A ‘no one size fits all’ approach to parenting and sleep support – getting to know me

Who am I?

For those of you that don’t know who I am, I’m Laura Kewley, a Registered Nurse and I’ve been a Registered Health Visitor for the past four and a half years.  Having worked in the NHS with lots of different families in different situations, I now work for myself as a Parenting & Sleep consultant. If you look on my beautiful new website www.lkparenting.com designed by www.peggyandmills.com, you can read more about me and the services I offer. You’ll also find out that I’m a mum of four children with my eldest daughter being 17, my son is nearly 13 and I have two more daughters aged 9 & 4. Here they all are…

I’m originally from Liverpool but came to the Isle of Man in my early 20’s to visit my parents (who had moved over 2 years previously) with the intention of going back to Liverpool after that initial summer holiday.  Like a lot of people I know living here, life took a different course of events when I met my first husband and we had two children. We were divorced after 4 years of marriage and I became a single parent for 2 ½ years – a challenging time without a doubt.  I then met my lovely husband and we had 2 more children, so it’s safe to say my family and I have had our fair share of ups and downs! 

Why I’m doing what I’m doing

I’m not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination and I’m not here to tell you how to be perfect parents, we learn from our misunderstandings and cock-ups and move on. Due to the fact that I’ve experienced similar challenges lots of families face, combined with the knowledge and skills I have as a professional is invaluable and means that parents can have confidence in me and what I do.

I aim to help parents to be the best they can given their own unique situation and set of circumstances because I know that ultimately, all most of us want is to be a good parent and to raise happy, satisfied children who grow into equally happy, self-sufficient and productive adults. We want our children to feel safe, loved, secure and be resilient so they grow and develop into well-rounded, confident, fulfilled and resilient adults, isn’t that right?

I also know that there are a lot of parents and families struggling with sleep deprivation and problems with their children because they don’t know how to resolve them or who to turn to for help because they think they’ve tried everything and nothing works – well that’s all about to change with this blog!

How I can help

What I am able to offer parents who feel like they’re at the end of their tether from sleep deprivation or parenting problems is time. Time to listen to their story and what’s going on for them. I’ve found that the individual experiences of the parents I work with are incredibly invaluable too because when I listen and they talk about what their worries are and we start the process of looking for solutions to their problems, most of them already know the answers deep down because they know their own children and family, I don’t tell people what I think they need to do but with guidance I help parents to focus on their strengths and identify the positive things that they’re doing already and encourage them to build on that which in turn fosters their resilience and confidence in their abilities as a parent.

Factors that influence how we parent

And how we parent differs so much between families, every family that I’ve worked with has been different. Even within families parenting can be different, there are elements of how I parent that are similar to both my sisters but also some of my ways are different to theirs. That’s due to many facts as we all have different personalities, our partners’ personalities are very different, how they were parented, the kids’ personalities (they’re all very different), what the in-laws say, what your own parents say and do and what your cultural or religious beliefs are – all influence how you parent.  

We also have to consider other influences like what your friends are saying and doing (two very different things), the media, social media, if you work, your physical and mental health, finances, childcare.  

All these factors and more impact how you parent so there is no wonder we all have different ways and no one family is the same.  They also all contribute to how you manage adversity and meet the challenges you face every day whilst continuing to meet the needs of your children, or in other words, being resilient and digging deep, or using what I’d call ‘drawing on your inner strength’ when the going gets tough.

Yes, there is good news!

The good news is that by helping parents to address their problems and restore their confidence in themselves, with my support and guidance, they can identify their own ability to face challenges, and make wise choices about how they go about tackling them. This confidence in your parenting ability then allows you to be more available for your family as you feel better about yourself in general and can provide more nurturing attention to your child, which in turn helps your child to form a secure emotional attachment with you.

Receiving that nurturing attention and developing a secure emotional attachment with their parents helps to promote the development of resilience in children when they’re faced with stress or adversity, something else we all want for our children – to be able to manage the challenges life presents. And the bonus is if children see their parents model resilient behaviours, it encourages resilience in them too.

A ‘no one size fits all’ approach

Consequently, in relation to parenting or sleep support that I offer, there’s a ‘no one size fits all’ approach which is why I provide individual plans to suit the individual family’s needs.

And finally, it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help wherever or whoever that may be, it’s so important to look after yourself too as we are the linchpins of the family and hold it all together. But please remember that nobody gets it right 100% of the time so be kind to yourself.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on these issues or would like any support in helping you regain some order in your family life. Get in touch either through Facebook,  email me at laura@lkparenting.com, or get in touch via my website contact form.