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Ep 89 Exploring Parenting with Curiosity with Merri Guggisberg

Interview with Merri Guggisberg, owner of MKG Parent Coach, discussing mindsets and tools to parent with curiosity, presence, and grace.

Merri Guggisberg is the founder of MKG Parent Coach and she helps parents bring mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude to every parenting situation.

As a certified parent coach, she provides long-term solutions in collaboration with parents. Using this joint approach parents are able to address the unique challenges happening in individual homes. She works with parents individually, as a group, or partnered-pair. Some of parents’ top concerns are screen time management, conflict resolution, and improving overall family engagement.

Parent coaching is a holistic process- caring for children requires self-care. This is why the mission of MKG Parent Coach is bringing mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude to parenting, because the solutions we derive together are sustainable for the whole family.

When not on FaceTime with her two adult children, you can find Merri and her husband trekking Minnesota State Parks along with their Goldendoodle, Kula.

Learn more:

MKG Parent Coach website

Schedule your Connection Call

Join Merri’s free Facebook group

Follow Merri on Youtube

Merri’s LinkedIn

MKG Parent Coach Instagram

MKG Parent Coach Facebook

 

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Transcript

Cynthia: In today’s episode, we are going to hear about Mary Ginsburg. She is the founder of M K G parent coach, and she helps parents bring mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude to every parenting situation. As a certified parent coach, she provides long-term solutions and collaboration with parents. Using this joint approach, parents are able to address the unique challenges happening in individual.

She works with parents individually as a group or partnered pair. Some of the parents’ top concerns are screen time management, conflict resolution, and improving overall family engagement. Parent coaching is a holistic process. Caring for children requires self-care. This is why the mission of Mkg [00:03:00] parent Coach is bringing mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude to parenting because the solutions we derive together are sustainable for the whole family. During today’s conversation, you’ll get to not only meet Mary, but also hear some of her tools that she offers parents on a consistent basis, some inspiring quotes around parenting, and we’ll get to also hear the generational healing that is required in order for us to be our best selves for our children. 

Welcome. To the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. It’s your host, Cynthia Shockley, and today we’ll be speaking with Mary Ginsburg. She is a parent coach, and as. You may know by now this quarter we are focusing in on family care on this podcast, and we’re talking about different ways you can think about family care, different options that are out there.

And when we think about family care, something [00:04:00] that definitely comes to mind is the stress and anxiety that comes with parenting. The moments of feeling lost, confused, hopeless. so I’m super excited to introduce you to Mary, who specifically works with parents in this space. Hello, Mary? 

Merri: Yes, thank you.

A nice focus for the quarter. Love it. Everyone sets those goals for the start of the year, and why not make a goal of focusing in on your family very wise. And thank you for having me. I’m excited to be.

Cynthia: I’m so glad that you’re able to make it . So Mary, I, got to explore your bio, explore your website a bit.

But for anyone who doesn’t know, what exactly is parent coaching? 

Merri: Yeah. I liken it to when people bring a baby home from the hospital, right? There’s no manual. , you can get a, a planning document that says do this, and you’ll have the next fill in the blank. Physician, doctor, professional.

That’s why we’re [00:05:00] blessed to have people that come into our village and gets to support us and help build our toolkits. So what as a parent coach is just that it’s helping parents build tools so that they can be the best parent they can. For their own family. And every skill you learn in parent coaching, it ripples to all relationships.

It’s not just for you, it’s for every setting that you get blessed to be hanging out in. So I’m loving being that support for families. Ugh, 

Cynthia: amazing. And I have to share this quote that just immediately shows up on your website. First of all, Brene Brown, amazing. This quote is, the question isn’t so much, are you parenting the right way?

It is. Are you the adult you want your child to grow up to be? Yes. How does this quote drive you? Motivate you, keep you focused on your mission? Yeah, 

Merri: I think it’s because when I [00:06:00] do have the privilege of being with a parent, there isn’t a parent that doesn’t say, I just wanna do right for my kiddo.

I just wanna be the best mom, dad, co-parent I can be for my kiddo. When we can really put our own oxygen mask on first and show up for ourselves so we can show up for our loved ones. Oh my gosh. That is being the adult that we want our kids to be when they, cuz we raise ’em to set ’em free. We don’t raise ’em to keep ’em under our nest forever.

