The delicate art of coaching your own kids for a peaceful life!

Ask yourself this question: do you manage your i-phone or does your i-phone manage you? Now replace the word i-phone with your kids and the answer becomes even more disturbing!

No doubt, as a dedicated loving parent you often feel a kind of helplessness or a loss of control, when it comes to the sensitive task of nurturing and developing your offspring. However competent you may be in the professional business world, raising children is a clear leveler and very little in life prepares you for it.

Whatever the scenario and however old your children are, there is way forward. With a just little mental preparation and open-mindedness, it’s possible to fulfill the role of a lifestyle coach and parenting mentor rolled into one for your children, by learning a few simple techniques, increasing your emotional discipline and keeping your ego in check.

It was a revelation for me to watch myself on video coaching for business and introspectively observing myself conducting lifestyle coaching in parallel. I observed how similar the two techniques were and thought to myself, what if I used the same principles on my son? Maybe it just might work? Well 2 years later, I finally understood that the path of least resistance is actually the opposite of what I was originally doing.

In essence, coaching your children features 5 simple steps as follows:

Once you have agreed on the topic for discussion and brief rules of engagement, before you rush in to offer your parenting advice, it’s critical to listen first. Remember that “hearing is just noise and listening is information”, so truly listen and refrain from going through the motions, even if it hurts emotionally a little at first! It will always serve you well to consider that ‘listen’ is an anagram of ‘silent’.

Agree with your son/daughter on an ideal vision that both of you are content with. Brainstorm and both input on the description of what it looks like. This may take a measure of creative negotiation within an open-minded framework, however the focus should always be on positive outcomes, rather than dwelling on any problem.
Status quo

Now working in collaboration with your son/daughter compare the vision of where you want to be, with the current status quo. Observe that you are both discontent with the prevailing situation; however, determine that together you can collaborate to meet your combined needs to achieve the ideal vision. Agree that some compromises either side may need to take place for a better overall outcome to reach the vision you share.
Action Plan

List 5 positive and concrete steps that each (parent and child/teen) of you will commit to. They must be tangible, realistic, measurable and constructive. Write the 5 steps down on a large piece of paper, Flip Chart/Wall and agree to review the progress made within a set time frame.

Meet up at a neutral location after the agreed time frame (period of time can vary depending upon the natural logic of the topic), to review the progress of the action plan, by evaluating the success or otherwise of each point. Accept that it’s not a perfect world, so if all points are not achieved, then reset the dials and try again. Also consider adding new action points to ensure a stronger success. Keep in mind that the focus should always be on achieving the vision or something close to it, as a positive outcome.

By following the above process with your son/daughter, you will effectively bond the relationship by working together to reach a shared goal. In turn, as a guiding parent you will effectively eliminate conflict from the equation, as the problem will become a kind of separate entity, that you and your son/daughter are trying to solve together from two different perspectives.

To conclude, I ask every parent reading this article to think back to your own childhood and ask yourself whether you responded better to a nagging parent or an inspirational coach/mentor?

Now adapt and apply the same principles at work too!

May the art of this coaching force be with you!

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Life is now, so embrace the spirit within your kids.

Grant Holmes