I work full time designing sterling silver jewellery components, and making jewellery, I also have 2 small children. Although I have a nanny to help care for my sometimes sweet, but often challenging, children; I know I need more reinforcement. I use a Parenting Coach and I highly recommend this support service to every parent, working or stay-at-home. Unlike a life coach or therapist, a Parenting Coach specializes in giving advice to parents on parenting and helping parents understand the family dynamics that are taking place around them.
Before my first child was born, I read What To Expect When You Are Expecting. After she was born; and I had a glimpse of her strong characteristics, I read Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice by Sarah Radcliffe, Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline by Barbara Coloroso; along with many other books on child rearing that I found in bookstores. They’re all very good books, with a few novel tips from each; particularly Parent Talk by Shapiro and Skinulis. However, neither books nor parenting magazine articles were able to address some of the more specific obstacles that I had with my child’s behaviour. This is inherently true of all such media, it must be fairly general and cannot take into consideration one’s specific circumstances. I have yet to read any article about a mom who has to put her sterling silver jewellery components way up high after she’s finished designing late at night; so that her 2 year old won’t eat them for breakfast, in their condo that isn’t much bigger than a walk-in closet, and the mom has to travel to jewellery trade shows. If you have read such an article, please send it to me so that I can compare notes.
As fate would have it I bumped into a long time customer of my jewellery business, Patricia Lee. I’ve been raising money for charity for many years and twice a year, for a few days, we open to the public and donate the proceeds of the sale. At each event Patricia and I would chat about our children, it all started with my comment about her children being unusually well behaved and polite. We see crowds at our events and often I think mothers shouldn’t bring their children, they get bored and displays are often knocked over, sometimes they’d even pull things apart because they like the shiny sterling silver jewellery components. It’s just not fun for them, or at least it shouldn’t be. I wasn’t yet pregnant with my first child but I was curious about hers and they inspired me to think that it would be possible to have wonderful and well behaved children of my own one day. She would always have great advice and clear insight. I never asked her what she did for a living and just assumed she was an accountant because of her thick glasses and tidy appearance. I assumed she was just a skilled mom , and there are many far better than me at the job. Last year through a chance meeting, I found out she’s a professional life and Parenting Coach and happened to be meeting a client in my area.
The time was ripe and our meeting was serendipitous. My husband and I were struggling with behavioural problems with my older child and; more disturbingly, a serious problem with one of her friends, which we were at a loss for a solution. I’ll tell you about the problems and her advice another time but I became a client of hers. I already knew that her advice and views would resonate with me. I also liked the fact that we could work over the phone, this convenience factor was very important to me. Parenting Coach fees are similar to those of any therapist, but she does give preferred rates based on what the parents can afford, however she often works pro bono and has volunteered working with native families on reserves. I received a preferred rate of $85 per 45 minute session. She said it’s because we’re friends, but I secretly think she knows I don’t make much from selling sterling silver jewellery components because the margins on silver are so low.
Our talk began with a series of broad ranging questions, including what I hoped to gain from our sessions, and what I hoped to see in my children. This was followed with more specific questions to help her fill in the picture, very quickly I was able to start addressing some of my concerns. Her advice has always been very specific and practical, thus far it has really helped us improve our communication with our daughters, and helped give them age appropriate tools with which to express and channel their emotions. It has also given us insight into our own expectations as parents, and has allowed us to adjust them appropriately. More importantly for me, her advice has helped me better cope with being a busy parent, allow time for designing sterling silver jewellery components, and be a cheerleader for my husband as well.
I have since shared the lessons learned from my sessions with our child’s kindergarten teacher whose teaching skills and passion for teaching I greatly respect. She’s very keen on other parents receiving this service and has expressed this to the school’s principal. We plan on creating group sessions for parents who can’t afford the time or expense of private sessions, or who just want to sample some of the advice.
I strongly suggest Parenting Coach services to all parents. Like athletes, many parents are naturally talented, but a coach can help take you to a higher level and allow you to perform far better than you would otherwise with just effort and practice. I’m a talented jewellery components designer, and many of our Stones and Findings customers are talented jewellery designers, but parenting requires much more time, effort and clarity in order to do a great job. Unlike a gold medal, the reward of well adjusted children who go on to be productive members of society is one which keeps giving back. It is worth is immeasurable and never ending.