Transforming Caregiver Stress into Compassion Resilience

Strength in the face of resistance

When parents come to me for coaching, we will often explore the ‘Essential Acts of Self-Care’. Two of these are Support and Advocacy.

Parents are usually deemed to be the experts in their children, and have the power and influence to make a difference in matters affecting their lives. Sadly, this is not always the experience of parents whose children have extreme behaviours, as few people understand the dynamics involved.

For example, parents of a child with RAD can be held at fault for their children’s behaviour, since the child’s anger and rejection tends to be reserved for those providing the love and intimacy (the two things the child fears and needs most). These children are also skilled at Triangulation, and can make false accusations and allegations. As a result, others may only see and know the smiling, charming, loveable face of the child, leading to parents feeling isolated, unsupported and fiercely judged.

Whilst most parent coaches pay only lip-service to these concepts, the Support and Advocacy practices help parents develop the embodied strength of action that is needed where ever they may meet resistance or criticism – in therapy, at school, in the park, in our own families.

We explore what limits or constrains us when we meet resistance and how we can find the resilience to keep speaking up over the long-term, even when we are the lone voice.

We look at how we organise ourselves around requesting and receiving practical and emotional support, so we can more readily access resources that help hold us up, and feel the relief that comes with ‘more hands at our back’, when we no longer have the strength to keep standing by ourselves.

Support and Advocacy are essential acts of self-care, because they strengthen our capacity to take courageous and skillful action without so much cost to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

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