2020-06 Learning Circle Insights

Learning Circles Channel

Mentoring for Parents
Why do parents seem to have a need for mentoring now vs before as parents have been parenting for generations?

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3. When you mentor parents you also give a voice to the children, today’s children are di ff erent, the face pressure because of social media.

What do you need, to mentor parents? There needs to be a basic understanding of the stages of children’s’ growth over time into adulthood.

Important to use the language of love - Language of Love by Gary Chapman.

We need to remember that we were all children once and remind parents of this. We also face di ff erent stages, when we face rebellion time in their teens, sometimes we try to suppress it but suppressing it may create more issues down the road. Parents need to learn how to deal with rebellious children. We judge rebellion as bad.

Unconditional love is important. We also tend to put ourselves into the problem “when I was your age” and sometimes impose our judgements on them.

Mentors need to look at the issue at hand and it cannot be based on their personal judgement.

Should we looking at Parenting styles as a mentor?

Some things that mentors can do: • Listening with empathy; “You” and “I” language

• Use the language of love

• Focus on behaviours and not mind read /take it personally

• Enjoying the moment and being present

• Asking good questions

2. Mentoring for Parents 25 June 2020 Why do parents seem to have a need for mentoring now vs before as parents have been parenting for generations?

In the past in is a there was always an older person around the home especially with multi-generational families. The community also took an active part in parenting children within the community whereas now there are nuclear families that don’t have others to lean on.

It does take a village to grow a child but these days the village is gone. And when parents are not around, who do children role model?

There is no manual for parenting and even if there was one sometimes it is not a functional one. The current pace of the world and results driven life in itself creates issues, some grow up lacking people skills. In Asia with both parents working, sometimes the job of parenting is taken on by the helpers. Domestic violence and addictions also feature when mentoring parents.

Parents give destiny to their children.

Other challenges parents face:

▪ Dual income and high stress jobs

▪ Expectations, targets and goals

▪ Living vicariously through children (unfulfilled potential)

▪ Beliefs and values including societal values

▪ Being out of touch with trends – technology (insta story, FOMO, telegram, Tik Tok), alcohol, influences and influencers, mental health (anxiety, depression)

▪ Baggage – generational (boomer vs millennial), emotional (past issues), financial

▪ Behaviours – their own and their children’s

▪ Not setting boundaries  

▪ Underestimating Connection  

▪ Chasing control  

▪ Taking behaviours personally  

▪ Child has unmet developmental need

▪ Letting outside opinions impact your actions

▪ Extrapolating something small into a future problem Do you need to be a parent to mentor parents? Everyone in the group felt there was no need to be a parent. Some of the reasons were because the context may be di ff erent, but issues are the type of issues mentors generally face, although in some cases it might be useful to get some expertise as in the case of mental or physical issues that the parents have to work with.

4. • Setting boundaries

• Role modelling – children don’t necessary listen, but they do observe and watch.

• Support parents to teach the law of cause and e ff ect / consequences and also the law of harvest – we reap what we sow

• Supporting to release control.

When a parent comes to you to be mentored, the question of whether to address the other members of the family like the spouse of the child came up, there were some di ff ering views on this but overall most agreed that as mentors we work with what we have and build trust over time to address the issues with other members of the family who are party to the situation but to also bear in mind that sometimes children do not want their issues being discussed outside.

Case study and real life example discussion and sharing We have amnesia as parents, we forget what it’s like to be a child. Teenager in the case is going through change, parents need to recognise that teens go through emotional and physical change at a rapid rate.

Parents need to demonstrate love and trust and invest in building the moral compass, character and belief system their children.

Some observations on real life example

1. Parent brought in boundaries

2. Spoke about consequences – cause and e ff ect

3. Use “ I “ language and love language

4. Communicate clearly

5. Being assertive

6. Exhibit High Warmth and High Control

7. Set up routines and follow them – don’t stress the child especially if you have a routine set up by changing it

8. Listening with empathy – using “I “language , when we are angry we use “ You language” or ask “ Why” questions , supporting parents to calm down before they communicate.

9. Role modelling is important as children don’t listen they watch what you do – walking the talk is a real challenge for parents

10. Establishing coherence and congruence for parents

11. Emphasise the role of teaching character to children

12. Mentor parents to focus more on developing in their children good heart and a good head on their shoulders

13. Encourage parents to look at tapping into a safe community of support for themselves and their children because sometimes children may need to hear from outside the family

14. Clarity in communication

15. Prepare parents for role change and di ff erent phases in their children’s life - As children get older you take on a more constative role and sometimes a counsellor

16. Help parents to understand that it takes good e ff ort actions to undo a negative one

17. Parenting is a life process

18. Children are our mirrors and help parents realise that they need to grow too because of their children

19. Help parents learn that their children have their own identity and agenda – they are their own person, very important to keep in mind “I am not you“.


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