There is no role in life that sets you a roller-coaster of emotions (fear, love, anger, pride, guilt, joy and loneliness) more than parenting does. It is one of the most wonderful journeys, yet a very challenging one. That’s when a coaching approach becomes a key component for every parent because it takes them to a higher thinking and talking level.
And because coaching is about supporting, responding to the moment, empathizing and listening without a preconceived judgment, – the coaching approach is fundamental in parenting dynamics. However, when I say a “coaching approach for parents”, I don’t mean coaching your child, it simply means to acquire the skills needed to do what is best for your family and what works for your child rather than only doing what you see is right as a parent.
As a parent and coach, adopting this method in our everyday life brings us to be more positive, compassionate, constructive and foster deep connection with our children. Our mission as parents, isn’t to raise children, it is to raise independent and responsible adults. The beauty of this method, and that’s what I –as a coach- help parents acquire, is that it is applicable in any case.
Here are some tips for applying the coach approach:
- Don’t take it personally: the minute we take our child’s behavior personal, we get triggered. Keep in mind that our children, just like us can have their personal issues (in school, with their friends or their teachers) that lead them to come home and explode. By learning to understand them and show compassion, we can lead a family with love.
- Ask curious questions: don’t follow a “yes-no” questions. Ask open ended questions that drag them to a story telling mode. Examples : tell me about your day? What was the best thing that happened today? What would you teach your friends if you were the teacher today?
- Listen: And I don’t mean here to be quite until it’s your turn to talk. I mean to be in the moment with your child, feel their energy, shred any judgmental thoughts. Understand their needs before offering solutions. Learn to give them the gift of attention.
- Set them up to success: there is no way to flourish a child’s confidence better than believing in them. As parents we raise from IN CONTROL position, because that’s our comfort zone. However, we should realize when it’s time for us -as parents- to step back gradually and give them the chance to handle small situations.
- Cheerleading: it’s always a good idea to celebrate small achievement rather than criticize failure, get the habit of cheering for them even when they show a tiny progress.