Welcome to the 6th video. If you haven’t seen the other videos in this series, you can find them on our Fatherhood Formula playlist.
I’m really excited about this video. While the other principles are awesome, this principle we are going to cover today was really responsible for the shift in how interact with my children and how I parent. This 6th principle is: Coaching. I’m not talking about coaching your child’s sports team. I’m talking about acting like a coach to your child.
As I said, my parenting style began to shift (and improve) when I began to think of myself as a coach to my children rather than a parent. So what do I mean by this? A parent is father or mother, someone who takes care of a child, maybe enforces rules, and generally just makes sure the child is doing well.
It’s not that I want to take any of those elements away, but stick with me. Let’s look at what a coach does, first as it relates to sports:
They will teach you something you don’t know
They then will help you improve and hone your skills
They certainly make you practice
With good coaching you have the ability to perform well in the game
If we take this idea of coaching into parenting, what does that look like?
When the child doesn’t know something, you teach them
We then help them improve their life skills
We certainly make them practice over and over
and finally they are able to perform in life.
Our role as their coach is to help them perform in life. It means helping them figure out how to do things, right from wrong, that it’s ok to make mistak, and all of the other parts of the journey.
You can define “performing in life” however you want, but when we begin to see ourselves as their coach, we begin to interpret things differently:
Their whining (instead of annoying you) may show you that they don’t yet know how to communicate effectively
The tantrum before going to bed (instead of making you angry) is showing you that they need a little more attention from you.
The yelling at their brother (instead of frustrating you) means they haven’t learned to resolve conflict properly yet.
When you think of yourself as their coach, you realize how important it is to teach them all of these life skills…. and things start to effect you less. I’m not saying they won’t effect you, but they will effect you less.
Of course there can be the problem with many of these life skills, WE haven’t been taught the right way to handle many of these situations. But this is why we are watching these videos. I want to give you some tips for coaching
– Stop and recognize the opportunity to coach – Is this a coaching moment? Can you help them learn in this situation?
– Don’t take things so personally – your 5 year old is not trying to make your life miserable, they are just trying to figure out this world
– Have empathy – See the situation through the eyes of your child, Put yourself in their shoes.
– Help or guide them in the situation – ask questions, you would be amazed how much they are capable of solving things on their own
– Teach them the correct answer if they don’t understand or are too young, it’s ok to provide answers
– Keep practicing – life skills don’t happen overnight. This is a journey.
I want to expand a little on one of the tips, the one to not take things so personally. We are often very emotionally reactive with situations because of our ego or allowing it effect us. But if we realized that it is much more impactful to teach (or coach) our children rather than reacting or taking things personally, our child will learn those life skills much quicker.
I want to give you a homework assignment. Within the next few days, try to stop and approach a situation as a coach rather than a parent. Tell me what happens. Was the outcome different? Leave your results and feedback in the comments section below.