But it is that opportunity to just build my own skills so that I can help empower my kiddo to have the best. 

Cynthia: And you have adult children now, correct? 

Merri: I do, yes. So there was no I did a lot of reading when my own two were younger and I tapped my village huge. So that is another part I think of coaching, is guiding to have a strong village.

I feel honored to be a part of that. And I would tell you the joy of being a mom of adult now adult [00:07:00] kids is the fact that, first off, my kids are friends. My kids truly enjoy hanging out with each other. And then on the flip side, they like hanging out with my husband and I would say I feel honored that both of our kids are, they pick up the phone and call us or FaceTime us.

They both, one is in his third year of college and one is done with college and we. My daughter and I talk every day , so not so much with the college student, but that’s all fair because we’re at different places. But isn’t that a joy to think your kiddos can be friends? 

Cynthia: I think that is a mark of parenting success is, okay, I’ve raised this adult who I want to hang out with and they wanna hang out with me.

Exactly. Yeah. 

Merri: It’s a joy. It’s a joy. Yes. And Cynthia, I also see that as encouragement cuz when parents are having those kiddos that are just boning heads and they cannot see eye to eye to be like, oh wait, there is hope. There is hope that, and I wouldn’t say my kiddos ever really had. I [00:08:00] mean, There were seasons that they weren’t super close, but they, it’s just a joy to see that, that now they message each other and their own forms of using technology and yeah it’s, again, it’s the best word I can use is it’s just a joy.

Cynthia: Yeah, and gosh, it’s also I think, a bit of acknowledging the chapter or the season of life that your kids are at. Like their brain development is just different. There’s such big emotions and a hard time processing those emotions and expressing those emotions. So to have a little bit of patience and understanding along the way, and a bit of trust that they will get to that adult phase where they’re able to be a little more.

More logical, especially with that guidance. 

Merri: Yeah. And to be willing to walk along in each of those stages. There to hold. I liken it to guardrails. So as their brains are developing we’ve put guardrails up in place so that which could be [00:09:00] boundaries, it could be setting limits, it could be whatever word works in your own home.

But we’re gonna put those in place so that you might bump into the guardrail, but you’re not gonna go all the way over. I’m gonna be there. We’re gonna be, and we’re gonna explore solutions together. It’s one way to help this develop, right? Help teach that accountability of your own actions with the safeguards, right?

, it’s, again, I love when you just say, it’s that privilege of coming alongside and being a part of their grow, their brains developing. And boy, don’t we learn as. As they’re developing, I myself was learning right along with them. 

Cynthia: Yeah. So I really would love for you to share too

your story of what brought you into this parent coaching space. Cuz I know so many healers out there who. Have their own journey and that’s why they wanna pay it 

Merri: forward. . Exactly. I love, thanks for asking that. So I was in ministry for 10 years [00:10:00] and when I worked in youth ministry it was with kiddos in sixth grade through the first four years of out of high school.

So it was that really brain development. I love when you used, were calling brains cuz think of what I got to experience when my own two were very young and. You can’t do ministry with just the kiddos, it’s the family. And I would bring in parent educators and help those parents build their toolkit around being the best parent they could be.

While we were doing that, I was like, oh my gosh, that might be the right fit for me for future. Like literally being a parent educator. And I did that for five years, and it was in that journey that parents would come aside and they would confide the heaviest stories. I can’t sleep at night because I don’t know where my child is.

I can’t sleep because did I do right? I lost my cool, I swore at my child. I call it flip your lid and. A super important Dan Siegel [00:11:00] training of what’s happening in our brains when our thermometers explode. And you and parents would go to bed. Just so sad, so hard on themselves. And that’s when I was like they were wanting that they were wanting more support.

They wanted that handholding to say, okay, this is what I did. Help me do that recovery so that I. Reestablish that relationship once it was severed or help me have good care for myself so that I am teaching my kiddo the importance of coping skills, the importance of showing up for myself. Yeah, we still have jobs.

We still have day-to-day responsibilities and we weave right in with that, the importance of caring for me so that I can care for my whole family. And it’s just been a privilege to join parents as their own children have been growing and to do those checking calls. And they’ll be like, [00:12:00] Mary, I applied those strategies we talked about and then they’re like, and my kiddo and I can talk.

