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Now on Twitter – Just me.

Hi all..

Long time no post!!

Sarah is now on TWITTER at http://www.twitter.com/sarahjduncan

This is a personal twitter page but thought you might be interested in who I am following. I’ve just started so it’s all new and bound to add more as time goes on. DO take a look and send me a tweet.

S

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Physician Heal Thyself

Two in one day – I must be on a roll! Actually, I’ve been thinking about this post for several days. It’s time to send it out there.

As a parent and family coach, it is seductive to think that I’ve got it all under control when it comes to my parenting, my kids, my family situation. Far from it! Just as doctors occasionally get sick themselves, so too do coaches get in a rut or face some situation that just defies resolution. I am currently facing just such a situation.

I have a co-parenting situation with my children’s father. For the last 6 1/2 years my boys have moved week to week from parent to parent. This has worked well and I still firmly believe that they need the regular and extended contact with their father, so I support this kind of arrangement. Most people believe that this can only work if the parents are civil to one another, hopefully cordial. In my situation, this is not the case and yet we continue to try to make this work. It is a challenge unlike any I have ever experienced and there is no end in sight to the continual hostility and conflict.

In fact, my eldest child has “up’d the ante” so to speak because ,as a 12 yr old boy, he is cleaving towards his father more than ever. This past week, he left my house 3 days early to stay with his dad. Add to this his recent desire to believe everything his father says (and not listen to me at all) my heart was aching and my fearful side was in full overdrive. My son had told his father that he was unhappy here with me — ouch. I have endeavoured his whole life to create an atmosphere where my children could share their thoughts and feelings with me. It’s what I’m all about and to hear that my son was unhappy and I didn’t know it really struck at the heart of my parenting. If I let myself think about it, about losing him, about him being more like his father or wanting to live with him permanently, I can end up in a state of paralysis and/or a torrent of tears.

I tried to step outside of my parental fear and coach myself, but found that very hard. When we are deeply involved or attached to a situation it is often difficult, or impossible, to stand back and view it with objective eyes. Thanks to my informal coaches in my life, I have tried to separate my motherly instinct from some rational thought. I realise that at 12, most kids want some independence and my son is no different. And, in the present moment it’s no big deal – after all, it was just a few extra days at his father’s.

So my solution, after gathering advice, is to do nothing. This is a Buddhist principle that has come up again and again in my life when things are chaotic all around me and feel as if they are falling apart. Do nothing. Sit. Be still and wait for the junk to settle to the bottom and then get some clarity.

I”m waiting.

Sarah

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Is Anybody Out There?

Now, a year or more later here I am again trying to get this blog started.  My apologies (for those of you curious).  NO, I did not fall off the face of the earth (but perhaps metaphorically – more later) but I was very much stuck in terms of what to write, and for whom.

As a teacher I tell my students to always consider audience. As a coach, I need to get to know a person or family before I can effectively engage, but here I’m just not sure who *you* are.  Who is reading this? Is anyone out there?  I would much prefer to receive questions and answer them specifically rather than write, essentially, for myself.

I’ve recently been convinced though, again, that a blog is the way to go in the new universe and so here I am trying again.

Since we last met, I can tell you that I had the extraordinary experience and great good fortune to travel to Sierra Leone, West Africa to conduct research for my Masters of Adult Education degree that I am working on.  My professor helped set it up and so I was able to spend 5 weeks in a rural village called Mapaki, in the Paki-Masabong Chiefdom, Northern Province.   What a challenge physically and mentally and emotionally.  I met some amazing people, learned a LOT about parenting in their culture, and even managed to fall in love (I have subsequently married a man I met over there).

I have also been working on writing up that research as well as going back to teaching communications at my local college in the fall.  That is busy and didn’t leave much room for research or writing since Sept.  I have been trying to make progress on my papers and thesis since May when I finished school for the year, but alas, it is slow going.

I hope to now keep up better with my blog however.  I hope you will send me parenting questions or comments that feed off of what I am writing about and dealing with in my own family and profession.  Eventually, perhaps this can become more of a dialogue than a monologue.

Sarah

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Hello world!

Hello and Welcome to the very first blog entry by 4 Square Coaching & Research (www.4-square.ca ). I’ve just created this blog myself and since I’m a complete novice, I hope this all appears right whomever is looking at it.

My intention is to write brief notes, articles, newsletter content and upload pictures here that relate to Parenting, Family Relationships, and Education. I hope that you will find it useful and interesting. Please do write a comment at any time, check out my website and contact me for a free 30 min coaching session.

Sarah

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2007 in Uncategorized