So Why Parenting?
So why parenting? Well there's a question. I have come into contact with families at various stages of flux during my working life. What I have learnt is that parents struggle for all kinds of reasons. There are those that love the baby years , parents that thrive with toddlers , those mums at the school gates that seem to have it all, the parent that is everyone's teenagers hero and go to person. In reality all of us seem to struggle at some point but find it difficult for some reason to share the difficulties even with our friends. I remember one mum who had a complex child , lots of behavioural issues and physical outbursts, saying 'I know a mum down my road who's son has ADHD and I see a lot of similarities in my son, but i just don't feel I could ask her , because she might think I am criticising her parenting, I know a lot of the other mum's talk about her and she doesn't really speak'. It just so happened I worked with the other mum who really struggled and desperately wanted to be able to have someone to talk to. Needless to say a long and enduring friendship, a diagnosis of ADHD along with some tears and laughter began.
A challenge from a young person (Laura) was a life changing moment for me. She was a looked after child and living with her 3rd or 4th carers, breakdown of placements mostly due to behaviour. We were at at GP appointment and she was talking about some of the problems she had with her recent carers, I told her I would talk to them when we got home. Loudly and in front of the queue of waiting patients she shouted ' Why don't you stop telling other people what to do and do something yourself'. Six months later my husband and I welcomed our first Foster child to our family.
So why parenting, well because it makes the biggest difference to families, if the help and support is given to the parents (adult carers), don't get me wrong, support for the child/young person is important, but as professionals we can only ever support a young person for a short time. Parents are always the experts on their own children, if parent coaching can help them to help their child then the changes are lifelong. For most parents finding a way that works for them just takes a few small tweaks and changes to what they already know, for parents facing bigger challenges or wanting to change the way they parent to meet additional needs, or additional challenges such as divorce and separation the journey of support maybe longer.