My kid wouldn’t talk to me before they, they wouldn’t abide by curfew. They wouldn’t help around the house. I was tired of always asking, pick up your room. We’ve explored solutions together and we came up with a plan. And that’s what coaching does. It just gives the strategies to explore, be curious.

Cynthia: What a gift as a parent to have the space where you are given permission to forgive yourself. Permission to be human, and permission to be curious in the process and try new things. Because. I think everyone’s worst fear is sometimes, like most people their fear is, I don’t wanna be the exact kind of parent my parent was to me, because we all have our own childhood traumas and pains and struggles, and we’re like, oh, I’m gonna do things differently.

But yes. , there’s so much modeling done in the [00:13:00] household. . And so for a parent to come to you and say, I wanna do things differently. And I, it’s not something I can just pick up and do on my own. I need some intentionality, some structure. I guess for you, what have you noticed in terms of what.

What chapter parents are at when they come to you? At what point that they’re like, Hey, I need a coach. Yeah. 

Merri: Usually it’s using the phrase, the wheels fell off the bus. Right. It’s usually when the crisis has happened and they’re like, Ugh, my, my kiddos are just boning hats. They are not getting along.

They will not even talk to each other than punch each other in the arm as they walk down the hall, the ideal would be coming and seeing me or any coach much earlier. I love the success. E C F E does early childhood family education, and it’s teaching those awesome skills. and then we have nothing really for [00:14:00] that after that stage.

So we, your parents and kiddos get into school and it’s kinda oh, I’m supposed to have this all figured out. And that’s the perfect time to say, I’m just going to keep my ed, my own education journey going. Now most of my clients have kiddos. Late elementary through high school age, and I will tell you this is probably the biggest reason parents come and I’m pointing to my cell phone because it is such an interruption of relationships.

Parents have. They it’s helpful to have, remember we talked about those guardrails? It’s helpful to have those guardrails in place, and you’re having those guardrails set together. You’re having those conversations with your child and the parent to say, Hey, we are going to, one of our family values is no phones in the bedrooms at night.

All right mom, that’s what I wanna use for my alarm clock. All right. We’re gonna explore together. We’re gonna get you [00:15:00] something cool from Amazon or Target or wherever, and you get to pick because that’s a family value. And Cynthia, you talked about modeling. And then the modeling is that I, the parent, my phone is being charged in the exact same place.

The kiddos phones are. And I would say to this day, my kiddos phones they’re, they live on their own now, so I’m not sure where they, but when we are home, my husband and I, we still keep our phones in the central charging spot where they did when they lived here. It’s just how we modeled. 

Cynthia: Yes. And. For me personally, I just remember as a child not taking some of the things my parents said to heart because it was two separate rules, right?

The I’m an adult so I can do this, but you’re a child so you have to listen to me. And it’s like, no, I will not just listen to you . 

Merri: Exactly. Yeah. So true. And I love when you call out cuz parents will also come and they’ll be like, I just don’t wanna [00:16:00] do what my parents did to me. I just wanna do better than my parents did.

Even though you’ve done some healing and you are maybe now friends or at least can get along with your parents, but we crave a deeper relationship with our kiddos and I really do see that coming out of parent coaching it. I see. Parents and kiddos just having that bond because we’re giving parents tools on how to have those conversations.

To not do the parenting over where, what you just said, my way or the highway where we get to parent with and we get to talk with our kiddos. It takes time. It’s not a parenting over is a much faster on the boss applesauce. Versus. Let’s do this together and we’re gonna explore and Oh yeah, we both might make mistakes.

And I love when you said ask for forgiveness. Parents, we learn just as much that we get to ask for forgiveness too. And we get to do, do-overs because [00:17:00] I might flip my lid and I need to get back in alignment and be like, oh kiddo, that is not at all how I’m meant to respond. This is what I learned. Ask for the apology and here’s what I wanna do together.

Explore those solutions together. I mean, Just stay curious so we can show up for each other. 

Cynthia: I resonate so strongly with everything that you’re saying. I started my own business supporting moms in particular because what I’ve observed is, especially mothers tend to take on a lot more of that emotional baggage of, oh gosh, like I need to be the one to, make sure the kids turn out as.

