From parenting challenges to helping other parents…
My name is Kim Muench, I am the founder of Real Life Parent Guide, and I am passionate about helping parents of adolescents!
In May of 2008, I went through the greatest parenting challenge of my life. The eldest of my five children called me from across the country to say he was in trouble...he was failing classes, about to lose his job, and his use of alcohol was out of control. At the time he was twenty years old.
When I received his call for help, I didn't waste time wondering how it had happened or ask myself, “Why me?!” I knew the way I had parented, and was parenting, was a contributing factor to the life threatening situation he was in and one that I could no longer deny.
During his spiral through darkness, I worked with my son to help him seek long term sobriety by supporting and encouraging him, but never doing for him what he could do for himself. It wasn’t easy, all the while my energy and focus was on discovering and understanding where things between he and I, actually myself and all of my children, could be different/better/healthier/more connected.
I knew any change in our relationship started with me. And, to this day, it continues with me. So I began to learn about and practice parenting in a completely different light. And today, in part because of the work I did on myself, my son is now almost nine years sober.
In my journey to redefine my role as a mom who would guide, instead of trying to control my kids choices and behavior, one who would work hand-in-hand with them instead of trying to dominate the relationship, I was led to research dozens of parenting, self-discovery, and personal growth books and courses. It prompted me to return to college to finish a degree in psychology, and it led me to an internship where my greatest responsibility was supporting and encouraging other parents who had teens in outpatient addiction treatment. In addition, my path led me to spend a year writing and publishing a memoir about my experience as a mother with a child in the throes of addiction.
Ultimately, my journey prompted me to pursue a certification in parent coaching through the Jai Institute for Parenting because I believe the quality of the relationship between ourselves and our children is the essence of what it will take to create positive change in the world, not only during our lifetime, but for future generations as well.
Everything our kids learn and experience starts at home with us. However, our children are our greatest teachers Dr. Shefali Tsabary said this in her book The Conscious Parent, which was the ultimate catalyst for my becoming passionate about helping other parents work toward stronger, healthier connections with themselves and with their children.
I call myself a real life parent guide because I have a very down-to-earth approach to balancing kids needs, parents desires, and keeping what our culture tells us about how our family life "should look" in check. When you are ready, I can help you find what I have found with my own kids...peace, mutual trust and respect, playfulness, camaraderie, and above all else...unconditional love and acceptance.
My kids, who are now in middle school/high school/college/grown and flown, have taught me about where I needed to grow as a mom, and about the importance of having faith, calm, courage, patience, and grace incorporated into my parenting.