Today, we address coaching as a parent. Have you ever wondered how parenting can be like coaching?
The need for parents to deploy coaching tools when raising their children is a critical part of becoming an intentional parent. This is because each child deserves to be guided and nurtured and taught how to make the right decisions. I believe that every child has a talent and a gift that is specific to them.
The job of a parent, as a coach, is to help that child improve on that talent, so as to be better persons in the society at large.
John Whitmore described such coaching as:
“unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them learn rather than only teaching them”
It is important to understand, that being a coach to your children does not mean you have to get certified as a life coach or study courses online for this purpose. Though these are worthy goals themselves. However, you have to borrow a leaf from the pages of professional coaches.
3 important methods coaches use in coaching:
- Setting meaningful and realistic goals.
- Identify specific behaviours or steps to achieve the set goals.
- Clarify milestones and measures of success.
How can all these be incorporated into coaching as a parent?
Before coaches begin to coach a person, they identify the person’s area of interest, strengths, and weaknesses. There are certain things parents need to ensure are in place to create an enabling environment to coach their children.
The same principle should apply to a parent who wants to be a coach to their children. Identify their talents, and then you can:
Set goals together
Perhaps a child wants to bag the first prize in a spelling bee. The parent, as a coach, has identified and understood that the child has a passion for articulating words, which is great. Then, set the benchmark. “We need to cover 1,000 words in five days” This would help the child set sight on what needs to be achieved. In addition to clear goals, the actions can easily be measured to ensure progress.
Design the actions and steps needed to achieve the goals
To help the child use that talent to win the spelling bee, get a list of words that could be asked in the spelling bee, and allocate a certain number of words for each day. The parent could teach the child how to use the internet, and study digitally. It is important for parents to be intentional when raising their children. An intentional parent always thinks about the lesson that your child is learning. Like a true coach, a parent needs to keep the eye on the goal, and then help their child to learn how to make the right decisions and stay consistent.
“You did well, you’ve learned 1,005 words. Well-done”
Let them know if they have actually been able to reach the set goals, or not.
To be an effective parent, it is important that parents have a good relationship with their children. A good relationship is built from spending quality time together, communicating and practising active listening.
If the parent does not create an enabling environment for the children to talk to them and share all that bothers them, the children will grow apart from the parent.
Coaching as a parent applies not only to help them reach some goals. It also involves assisting them to make certain decisions.
Benefits of Coaching as Parents
The benefits of being a parent who thinks of their role as a coach, are numerous. The more you spend time with your children and get to know their interests, the better equipped you are to be a true coach, and to nurture them.
You can also expose your children to those in your network, friends, and contacts who can help them too. When it comes to being an intentional parent, add these coaching methods to your tool kit.