Wonderful adults. And it’s also very hard if you have a biological child, like grew a baby in your belly and took care of those little nugget that can’t take care of itself. And now you have to trust that yeah, they have their own thoughts, opinions values, and have that kind of [00:18:00] respectful conversation instead of parenting over dynamic.

Merri: . . Yeah. And it’s . It takes a lot for a parent to be okay to say, I need help, and that willingness to go, oh, I don’t have a playbook. So I appreciate when you say that showing up and helping parents forgive themselves. Ask for assistance. All kiddos need five caring adults. Research shows all kiddos need five caring adults to become caring adults themselves.

Who are we as adults putting in place for that and who’s in mine as the parent who’s in my village to help me be the best me I can be? 

Cynthia: It brings me back to that quote on your website, are you the adult you want in your child’s grow up to be? So you also have to do the work and. Be in touch with your emotions.

Mm-hmm. And be vulnerable and do that messy stuff alongside your child so that they can, see that model before them and [00:19:00] know what it looks like. 

Merri: And remember that we’re human too. , cuz otherwise we put ourselves in this bubble that, oh. I have a flat tire today and I missed my kiddo’s dance recital or whatever and to let the kiddo know that this is just part of really heartbreaking reason.

But it happens. And remember, there are things that happen outside our control. So when you mention the word vulnerability, it’s that being vulnerable. It’s, I burnt dinner and or I got distracted by whatever. I didn’t make something and not using it as a punishment to myself to literally sit in that and be I’m guilty as charged way back when, just beating myself up, literally just emotionally and learning the importance of parenting out of faith, not out of.

parenting out of showing up with that. Yeah. We’re gonna learn this together. 

Cynthia: Parenting out of faith and not [00:20:00] fear. 

Merri: Yeah. Yeah. What I like to coach into is, can I share the pause? Um, Yes. One thing I do is I have, I do a lot of acronyms for helping, like in the moment, you I already talked about Flip Your Lid and how we Teach that, but Pause is an acronym that I came up with that literally is, how do I.

Stay in my parenting joy. How do I stay the as that healthy role model? And I will happily share this with you too. So the P is present. How am I showing up for myself and my loved ones? Am I physically here? Am I. Physically here, but I’m checked out cuz I’m on my device or my brain is checked out cause I’m thinking about a work project or I’m thinking about tomorrow and it’s truly being present of all of you emotionally and physically.

Then it’s a, is attentive, how am I being attentive to my emotions? That importance of putting your own [00:21:00] oxygen mask on first, attentive to my emotions, and then attentive to my loved one. Every feeling equals a need, and when I can be attentive to those, now I have more than next is you for understanding so that I can listen, to understand, not to reply, and literally it’s hearing with my whole self.

Listen to understand not to reply. And then s is the support. I might need more support. My kiddo might need more support, so thank goodness there are professionals out there cuz I just told you. Five caring adults, right? Who is in that village for the kiddo and who’s in that village for the caregiver.

And then you heard me say it many times, the E is explore. Explore those solutions together and it explore. Could just be curiosity. I’m just gonna show up and sit and wonder. Let’s just wonder together about this situation, what would make it. Best for you? What would make it best for your friend? What would make, [00:22:00] whatever the situation is, we’re going to explore and then I help guide parents with some strategies to have those conversations cuz and then we role play because it’s a lot easier to role play with me when you’re having some of those conversations.

And then you’re building your toolkit so you can show up with that. Practicing the pause. 

Cynthia: . I love that. Thanks. Really accurate acronym, right? To be able to take a pause and then pause like P a U 

Merri: S e . Exactly, yes. And I think it can be one that you can just literally in this, in a half a second go, I’m gonna do, I’m gonna lose my cool.

Or I could pause and what does my kiddo need of me right now? They need me present away from devices away from. Oh, what are they feeling? What am I feeling? Am I scared right now because they failed a test? Am I scared right now because their friends did something? Am I, and notice I’m saying me I And then check in with your [00:23:00] kiddo.

So we’re okay. So I can unpack that one for a long time. When I do the the listen to understand, not to reply. The light bulbs just go off in parent’s eyes like, oh, I don’t have to fix. No, I want you to just be with your, be with yourself so you can be with your kid. 

Cynthia: What stood out to me earlier was every emotion has a need.

