All parents want the best for their kids and for them to thrive.

Most of us just want our kids to be happy. In fact, 81% of parents from a recent study stated this. But it feels quite counterintuitive that it is simultaneously reported that less than 44% of parents feel adequately prepared for parenthood.

A goal that is echoed by nearly all of my clients is wanting to ensure their kids flourish – that their children are prepared with the qualities they need to successfully navigate life. But they also recognise this is a big responsibility.

So how do we go from ill equipped to capable and thriving whilst still bearing the enormous weight of responsibility of our children’s futures?

A parenting course? That makes total sense. But a course is often just strategies. These can be helpful but there’s more to prospering as a parent than that.

First, it helps to understand what heathy family dynamics look like for your family specifically. We each have different characteristics, attributes, beliefs, values and goals that make up the ingredients of our own family recipe.

Often, we might need some support in understanding these more deeply. Working with a parent coach can help to get clarity on your values, priorities and goals which will help align your action and decisions accordingly.

Second, the very best way to cultivate the skills we want for our children is to role-model them. That means we have to develop these skills ourselves, if we haven’t already. As a first step we need to identify where we feel we are lacking.

Confidence and resilience are two that come up a lot amongst parents: Parenting, working and then juggling parenting with working, can be overwhelming and is likely to be a challenge for even the most confident and resilient individuals.

Working with a coach can help identify what’s missing and build a toolkit of skills to help meet the demands of parenting. Using the supportive, non-judgemental space to explore any challenges and fears can sometimes be enough but you’re likely to also develop strategies to overcome them during the partnership.

Third, understand everyone’s needs. And that means EVERYONE: not just the needs of your children, but YOUR needs too. You can’t be there for anyone effectively until you are there for yourself.

A parent coach can help you understand your children’s needs but also discover your own. And when you fulfil these, you are not only modelling healthy behaviours for your children, but you’ll have the energy and resilience to meet the demands of parenting.

Finally, develop your communication. Enhanced communication encourages understanding, and empathy. When we communicate effectively, we connect. Connection is a vital component of a flourishing family – it fosters a feeling of security. When we feel secure, we cooperate, and without cooperation family life can be thrown into chaos.

Working with a parent coach can deepen your own self-awareness, that of your children and your connection to each other. The partnership you create in your time together will improve your communication and strengthen your collaborative outlook. All of this will promote positive change and improved family dynamics.

Hannah Porteous-Butler is a parent and maternity coach supporting her clients with life transitions brought about by parenthood.  She specialises in career and relationship change and returning to work after a career break/parental leave.

A trained neuroscience coach, Hannah takes a holistic approach to her work, delivering long lasting results with the ultimate outcome of helping clients create healthy family dynamics.

You can get in touch with her via her website or via her profile page.