Melina was at her breaking point. With three kids and a full time job she was stretched and struggling.
The kids didn’t behave. The house was chaos. She was always running late, she felt, as she puts it, like she was “spiralling out of control.”
“I just wanted a day to run smoothly, as planned without everything f**king up.”
She says she doesn’t like to ask for help, she has her ways and her beliefs and feels imposed upon when relatives or friends break what she sees as the parenting rules she has put in place.
“When my husband looks after the kids he just lets them sit in front of their screens and forgets the structures I have, things just fall apart.”
It's time to seek help. Image via IStock.
So just like when she needed help with her diet and exercise Melina sought out the help of a fitness coach this time she is turning to a coach as well – a parenting coach.
In this age of modern parenting where we second-guess everything we do the rise of parenting coaches isn’t surprising.
“I used a business coach for our business why wouldn’t I use a parent coach?”
Experts have noted a fundamental shift in the way parents parent over the last half a century.
While we are busier than ever, we are more focused on our children than ever.
Researchers say this child-centred parenting, with an overwhelming need to prioritize their children’s health and happiness is leading to a generation of anxious parents unsure of what to do.
They’ve labeled parenting these days as being “in crisis” saying we are more insecure than our parents were when they were parenting.
“I used a business coach for our business why wouldn’t I use a parent coach?” Image via IStock.
Parenting Coach Dina Cooper says she isn't so sure that our parenting methods have really changed that much, she thinks parenting coaches could have probably come in handy 20 years ago.
“To be completely honest, they could have done with them 20 years ago but this modality wasn't as readily available then as it is becoming now.”
Dina Cooper from Hoogi Parents Leading Change. Image Supplied.
Dina Cooper says that a parent seeking out a coach is looking for something a little different than just someone to talk to.
“Parent coaching is distinctly different to therapy in that the client is seeking change and growth in the way they parent. They demonstrate ability to withstand challenge to get to their personal goals. They want to go their next level for themselves.”
Dina works in line with how the parents wishes to raise their child. Via IStock.
On a practical level Dina says she talks about and sets up “systems and structures in the mind of the parent, to handle everyday situations with more calm and ease” usually via Skype.
She says she works in line with how the parents wishes to raise their child.
Her clients are predominantly mums and dads, who are entrepreneurs, corporate mums or dads, or ex-corporate parents, on a break from corporate life, many of them just seeking another direction.
“ Parents come to me and set goals on the multiple aspects they would like to work on at the same time. They might wish to reduce the daily overwhelm of work and family life, connect more with their partner, look after themselves better, be more present with their children.
“Clients often find that when they connect with their partner more for example, they begin to connect more in other relationships and friendships. When they look after themselves more, they have more energy and want to play more with their kids. Creating a knock on effect, working on one area and it impacting another. “
"I think it is so easy for parents to lose themselves once they have children." Via IStock.
For mother of two Kelly Brown using a parenting coach gave her the tools to be the person that "I actually wanted to be and have the relationship I wanted."
Kelly, who has recently started up a children's clothing line since seeing Dina Cooper said that after her work with a parenting coach she feels more "mentally more present with my children"
She says she is spending more quality time with her six-year-old and two-year-old "which has improved my relationship with them dramatically".
"One of the sessions with Dina was a life purpose discussion which has been life changing. I have spent my adult life working on and off between children but I have never had something that I am passionate about and after our session I had a clear purpose in my life. I am now in the process of starting to create my life purpose become a reality and I think that to show your passion and commitment to something is a really powerful lesson for your children."
For our original mum, Melina she has just begun her journey with her parenting coach, but already she feels like she is getting practical help with someone in coming to terms with her perfectionism.
"She's helping me learn to let go. She's helping me allow my husband to be a parent too."
Kelly says she think a parenting coach can help any mum or dad struggling with their role.
"I think it is so easy for parents to lose themselves once they have children and I think that everyday life can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools."