An introduction to family coaching

For many, surviving the pitfalls of Christmas with the family can be one of the most stressful moments of the year. All the anticipation and build-up can easily end in spats and arguments as family overload kicks in. So here we are in January with another year ahead of us, and time to reflect on family life.

As a certified NLP practitioner, it may seem reasonable to think that I have the tools to avoid such family misadventures. And you’d be right, I do. We all do.

Coaching can be beneficial for individuals and families in exactly the same way as it is effective in a business context. We can experience difficult relationships at work, with a boss or colleague, and in the same way we can experience these relationships within our families, with a parent or sibling. Another example is how you feel. In business, coaches often work on state management with client’s to help them feel more confident or dynamic. These same techniques can be used in family coaching to help us feel more…….whatever it is you’d rather feel!

So how could coaching help your family?

I have two young daughters and often find myself having to umpire their disputes. As a mum, I have to try and interpret what they say to get to the bottom of what caused the dispute. Sometimes I question my own parenting skills. Wouldn’t it be good if I had more patience? Or why does a particular thing infuriate me so much? And sometimes I question how my husband and I communicate and co-parent.

There are so many possible scenarios to choose from but one that springs to mind is my four year old daughter Olivia and her aggression towards her two year old sister. I found that telling her off was not effective, and if anything seemed to encourage her to be naughtier. This niggled me for a few weeks until I did some perspective work to try and see these events through her eyes. By doing this I discovered that when she was naughty, I came to her, and she got to spend some one on one time with me (albeit being told off!). When I then asked her about why she was doing these naughty things she said “Because you’re always with Emily”. It turns out that basic sibling rivalry was the cause. I probably do spend more time on the basics with Emily, helping her dress or in the bathroom, as she is only two after all. From my perspective this was nothing more than practicalities and not a division of my love or quality time. But to a four year old, this was simply perceived as “you do more with her than with me”. I now make a conscious effort to dedicate more time to Olivia so that things seem fair. I also explained to her why I still have to some things for Emily, as she’s smaller and cannot do them herself.

Learning how to see things from different perspectives is a really helpful tool and one that can be used in many scenarios.

This is an example of just one technique used in coaching. If you feel you or your family might benefit from family coaching or would like more information, please contact us at