Swings and Roundabouts: A Self-Coaching Workbook for Parents and Those Considering Becoming Parents

Author(s) : Anna Golawski, Author(s) : Agnes Bamford, Author(s) : Irvine Gersch

Swings and Roundabouts: A Self-Coaching Workbook for Parents and Those Considering Becoming Parents

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The first two authors of this coaching workbook are themselves parents who have been on a journey of “swings and roundabouts” – experienced the highs and lows of having children. Having difficulties knowing how to parent in many situations, which was not made easier by the conflicting advice in the media, made them unsure of their own parenting skills. This was one of the reasons that they entered into the field of parent-coaching. They were trained coaches who wanted to use their coaching skills and experience as parents to help both themselves and other parents get the understanding and trust in themselves to be the parents they dream of being. As an educational and child psychologist, Irvine was able to contribute an evidence and psychological base to the project.

Parents often feel alone and the authors have found that running courses for them created a space where they could share experiences with each other as well as experiment with different ways of parenting. It is their intention to give back some of the awareness they gained in this comprehensive and invaluable self-coaching book.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This is a great workbook that presents a symbiosis of coaching and cognitive behavioural approaches in a simple and practical format. A wide range of issues are covered that we, as parents, don’t often get time to think about, yet are fundamentally important in gaining the balance needed to raise our children well, as well as in thinking about our own life balance, goals, and ambitions. Allowing ourselves to reflect, plan, communicate, and understand are fundamental skills that will make parenthood manageable. This book provides an opportunity to navigate that swing park so we get fewer bruised knees along our parenting journey. Enjoy!’
— Marc James, parenting trainer, London

‘In this thoughtful and practical workbook, Anna Golawski, Agnes Bamford, and Irvine Gersch provide a refreshing approach to parenting books, which facilitates the reader to go on a journey of self-reflection. It combines relevant research, workbook exercises, and inspiring quotations in a way that seeks to empower parents to find a solution. By embracing the importance of parents’ self-reflection, the authors have the power to ignite parents’ ability to physically and emotionally prepare, therefore promoting their resilience skills.’
— Dr Becky Essex, educational and child psychologist working for Somerset County Council

‘In Swings and Roundabouts Anna Golawski, Agnes Bamford, and Professor Irvine Gersch will help you unpack the emotional and practical ups and downs of parenting and clarify your own vision and plans. They do this with inclusivity, compassion, a good dose of reality, and humour (I love the “Parent Job Description” and the “I Was a Parent” poem). In my experience of parenting and working with people balancing parenthood with careers in City firms and multinationals, we all need a combination of planning, fresh insights, humour, and then flexibility. So do follow the authors’ advice about writing it all down and then take forward the bits that fit, one phase at a time.’
— Jennifer Liston-Smith, Director, Head of Coaching and Consultancy, My Family Care

‘I am delighted to recommend this book. It is a treasure of inspiration and meaningful challenges for parents at all stages. Read it, use it, and join the millions of other parents who are facing the unique historical challenge of reinventing child rearing, rooted in their own personalities, values, and boundaries. No method can fix our lives with children but, with the right amount of awareness of yourself, you will be ready for building wholesome relationships with your children.’
— Jesper Juul, family therapist, former CEO of the Kempler Institute of Scandinavia, and author of Your Competent Child

About the Author(s)

Anna Golawski is a dedicated mum to two young children and successfully manages to run her own coaching business. After spending many years in the corporate world she totally understands the tears and triumphs that go hand-in-hand with being a working parent.

Agnes Bamford, as a working mother of three children, can relate to the challenges and roller-coaster of emotions faced by most parents. Agnes has experienced the difference coaching can make for parents and families and she believes strongly in empowering parents to generate the relationship with their children that they dream of having.

Irvine Gersch is a professor of educational and child psychology at the University of East London. Following his first degree in psychology, he went on to qualify as a teacher and educational psychologist, and complete a PhD on child behaviour and school leadership.

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