Yeah, 

Merri: exactly. Every feeling equals a need. Yes. I use the iceberg analogy to explain that one cuz your behavior is showing one thing, but underneath, what’s the. And then how do we together, what’s showing up, what’s not showing up, and how do we together explore that behavior? And then the emotion. Yes, every feeling equals a need.

I say that one a lot. 

Cynthia: I love that one, and I know one feeling in particular that a lot of parents struggle with is anger. , and I believe it was Brene Brown [00:24:00] as well, who expressed that anger is just, Bodyguard for other emotions, anger’s never the actual core emotion. That’s the reactive response.

That’s your ego protecting yourself. Yes. But ultimately the anger is there to protect fear, 

Merri: Fear is exactly what I was gonna say. Usually if you keep whittling it back, it’s it’s easier for me to be upset or angry than to really tell my kiddo I’m scared. So, , it’s, gonna happen.

So I’ll make your curfew this, and then we’ll argue about it rather than me really fessing up that I’m scared you’re taking risky behaviors. Okay. So thank you. Thanks for saying that. Yeah. Anger. And that’s where I say, remember, some parents come to me because they have lost their cool, and they’re yelling.

That’s the only way they can get their kiddos to listen. It’s another form of anger, right? So we spend a lot of time in that. 

Cynthia: I wonder if you’ve also noticed in your work, because you’re ultimately teaching parents all [00:25:00] these ways to check in on themselves, to build inner awareness and then also to moderate their behavior in a way that’s more conducive to collaboration, to mm-hmm. positive results. If you’ve also noticed that then helps the parent’s relationships if it’s a two-parent household. 

Merri: Yes, very much so. one person told me once I feel like this is more than marriage counseling cuz I’m actually being able to have a different type of conversation with my partner cuz we go through compassionate conversations.

And that really is when you do, I feel this. , I need this. And then how can we explore it together? So you just give them a little formula and then, oh my gosh, when you ignore me because you’re watching television, I feel abandoned. I feel not seen. I need to be seen. I need, and then [00:26:00] how can we do this together?

And those just give, so I just gave myself chills cause I’m thinking of clients that this just literally has just sparked in their relationship. Yeah. 

Cynthia: Hmm. Just touching my heart that, Hmm. because at the root of it, we all just love each other and want to be loved, and our brain comes up with all these stories of what might be happening or what the other person is thinking.

And instead of reacting to that thought, it’s, can we have a conversation so that we can lay out the mission that we wanna love each other better? 

Merri: And then when we, let’s go back to where we started and then when we can model this as co-parents look at where we’re showing our kiddos that, yeah, we may disagree on some things, but now we’ve modeled how to work through that and we’re giving our kiddos tools that create critical thinking.

My goodness, we just came full circle. Right? Critical thinking cuz of that [00:27:00] brain development and how we help our little ones work through challenging situations. It’s building that resiliency, it’s giving. . It’s giving ’em hope. 

Cynthia: And with that development, because you did take specifically a certification on parent coaching what, in that training surprised you, or what do you feel like was a learning that you would hope, to expose to other parents as well?

Yeah. 

Merri: Definitely it was that every feeling equals a need. In addition to that, it was the conversation. it was, It was being okay with checking in with myself and being okay that, oh, I don’t have to have all the answers. We can learn this together. I love when parents practice a do-over because we make mistakes and it is that opportunity to, I’m gonna just try this again.

Your son or daughter, you’ve come to their bedroom door, their office door, whatever, this is my office. But you come to the office door and you lose your cool. I thought I told [00:28:00] you to pick up this room or whatever. I thought I told you to put the dishes away. I thought and. It’s closing the door and literally doing that pause because now I wanna find out what happened in their day that they didn’t get done with whatever their responsibility was supposed to be.

I’m checking in with myself. I’m doing the pause and then opening a door and going, Hey, kiddo. I wanna do over, , and sometimes it’s even stepping back, getting back in the car, not driving away, but sitting in the car and being like, okay, I’m gonna do that again. Just like if you had just gotten home from your workday. Hmm.

Cynthia: There’s yeah. Something magical about the car. I don’t know what it is. . 

Merri: Yeah. Especially if you can just be like with your thoughts. Oh yes. We don’t give ourselves enough time to just be with our own thoughts. I. 

Cynthia: Yes. I feel like with a lot of coaching I’ve done with parents, the car is where they’re like, this is where it’s [00:29:00] just me.

