(FROM BEE WIRRAL)
what's your background?
For the last twenty years I’ve been working with families, first with Sure Start, and most recently with Bee Wirral. I’m now Early Years lead and my job is to develop and run activities for families. I’m a qualified infant massage therapist. This therapy strengthens the unique bond between parents and their newborns. As the children grow, I’ve developed sensory groups, music and singing, messy play and, for the older ones, cookery and craft sessions. My objective in each group is to encourage the parents to develop the confidence to get fully involved, so that they can enjoy being with their children, taking ideas home with them and bringing their own ideas in to share with the group. I encourage parents to use the groups to develop their own informal support networks. Sometimes it feels as though I’ve got the best job in the world!
what got you interested in becoming a family coach?
Being a parent is a privilege but it’s not always easy. If you’re lucky you’ll have someone to turn to when things get tough. This may be your partner, your family or your friends but sometimes all of us need that bit of extra help. I’ve worked with families from a wide range of backgrounds and I’ve seen the difference that arms length support can make. To me, it’s about supporting the parent to see where they want to be in terms of the relationships within the family, and then to help them identify their own solutions about how to get there.
what bits of family life have you got experience of helping with?
As an early years specialist I can provide help and advice on weaning, toilet training, sleep problems and child development. But my role has been much wider than that over recent years, running after school clubs, homework groups and summer playschemes, so I can give support on having appropriate expectations, ages and stages, keeping their children safe and providing the nurturing environment that allows children to fulfil their potential
what would you say to someone who is 'uuming and ahhing' about signing up?
If you are not sure whether or not coaching is for you, try taking a small first step. Coaching is about nurturing and empowering you to become the parent you want to be. There are no textbook 'right' answers, just strategies that you can try and see if they work for you and your family. And that’s what your coach will do; guide you and support you to gain the confidence to try the strategies out, without judging you. You’ll find yourself communicating better with your family and feeling more positive about yourself