About My Joyful Parenting
I can hand on heart say that parenting has not been what I expected, and you know what? I’m glad. Actually, I’m delighted. Do you want to know why? It’s because it’s taught me that it’s okay to be different. Actually, being different is pretty darn incredible and leads to more joy, laughter and happiness that I could have ever imagined. My children have helped me become a better person, and that’s a gift that I never expected (aren’t surprise gifts the best kind of gifts?).
I’ve worked with hundreds of children, young people and parents, and you know what? Not one of them fit the mould that parenting books have us all believe leads to a peaceful, calm and enjoyable life. Maybe those families exist, but to me, they're like Unicorns – something we wish for, have never actually seen, and are okay with that because, at the end of the day, we’re doing fine without them (don’t get me wrong, I love Unicorns, I just don’t think they are the end all and be all).
All the parents I've worked with start off in a similar place. They’re all experiencing challenges that are affecting the whole family and feel like they are at the end of their tether. They’ve lost hope, faith in themselves, and joy is the last word associated with parenting. Through working together, parents end up understanding their children, feel proud of their children, and become their children’s best advocates.
Notice I’ve focused on the parents? And that’s because as parents, we are in the best position to help our children because we have the closest relationship with them. We're also the adults, and therefore, can change. Our children are still trying to figure out this whole growing up thing, so it's us who have to change, not them.
As parents, we need to embrace our own strengths and difficulties, put aside what we want, and be willing to make the changes that will benefit our children. A calmer, more peaceful and joyful family life is possible, but we must embrace all the things that make our family different and be willing to learn, understand and try new things.
The parents I’ve had the most success with might not have the best-behaved children in the whole world, but behaviour has improved. The most important thing for me is that they’ve discovered their joyful parenting, and by doing so, life has become more in line with what they dreamed it would be, and they have the tools to carry on the work after we say good-bye.
And that’s what I’m about, and by extension, My Joyful Parenting is about. I want parents to gain a good understanding of their children’s strengths and difficulties. I want them to learn new tools (or perhaps just tweaking old ones) that help their children shine. As a Parent Coach, I feel privileged to be able to share this journey with parents.
I'm known as Cindy to most people, and as Mum to others. Mainly my two boys, The Daredevil (aged 7 years) and the Little Scientist (aged nearly 5 years). Some days I go by Mrs Pyjama Pants. I like to mix it up, you know?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in attachment and parenting. I’ve got a BA in Honours Psychology, an MSc in Developmental Psychopathology, and an MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People. I’m also a qualified CalmFamily Consultation and offer BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm workshops and courses to those in Scotland.
You can probably tell that I’ve got a bit of a thing about learning. That means you can be assured that my approach is evidence-based - I look to the latest developments in child development and the best strategies to support parents in raising children who are emotionally resilient and able to cope with the fast-paced world they will live in as adults.
I’ve spent six years as a researcher in the areas of parenting, as well as the well-being of looked after and accommodated children and young people. I’ve spent the last nine years working in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). I feel honoured that I’ve had the opportunity over the past fifteen years to hear their stories – the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel blessed to have helped children, young people and their families gain an understanding of their difficulties and support them in overcoming their mental health difficulties and difficulties at home.
Let Children Teach Us What It’s Like To Be Them
Being a parent to the Daredevil, a child who defied all the parenting books with enthusiasm, led me to a world of new parenting tools that my psychology training didn’t teach me. I became child-led, and it’s been a game changer at home and in my work.
I’ve been lucky to meet amazing children and young people who have taught me more about what it’s like to be a small (or not so small at times) human living with anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties. But most of all, the children and young people I’ve worked with have taught me more about Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder )ADHD), living with Sensory Processing Difficulties (SPD), and living with a habit disorder (e.g. Tourettes Syndrome), than any books have ever taught me.
Why Parent Coaching?
You can spend hours reading books, and if your child has ASD, ADHD, sensory processing difficulties or a habit disorder, I recommend you learn as much as you can because knowledge is the first step in making sense of your child’s difficulties. For some parents, the books are enough.
The one thing most books fail to do is to tell you how to apply their teachings to your particular situation. That’s not their fault, they don’t know your specific circumstances. And that’s where coaching comes in.
Over the years I’ve developed my own unique approach. It’s unique because it combines my psychology training, my fifteen years experience, the knowledge I gained from my wonderful neurodiverse clients (for those who don’t know, it’s the wonderful people who have ASD, ADHD and habit disorders) in a way that helps bridge the confusing gap between reading books and applying them to real life.
Parents who have worked with have all said that the most helpful thing they found about working with me was that I helped them understand the world through their child’s eyes. This is crucial if you want to use strategies that work for your child and family. Strategies that will help them grow and find their place in the world.
Who is Parent Coaching for?
Parent Coaching is for anyone who has tried different things and feels stuck. So whether you have a toddler whose meltdowns have you nearly having a meltdown of your own (we’ve all been there, don’t let anyone tell you they haven’t), or an older child with ASD or ADHD, and everything you’ve tried doesn’t seem to work, Parent Coaching can help.
I will help you see the situation from a different perspective by offering a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to discuss the difficulties you’re experiencing and work together to find tools that will best fit your family.
Due to the world we live in, you no longer have to live near me to benefit from my support. If you live in and around the Glasgow and South Lanarkshire (Scotland) area, then I can work with you in person. If you’re further afield, sessions can be conducted over Skype. Technology is fantastic, isn’t it?
Because everyone’s situation is different, I offer different packages. Please click here to find out what services I offer.
If you want more information about coaching, BabyCalm or ToddlerCalm, please complete the form below.