A Coaching Model Created by Cornelia Guenzel-Dahinten
(Family/Parent/Marriage Coach, SINGAPORE)
Parenting is a multifaceted job. Many families today experience a challenge to combine modern life and parenting. There is plenty of information, advice and instruction on parenting out in any media you can find.
How to find the right one for a certain child, mother, father and family often proves to be difficult.
The Conscious Parenting Model is focusing to help clients with the challenge to find an individual parenting strategy solution that fits an individual cocktail called a family. The model is supposed to act as a guideline to the different areas that mark what is brought to the table.
It is important to follow the client throughout and see the tools and questions as ideas to help the process rather then fixed components.
Starting the Coaching Journey
The first step for the coaching process, using this Model of ‘Conscious Parenting’, is to define goals and visions. This vision will then serve as a landmark to define the success of the coaching process:
Defining long-term goals and short term needs
Creating a personal parenting vision.
Powerful Questions from the coach:
- What are your long-term parenting goals?
- What are your goals for your children long-term?
- What are your short-term needs?
- Scale 1-10 (1=very positive to 10= very negative/stressed/aggressive) the energy the levels of energy and joy in the family as per today.
- What is your parenting vision
Ask the client to work on a vision in as much detail as possible.
Getting out all dreams, hopes, wish’s, fantasies that are swirling around in his thoughts.
The vision serves as motivation throughout the process and will be part of anchoring each session.
Exploring current strategies
The next part we will pay attention to is the status quo.
At this stage we want to help the client see what is working and what is not working.
Supporting the client in raising awareness of the current situation and the character of their children, as well as seeing possible connections between the character of the child and the reaction to certain strategies.
Powerful question questions from the coach
- Which strategies are you currently using? List anything coming to mind
- How do you feel about those strategies? Are they proving successful?
- Do they serve you and your long-term goals?
- Going through the different strategies scale 1-10 how effective are those strategies?
What are the expectations to
The next step of awareness is focusing on the client’s expectations towards himself and his children.
This insight may help the client later to localize the source of those expectations.
We may also use those expectations to see if they are in alignment with the client’s value system.
- the parent
- the child
- from your environment
Powerful Questions from the coach
- Which expectations are you having towards yourself as a parent?
- Scale 1 to 10 how would you rate your parenting skills?
- Scale 1 to 10 how empowered do you feel?
Both numbers will later work as a visible measure for the coaching success.
- Go through the different expectations and do a scaling exercise on how important they are to you.
- What expectations are you having towards your children?
- Scale 1 to 10 how would you rate your children’s behavior in connection to those?
- Are there people around you who voice or imply expectations on you as a parent?
- On a scale 1 to 10 how important is their influence on you – one by one?
Keep those expectations and the importance on a separate sheet of paper you can refer back to at a later point in time.
The next step is helpful for the client to find out about underlying beliefs that may be rooted in fulfilling other people’s expectations.
We want to explore if the client actually owns his/her values.
Values also serve as an internal moral compass good to be conscious about to look for strategies in alignment with those values.
- Which values are important for
- for me as a parent
- for my child – values on their behavior, needs etc.
Now we are starting the phase in which the client will explore what he is bringing to the situation.
Often people call this intuition.
Many things we do in parenting come back to our own experience of parenting – the way we have been parented ourselves.
It is important that we make this a conscious process, to be able to change and adapt to what is really serving our vision and us.
Locating the source of the client’s values.
Does the client own this value?
A – Ask your client to write down all the values he/she grew up with
B – A perfect day with my children is …(fill in the blank)…… :
Ask the client to tell you whatever comes to mind. Then group the answers and frame them into different value categories to give information about those values
Compare A and B
C – which of the values of A still find their way into your clients parenting even though they are not part of B – their own value system?
The perspective opens up the opportunity to shift to a more conscious alignment of true values and expectations.
What from my own childhood would I like to leave behind?
Powerful Questions from the coach
- Is there anything in your own childhood, which you would like to leave behind?
- Which strategies your parents, caretakers or teachers used would you NOT like to replicate
The discipline and parenting strategies a person has experienced are hardwired as they are the only strategies this person has ever known, as we have only one set of parents and have only been a child ones.
To be able to learn alternative strategies we need to make a conscious choice on what we would like to replace those strategies with.
Let’s move this into an empowering process and also look at the things, which the client actually loved. Those things that empowered them, that gave them life skills, comfort, love etc.
What from my own childhood would I like to bring forward
This is about empowering the client.
Supporting the client to become aware of the strengths he/she already has.
The reflection of the client’s current situation and his baggage (what is the client brining into this parenting experience) – look at it together and explore. This will be the foundation for their new parenting strategy.
Becoming conscious about why I do what I do which does not make me happy…..
When do I react? vs. When do I respond?
What will trigger the client?
This may already start to change perspectives on a very deep level.
Possibly shifting the client from blame (the child is bad because…..)
responsibility (e.g. I am overreacting because of my own baggage).
We can use what we have looked at so far:
The expectations, values, what to bring forward, what not to bring forward and the analysis of current strategies to pull together the insight gained so far.
When you look at all this, when do you think you are reacting in your parenting and when are you responding?
The created awareness can come in all sorts of colors and shapes.
The mentioned is just to serve as an example.
Which behavior do I now believe should be modified
A) for the child
B) for the parent?
A – Ask your client to make a list of current problematic behavior of the child.
For each behavior make a list:
The unwanted behavior vs. the desired behavior
B – Ask your client to make a list of current problematic behavior of himself.
This list will now most likely differ from the analysis from the start of the coaching process.
It is powerful to compare the two perspectives to enhance perspective shifts.
Create a parenting strategy aligned to long-term goals and short term needs on the basis of the insights gained.
Powerful questions from the coach:
What will your ideal parenting strategy look like now?
Strengthening your new strategies
Work with the client on how to put the new strategy into practice. What will change and what will this look like?
Visualizing specific situations in which the strategy will be put into practice
Is there anything you can think of, that will make it hard to implement this ideal strategy?
Please list anything that comes to mind…….
The value and insight of “mistakes”
Ask the client to list common failures of his to be in line with his envisioned parenting strategy.
Powerful question for this tool:
What could you do afterwards to put this into a valuable learning opportunity for your children, which would be in line with your envisioned parenting strategy?
As an example: learning what to do when you behaved badly.
This will empower the client to stay strong in moments of weakness and envision a strategy to deal with his own learning path and his own imperfections. It will bring awareness to life lessons that come from failure, for himself and his children.
Check: Is the parenting strategy in alignment with
my long-term goals
my short-term needs
my child’s personality
my other family members
my time available
any other important parameter?
Parenting strategies only work in practice if those parameters have all been included, as parenting does not happen in isolation.
This model is a process described by formulating a vision, a discovery of the present, the self, the past and the emotional influences.
The client will then be able to check in, if his perspective has shifted on grounds of his awareness.
The client is then ready to start creating a strategy to suit his individual needs.
The new strategy will have to be supported by tools to strengthen the strategy.
However, the perspective shift expected to take place during the process will already serve as such a support.
As a conclusion to this described process the client will check his new strategy with his initially formulated vision.
As a concluding session, it is great to have the client spell out what has happened to his views on parenting, his children and his strategies and expectations.
Finally come back to question 1.1.4
Scale 1-10 (1=very positive to 10= very negative/stressed/aggressive) the energy the levels of energy and joy in the family as per today.
and compare the answer now to the one from the earlier session.