Coaching for families:
helping your kids thrive when their world changes
Children are resilient and most can handle change well. Chances are that in time they will look back positively on this life event called ‘relocation’. But when they are in the middle of it it’s not always easy… Fortunately, the right support and guidance can help things go a lot more smoothly.
What this looks like depends on the age and personality of each child.
Before, during and after relocating, it is normal for children of all ages to struggle with
- sadness or anger about everything that has changed;
- missing their old home, friends and relatives;
- having to find a new place in a new environment, and possibly dealing with a language barrier to boot.
And it’s normal for difficulties relating to growing up abroad to surface periodically. Usually just when you thought they’d found their feet!
It is also normal for you as a parent to feel challenged or lost in how to support your child though this, especially if
- their sadness and anger express themselves in less than attractive behaviour;
- they are introverted and you don’t know what’s going on inside them;
- one of them is taking the move a lot harder than the other(s) despite your support;
- they have special needs;
- you feel stressed yourself and have your own struggles in adjusting to the move.
I will provide you with expert advice and coaching on
- Preparing your children for the relocation;
- Supporting your children in the process of settling in;
- Guiding your children through rough patches on the road of growing up;
- Being a parent of third-culture or in-between-culture kids;
- Being a good (enough) parent even when times are stressful.
I firmly believe that in almost all cases parents are the ones best placed to support their children. So my role is to equip you to do this to the best of your abilities. Coaching not only helps you deal with your current question or concerns, but also strengthens your family unit and gives you tools and strategies to draw on when you encounter any bumps on the road later on.
Coaching for parents is a combination of
- advice and guidance on how to support your child(ren) and, if necessary, manage their behaviour;
- coaching on how you can (better) use your own strengths in your parenting, and how to match your style and personality to your child’s needs in different situations;
- tools and strategies for having better conversations with your child, whatever their age.
Together we decide who joins the sessions and all options are possible; I may talk with one parent or with the whole family – whatever is most useful for you at the time.
Coaching for children and adolescents
Although I usually coach parents to support their kids, it can be helpful for a child or adolescent to have individual coaching. Teenagers, particularly, may need a session or two just for them.
The process is the same as it is with adults: we discuss what they want to achieve or do differently, and then we figure out which steps they could take to make that happen. We may talk or draw or (with younger children) play to work this out.
As with adults, coaching is confidential. However, at the end of the session we always discuss whether there is anything that would be necessary, helpful or nice to tell parents about the session and the work that was done and how to best share this (there may not be). Of course, if there are any concerns about the safety of your child or anyone else, I will let you know.
I am a trained child and adolescent psychologist turned relocation coach. Over the years I have supported families through tough times in educational, mental health and hospital settings, so you can count on my solid training and professional experience to support you and your loved ones (for more about me, and my professional background, go here). I am also an expatriate and am personally familiar with relocating (with and without children), so my personal experience is an added source of inspiration and provides valuable insights that I put to use in my work. And, of course, I stay up to date on the latest developments in the field of coaching international families, global citizens, digital nomads, expatriates and whatever else we call ourselves.
Le blog is written for anyone who is interested in change or dreams about turning their life around.
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