thought I was going to lose myself.  I'm so happy to know that I can continue to progress in my journey as a parent. And to focus on the progress and not the mistakes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Depression and Value Based Life Style

Depression is that state of mind when you feel helpless, hapless and hopeless. Most of depression results from being out of touch with your innerself in the sense of feeling dead  inside yet very much intouch with the innerself in constantly focusing on what is wrong or what I’m doing wrong. Often depression results from not having enough focus or direction in life. You feel adrift and you are at the whims of others, with little or no control over what will happen to you. (helpless) You make decisions based on what others tell you rather than listening to the directions of an inner compass. The inner compass is spinning and a direction doesn’t exist. (hapless) Your decisions lack conviction and you just want some release so you turn to alcohol or drugs, of any kind, for solace. (helpless)
Having values in your life essentially stops most of the depressive symptoms before they become a state of depression. Yes, you will have ups and downs of life, this is part of being human. But values give you a constant direction in your life, with boundaries, which are automatically tied into your values. When you have a constant direction and have established boundaries to protect you from the influences of others or your own desire for misdirection you remain on course, safe and secure you are progressing in a manner both healthy and functional. 

Values designed to keep you away from feelings of depression are:

1.      I will take care of my body. This means you literally will do whatever it takes to maintain a healthy body. This includes exercise, eating right, sleeping right and maintaining an appropriate body weight. It also means I don’t use drugs beyond that proscribed by my doctor, I don’t over indulge in alcohol and I take care of physical things necessary for my age, i.e. physical checkups, cancer checkups, etc. It also means I’m aware of the health problems indemic to my family (diabetes, specific types of cancer, etc.) and I take precautions to prevent these health problems.

2.      I will live an active life style. This means you will get off the couch and interact with others. It means you will get outside as often as possible and engage in some form of games, (social or formal) picnics, cookouts, reunions, etc. It means you limit the amount of time you spend playing computer games, watching TV, surfing the net, eating, etc. It means you will take an inventory of your life and look honestly at who your friends are and what you do together. You may find you don’t have many friends or have lost contact with the friends you once had. It means you will move “being active” way up on your priority list.

3.      I will exercise my belief in God. This means you will start to pray and exercise your belief in something greater than you. A belief in someone who has a greater understanding of the universe, your life, your purpose in life and your greater abilities helps to calm your soul. It means you know there is somewhere else you can look for help and He is always willing to help those who ask. But, you have got to ask. This is faith. Faith is essential to believing something will help. So have faith in and believe in you by applying the above values.
  Richard Moody, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A woman I was talking with the other day was berating herself on what a terrible parent she was because she couldn’t always control her children or the house wasn’t always clean, etc. When I investigated further about her children, I found they were straight "A" students in school, they seemed to have friends, were attending church and were basically really “good” children. She felt like every day was a struggle with her children. In her case, it was, since she has three children that have been diagnosed with Asperger and ADHD.

Her struggle was with her self-esteem and her decisions never seemed to be good enough. Every day each of us will struggle with the decisions of that day and make the best decisions we can, that day, based on what we know at that time. Tomorrow, next week or next year we may look back and say, “Wow, what was I thinking when I did that!” Tomorrow or next week you will have more information and more experience about the situation and therefore your decisions at that time will be different because of the additional information and experience. We need to learn to accept our decisions we make at any given time and move on knowing we did the best we could at that time.
Richard Y Moody, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Patience + Consistency = RESULTS!

A few weeks ago, I was at the supermarket purchasing some groceries.  I came across a mother and her two kids.  The kids were probably around the ages of 8 and maybe 7 years old.  I could see that this mother was very frustrated and just ready to leave the store.  The two young boys were fighting and yelling and would not listen to anything their mother was saying.  She began to use threat of taking away their favorite toys and putting them to bed early if they did not stop.  She started to yell at them and threaten to put them in the car if they did not listen.  Nothing worked.  She became very agitated, but continued to try and get them to stop fighting as she continued to shop.  Making threats and yelling was not getting anywhere with this mother.

Can you relate to this mother?  Have you ever been in this situation or similar to it?  I believe one of the biggest struggles parents face with their own children is the lack of Patience.  If you are a parent of a child who is continuously testing the limits of what you ask of them, it can be very challenging.  Our automatic thought is the need to keep this child under control.  Which can lead to more issues and less patience.

Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. 

It's definitely work to have patience with your children and be willing to work through the need to not have control over them, but to learn to influence them through building a relationship of trust.  What are you doing as parents to work on a stronger relationship with your children?   How do you come across to your children?  As parents, we need to be able to recognize when we are motivating ourselves and our children through fear.  And be able to stop and turn it into motivating through love.  Communication is one of the main tools here to apply.  Making the time to listen to your kids who need the time to talk with you and making time for the ones who need the time to just be with you and spending time together.  

How consistent are you with the things you say you are going to do when it comes to your children?
Consistency means you are willing to do or act upon what you committed to and there is no giving up when things start to become difficult or challenging.

I believe we all have the struggles of being consistent in our daily lives.  I know I do.  Regardless, of what the situation is, if we are not willing to commit and follow through with what we say we are going to do, we will not see the results we are looking for.  Parents who struggle to hold their children accountable or responsible for choices they make in life find themselves giving in to their kids behaviors because of the lack of patience and inconsistency in their efforts to change the way they parent. 

I encourage and challenge all parents to follow this equation to building a stronger relationship with your children.