The kids can’t bother me or interrupt me and this is my sacred space. And that’s where they might do their meditation or give themselves an opportunity to scream about something or . 

Merri: Yep. Yeah, but Cynthia, I also coached that’s also that great place to have those conversations , that kiddos may not feel comfortable looking you in the eye that you know what?

We’re gonna drive down the road and we might have that conversation in the car because you, you’re captive. You’re not going to go away, you’re not gonna slam the door on me. We get to have those conversations. That might be a little harder to have. Definitely looking in the. But it is, so I see it as twofold using the car for myself.

Decompress or lose my cool and then decompress. But also that opportunity to just the best time for parents when they’re like, I can’t talk to my kiddo. I’m like, when do they go for their learner’s permit? [00:30:00] And you get 40 to 50 hours behind the wheel with them. , they want their license.

There’s your opportunity to teach, to show up, to listen, to support, to learn. There’s so many things can happen in those hours. . 

 Hmm. 

Cynthia: You mentioned that you typically work with parents when their kids are around that elementary to high school age. . Is there a different way to parent depending on the age or would you say it’s just sticking to those core tenants?

Merri: Yeah, thanks. One is starting with family values and when you start and your kiddos know your family values at a younger age, as they mature, they’re like, oh, I know I can’t sleep over at someone’s house on a Tuesday night cuz my family’s value is sleep. My family’s value is mealtime and we know we have to have meals together.

So it’s. Established and they just know that it’s just, that’s what the family is, that’s our family. It’s never too late to start, never too late to have those. If the kiddos are older and we [00:31:00] start with those family values, then I coach parents to literally sit down and say, okay, what is kiddo? What do you like about our family?

Let’s start there. And so then together we’re writing those family values, almost like the core values of a. The school and where can we post these? Can it go on the fridge? So every day we open the fridge and it says, I value family time. How am I prioritizing family time and all of this? Again, that’s where I start.

I start with family values, and then we move into so many different opportunities with parents because every family’s unique, right? And this family might really be struggling with one thing, and this family might be, oh, that’s not a priority at all in my family. And then we follow, I follow their lead.

 

Cynthia: To start young I think is such a gift. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, quote unquote, and it’s the process of teaching something rather than helping someone unlearn and relearn. If the [00:32:00] family dynamic has been off for a while, do you find that there’s ever. A case where it’s like point of no return. Sorry, you’re not gonna be able to heal your relationship with your child. Or is there always hope? I think

Merri: There’s always hope if you are willing to look at the inside. Who am I? And approach that conversation with yourself so that then you can show up with your loved ones. So I like when you were saying the co-parents, right?

It’s that opportunity cuz we’re all children at some stage, right? . So it’s that, how do we show up ourselves and then. Maybe it is going to that adult child and apologizing and being like, oh my gosh, my coach guided me that I’ve always been over parenting. Do you even know what over parenting is? And you just start and the kid is going, you have been always over parenting and I wanted to be myself, and you were not letting me, you weren’t letting me, you were fixing the situations before I could even learn [00:33:00] from them.

And it is again, just that I would say every relationship there is. . Truly. Mm-hmm. .. 

Cynthia: Gosh, even with my own mother, there was a lot of tension growing up. Me not wanting to follow the rules, her establishing rules without really explaining the why behind it. Yep. And I really, yeah, didn’t get an opportunity to see her as just a human being.

It was just this force of power and. . I just remember as an adult having a really open and honest conversation with her where she admitted, she’s I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I had to show up this way and be this rock in your life and I’m sorry for the way that I made you feel, and that was never my intention and it was just such a valuable.

Conversation that I think opened up a whole new way for us to interact and yeah, now we talk all the time and she’s someone I trust and love 

Merri: it sounds very healing. Very healing. [00:34:00] Yes. And you developed the skills to have that vulnerability to say, this is what I’ve learned. Help me understand.

And she could have been just parenting from what we all did is before we get additional tools is that’s how it’s always been done. Parents that have that very authoritative parenting style that’s how it was in my family and I turned out okay. So it is giving that opportunity to learn and be vulnerable.

Cynthia: Yeah, it’s a new wave of parenting and awareness, I feel. Mm-hmm. In the last two decades or so where there’s definitely more understanding of that gentle parenting approach, the collaborative parenting approach. Yeah. And recognizing that we can question the status quo, and I think that’s 

perfect timing for a coach to come in and actually support you in that transition. 

