• What Does It Take to Be the Best Parent? How One Mom Found Her Way

    Swimming lessons changed this mom's disposition and perspective of her world.
    by Dr. Liza Gonzales .
  • What Does It Take to Be the Best Parent? How One Mom Found Her Way
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  • When one becomes a parent for the first time, it becomes a truly exciting chapter of one’s life as the world revolves around this little bundle of joy. But what does it really mean to be a parent? More importantly, what would it take to be the parent we want to be?

    When my 2-week old firstborn suddenly held on to my right thumb with her tiny little fingers, I felt a different kind of sensation that brought me to tears. My mom-in-law witnessed the tears and asked, “What’s the matter?” It took some time before I could reply. I said, “I never realized how BIG this parenting responsibility is! What would become of this little angel who rests solely on me as her mother! Oh my God. I have to give her the best I could to make sure she becomes the best she can be.”

    As a certified life coach, I have come to coach parents with a whole lot of “life happening around them.” It could be a simple feeling of being unfulfilled; marriage that is not working; problematic relationships with in-laws, etc. I coached a mother who had an ongoing love-hate, yelling relationship with her only daughter. We came up with several communications strategies, but they did not seem to work.

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    In our next session, I asked the mom if she had the time to go out and chat with friends. What did she personally enjoy doing? I then learned that all she did every day was to attend to her family's needs, but she ignored her own. She said that she was expected to do household chores and do things for her husband and her only daughter from the very start. She did not have time for herself. 

    Then, she exclaimed she had a long list of things she personally wanted to do. The number one item in that list was to learn how to swim. I asked her what kept her from doing that. So we agreed her next assignment was to do swimming lessons. I told her that it was never too late to do something you really like. In our next meeting, she was very happy and excited to report that she actually did it and was enjoying the swimming lessons. She was even surprised when her daughter asked to go swimming with her.

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    You see, doing something for herself that she loved improved this mom's disposition and perspective of her world. I knew that it would have a direct impact on her relationship with her daughter. What she did also set an example to her daughter with a conveyed message that doing what makes us happy is important. The joy that swimming lessons brought her rubbed off on her daughter, eventually making their relationship better. It was a simple action yet a fulfilling experience that brought out the good parent in her.

    Time and again we are told it is best to teach by example. Our children learn mostly by watching. We can always talk and talk to teach, but if we fail to “walk our talk” our talking will not teach them anything. It is through our actions that we effectively teach. We cannot teach them patience if we ourselves are seen always yelling and getting impatient. So what would it take for us to be the parents we want to be? Live a life worth emulating by our children. After all, children learn what they live.

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    Dr. Liza Gonzales is an internationally certified life coach by the Certified Coaches Alliance (CCA) in Vancouver, BC, Canada. For questions and coaching inquiries and appointments, please send email to coachlizagonzales@gmail.com 

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