Single PagePage 1 of 4
The other night, after coming home to the not-so-warm welcome of yet another bedtime battle between me and my three-year-old son, my husband tried to lighten the mood by asking: "What would Supernanny do?"
A less exhausted me might've laughed. But the worn-out, feeling-crazy-from-the-day me saw it as a direct affront on my mothering ability, and I reacted accordingly. I spouted something straight from third grade like, "I don't know. Why don't you call her? And then marry her while you're at it!" Then I kissed my son goodnight, brushed past my husband, who was taking over bedtime duties, and stomped downstairs to check my e-mail.
Supernanny. As if.
As I logged on to my computer, the sound of my husband and son giggling their way through a story eroded my irritation. And by the time I got through my e-mails, I was back in familiar territory—embarrassed about my over-reaction and realizing that no matter how much I love my kids, at the end of the day (literally), my mothering techniques are too often formed more by fatigue and frustration than by love and wisdom.
Not exactly the kind of mom I want to be.
Jennifer Mangan, a certified "parent coach" and former associate editor of this magazine, knows the feeling. Not only because she's a mother of four teenagers, but because in her practice every day she sees parents who aren't dealing with things the way they'd like to: from moms who just want to handle a recurring, frustrating situation better, to families poised on the edge of total collapse.
Turns out, I'm the type of mom she wishes would come to see her more often—one who's "in touch" with the kind of mom she wants to be, but just can't make it happen all the time. She wants to see us before things get out of hand.
But instead of booking an appointment with her, I lined up an interview. And over tacos and Diet Cokes, we discussed what this whole "parent coaching" thing is about.
Christian Parenting Today: Some days I feel I'm a great mom, but other days aren't so hot. At what point exactly should a mom like me consider some coaching?
Jennifer: Most parents come to me when they're feeling overwhelmed. We become beaten down by the culture, busyness, kids, our spouses, other parents, and trying to keep up with the Joneses. Any number of factors can cause us to stop living our values, to stop parenting from that place where we feel good about what we're doing. We start second-guessing ourselves, feel constantly contradicted, and cave in to our children's bad behavior because we're so tired, stressed, worn out, and overworked.
Page 1 of 4 Next Page...