Merri: Exactly. And still honor. I mean, Great. Your parents had great skills and they did the best they could with the skills they had. And cuz we don’t, [00:35:00] I don’t wanna never say someone did something wrong, that’s just who they were and what can we learn from that?

And maybe it’s learning. I won’t do it like they did , but that’s okay cuz you’re gonna learn from it. I am, I still would say discipline means teaching, and it means setting boundaries and being that consistent voice, especially our youngers. They need routine, they need that consistency, and when we stay consistent ourselves, then our kiddos know what their expectations.

So I appreciate when you were saying that showing up and just exploring how to help our kiddos and not, the other thing I always tell parents is this takes time. There is no quick fix we weren’t born at the age we are currently. So we all had to grow and learn and we thankfully get to grow and learn all through every, every stage.

Yes. 

Cynthia: I, I wonder if you’ve found, cuz it’s, gosh, generational healing. Mm-hmm. Is [00:36:00] wild. And I wonder how much of your conversations might even go back a generation, right? To talk about the parents’, parents and the forgiveness and understanding they can give them. Yeah. 

Merri: Yep. We definitely do that. I have the parents in and again it, every parent’s situation is different and some parents don’t wanna explore the past.

They’re like, Mary, this is who I am, which is, okay, we’ll help you in the present to be present. But a lot of times it is, let’s let go of that. Unconscious. We didn’t even know that’s in there to know that, wow, when my kiddo does this, I had no idea. It’s really pushing my buttons. And then when we really pull back and we do that head and heart work, then we have that opportunity to go.

I didn’t even realize it was showing up that way and, and. Letting in that loving, caring adult from their own childhood. Like, Who do you, back to the [00:37:00] quote, right? Who do you wish you would’ve had when you were growing up? And then how can we forgive the main caregiver because they didn’t have the capacity to do that.

Thanks. I appreciate you bringing that up. . 

Cynthia: It’s brave work and it’s work that has a ripple effect, to be your best self. Means to be your best parent. Mm-hmm. To be your best child, to be your best version of yourself in all these different layers. For any parents out there who are listening and.

Be curious about this process and seeing if, this would be something that they need in their lives. What would be be the process for them to either work with you or explore different parenting coaches? What does that look like? 

Merri: Yep. Cynthia, one thing I wanna add on what you were just saying too is it’s a growing process is we also have to practice.

Hmm, Because we didn’t, again, there is no formula. We have to practice [00:38:00] grace once for ourselves, but also for our kiddos. Cuz there is no scientific formula to have be a perfect parent. No one can be a perfect parent. So to answer your question, how do you find a coach? One, you can find me on well connected Twin Cities

Um, But also you can visit my website. I am blessed to get to do a lot of workshops. So if you wanna jump in message me and I can share my schedule how else I would welcome a connection call. It’s that opportunity to learn what are your parenting pressures? And I might not be the right person, but thankfully I have a great network. And I’m happy to align what feels best for someone cuz I have parents that have come to me and they’re looking for someone with way different skills than I have and I can just help introduce is what I get to do.

 You can visit my website. Do you want me to share? Yes. Um, Mkg parent coach.com. I’m on lots of socials. You can find me on LinkedIn. I have a private. Facebook group. [00:39:00] I’m on Instagram, and then I have a Facebook business page as well. So if you wanna just check it out without joining.

Oh, I guess I do things on YouTube too. . I’m all over. 

Cynthia: There’s there’s a lot of ways to connect with Mary. Yes. And we actually are gonna link everything in the show notes, so feel free to go there and explore. All the different ways you can learn from her and just get started on a different kind of journey, a different way to interact with your family and yourself.

Love it. Perfect. Yes. 

Merri: Yes. Thank you. Thanks for all you’re doing. This is great. 

Cynthia: Yes. Mary, thank you so much for all you are doing. I, I usually ask what’s a takeaway, but you’ve already given us so much with pause and Yes, pause. Just all of these. Different tools and ways to be with yourself and with your family.

 I’m just really grateful that you’re out there doing this work. It’s important and it’s making this world a better place. 

Merri: Thank you. And thanks for letting me share too and be available to [00:40:00] continue supporting all kinds of parents. 

 

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