The most important role on Earth: Being a Good Parent

Parenting well is the most important role on Earth – without loving, attentive guidance from parents we can generate not only unhappiness but a great deal of social unrest.  Everyone will have her or his own criteria by which to define ‘good’ parent.  Perhaps it’s impossible to define but wanting the best for your children and striving to provide for them may be two elements of that.

Though we train for years to be a Plumber, a teacher or a Civil Engineer we’re not required to do any training to ensure that we know how to parent well, how to make our parenting effective. Just stop and answer these questions:

  • Who taught you how to be a good parent?
  • Your parenting blueprint came from your own parents, is it good enough for your children?

Let’s assume that each generation of parents seeks to do their best and that most want to improve on the way they were brought up.  No offence intended there – it’s quite a normal and natural inclination to want life to be easier, less structured, more structured, less or more challenging than our own lives. We want the best, the very best for our child/ren. Often, we judge what’s ‘best’ based on our own childhood and adolescent experience.

Even when you’re very, very keen to have children, it’s difficult to make the transition from being a child-free couple to the role of being parents.  Forget all those stories about sleep deprivation – they’re not all true but even if your new arrival has read the right books in utero and s/he sleeps like a baby, there are many other challenging things  about parenting.

You’ve gone from being a couple who could come and go pretty much whenever you please, you even had a small or reasonable amount of money to spare and now you’re responsible for a whole new life.  It may be that you’re perfectly attuned to each other’s parenting style and that you share fundamental values about discipline, schooling, diet and religion. The opposite can be true.

For many couples, one person decides to stay home to care for the children while they’re very young.  That has an immediate financial impact on the household. Often the man or woman who stays home feels like their work is not valued and they don’t like feeling financially dependent on their partner.  That sense of financial dependence can occur even when it’s a mutual and happily made decision about parenting.  If you’re the stay-at-home parent, you may be very happy that that’s financially possible.  However, you may miss the contact with adults in the workplace, you’ll miss the salary and you may still miss the intellectual challenge of your paid work.  Yes, you really, truly love having time with the babies.  It’s OK to miss the paid workforce, from time to time.  It’s natural to feel lonely or under-valued.

I’m often asked by clients to help them through the rewarding but challenging role of parenting a child and the greater challenge of raising more than one child.  One program I happily endorse is the Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) course. In the Western suburbs of Melbourne, I recommend highly the PET course offered by Mikayla Mitchell. The details of that course and its benefits are set out below, along with details of the Personal empowerment course Mikayla offers.

Mikayla Mitchell from Roots and Wings Parenting facilitates Communication and Personal Empowerment Programs based on the work by award-winning and three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Dr Thomas Gordon.

Using Dr Thomas Gordon’s “Gordon Model”, Mikayla provides you with a valuable and easy-to-use toolkit of skills and insights that you can carry with you to resolve, prevent and reduce communication and people problems. You can also use these invaluable skills to take more effective control of your life, so that you can strengthen and develop long lasting, satisfying and productive relationships – even with your siblings!

 Parent Effectiveness Training

In essence, this course is a communication course for parents, couples who are thinking about becoming parents, Teachers, Therapists, Childcare and Youth Workers

What you will learn:

  • How to talk to your children so that they will listen to you – yes, that is possible. There are strategies to ensure that you don’t go on ‘talking to the wall’ as many of us feel we do;
  • How to listen to your children so they feel genuinely understood;
  • How to resolve conflicts and problems in your family so that no one loses. Sometimes called win/win but also no/lose approach.
  • A simple method for troubleshooting family problems
  • How to communicate effectively with your partner to gain a better understanding of each others needs and values.
  • How to really listen to each other.  Instead of half listening while waiting for a pause in which you can speak.  Active listening is a skill that will serve you as a parent, friend, lover, sibling and in all relationships.

How You and Your Family will Benefit:

  • Your children will learn self-discipline, self-control and an inner sense of personal responsibility
  • You’ll be able to see fewer power struggles, less tension, less resentment, less guilt and shame – more peace, more love, and more family connection.
  • The whole family will work with each other instead of against each other.  That means that there will be fewer angry outbursts and more problem-solving

Costs of the Parent Effectiveness Training program:

One person: $395

Couple:  $655

Payment Plans

#Plan 1 – half fee to be paid when booking and final payment due 1 week prior to course commencement date.

#Plan 2  – 8 x Payment – $200 on enrolment/booking and 8 weekly payments to be paid before each session.

Healthcare Card Holders are eligible for a discount on course fees.
Be Your Best – Personal Effectiveness Program

This is a Personal Empowerment course for individuals who want to have a more satisfying and effective life

There are eight basic skills which are essential to living life to the fullest. These are:

  • Self-awareness: identifying your needs, wants, goals and dream
  • Personal Responsibility: taking responsibility for your needs and getting those needs met
  • Authentic Self-Disclosure: Constructively and respectfully expressing you needs
  • Empathic Listening: Listening to others and yourself with empathy, acceptance and understanding
  • Fear and Anxiety Reduction: Identifying and eliminating emotional obstacles to get your needs met
  • No-Lose Conflict Resolution: Effectively resolving conflict so that the needs are met for all of those involved
  • Values Collisions Strategies: Learning how to respectfully deal with value differences to be your best
  • Goals Planning and Action: Planning and setting goals that will meet your important needs and enable you to live your life to the fullest

How You will Benefit:

  • Gain control of your life; not be controlled by others
  • Confidently decide on your values, beliefs and opinions
  • Become personally responsible and less dependent on others for your needs to be met
  • Face your fears and move through them
  • Act assertively to meet your needs; not aggressively or non-assertive
  • Understand and respect others needs
  • Become congruent, authentic and genuine
  • Less guilt, less stress, less unhappiness; more confidence, inner peace and self-awareness
  • Discover and utilise resources for personal growth

For further information on courses, workshops and one on one training contact Mikayla Mitchell on 0403 733 173 or