Autism Angels - News & Events

The Power of Contracting

Recently a family attended a 6 week coaching programme with me and I wanted to share a little bit of their journey and transformation with you.

The parents were really struggling at home and their children were ruling the roost. They had two children; one child was neurotypical and their other child had a diagnosis of Autism amongst other things. The Mum and Dad struggled significantly with the bedtime routines and they hadn’t actually slept in the same bed for two years because they always had to sleep with their children otherwise the kids would stay up all night!

To start with, I spent some time coaching the parents so that they could think about what they wanted their lives to look like, what was important to them individually, as a couple and a family. We want to make sure they were on the same page and working together when we introduced new ideas to their children. We then brought the children into the sessions and I introduced the concept of contracting and taught everyone how to be fair so they could meet everyone’s emotional and physical needs, whilst ensuring that routines and safety measurements were in place. Contracting is such a big part of creating a harmonious household; just like we have contracts in other parts of our lives to keep things fair for all such as work, phones etc. Whilst they do not need to look as detailed and “legal” as these other contracts, they are a great way of laying out expectations and exploring what being part of the family is about for each individual. Creating a family contract is a fun and rewarding experience when you have the support and guidance in place to succeed.

After the family had been taught to contract, they could then work to create a contract specifically for the bedtime routine. The parents had the same picture in their head of how the routine should look, but they were able to be flexible on aspects that were important to the children and by the end of the session together they had created a routine that worked for everyone. They left the session with an agreement to practice this over the following week and bring their learning to the next session.

The following week the family arrived and the parents couldn’t wait to tell me what a success the routine had been whilst the children were overjoyed with the fact they had slept in their own beds all by themselves for the full week!

In one week I had watched a family go from fighting, exhausted and fed up – to happy, connected and laughing together, all through the power of contracting.

Nicki x

Our Family Coaching sessions are an opportunity for families to access a 6 week, one to one coaching programme, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of families accessing them. They are fantastic because they are designed around you and your family’s needs and have such in depth learning that transformation is the only possible outcome. If you’d like more information or to come to the farm for taster session to see how these programmes work please contact Nicki at mentoring@autismangels.co.uk

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