Question: Dear coach, I am the mother of a twelve-year-old boy, and I’ve been facing parenting challenges recently. My son’s behaving differently since few weeks, and I suspect he might be undergoing some kind of stress, but when I try to talk to him about it, he resists. I had read on your website about life coaching in schools, and I’m wondering if parents can do it too. Can you please help me learn how to be a good coach for my son and support him during this tough time?
Coach’s Insights & Guidance: I can understand your situation completely, and as a parent, it’s natural to want to help your child come out of that struggling phase, and yes I will help you with that because coaching is a great way to offer guidance and support to children.
Parents are the first and most influential teachers in a child’s life, and coaching children can be a powerful way for parents to support their children’s growth and development. Coaching children involves offering personalized guidance, setting goals, and teaching life skills that will serve children well throughout their lives.
Being a parent coach, you can give personalised guidance to your son since you know him better than anyone else, including his strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Coaching your son can improve the parent-child relationship via open communication, trust, and respect. By showing an interest in his life and offering support and guidance, you can strengthen your bond with your son. This, in turn, can develop a sense of confidence and self-esteem as he’ll learn many life skills that will serve him well throughout his life.
Coaching children is not just about solving immediate problems but about equipping them with the skills and mindset they need to succeed in the long run.
At first place, try to create a safe and supportive environment for your son to open up and share his feelings. Be calm and natural and try to engage him in activities that he enjoys or encourage him to talk about his interests and hobbies.
As a parent, you can play a vital role in helping your son develop the skills he needs to transit the teenage phase where children sometimes face several issues like academic pressure, peer pressure, body image, mental health, self esteem, self identity etc.
1- Listen and communicate effectively
Good communication is key to any coaching relationship. Take time to listen to your son, understand his concerns, and offer guidance and support. Be approachable, non-judgmental, and make time for open, honest conversations. For example, if he comes home from school upset about a situation with a friend. As a life coach parent, sit down with him, listen to his concerns, and offer guidance and support. By asking open-ended questions, paraphrasing what he has said, and offering non-judgmental feedback, you can help your child feel heard and supported.
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2- Encourage a Growth Mindset
Help your child develop a growth mindset by encouraging him to see challenges as opportunities for growth. For example, if he is struggling with a difficult math problem, you can encourage him to keep trying and reassure him that mistakes are part of the learning process. By praising his effort and persistence rather than just the outcome, you can help him develop a more positive attitude towards challenges. Encourage him to embrace mistakes and failures as learning experiences.
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3- Teach Problem-Solving Skills
As a parent or a parent life coach, they should help their children develop problem-solving skills by teaching them to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and evaluate the pros and cons of each option. Let’s take an example, if a child is having difficulty making friends at school, the parent can encourage them to brainstorm different ways to meet new people, such as joining a club or group, volunteering, or simply starting a conversation with someone new. In your case, when you become aware of the challenge your child is facing, you can guide him through the process of brainstorming solutions and analyzing the potential outcomes, which can help build his problem-solving skills and confidence in decision-making.
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4- Foster Independence
Help your child become more independent by giving him opportunities to make his own decisions and solve his own problems. For example, if he is struggling with a homework assignment, you can encourage him to try to solve the problem on his own before offering assistance. By giving your child space to work through challenges and make decisions on his own, you can help him become more confident and self-sufficient.
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Our children learn from our actions as well as our words. So by modelling positive behaviour, living a healthy & balanced life, practicing good communication skills, and setting and achieving our own goals we can help our children learn valuable life skills and grow into confident and responsible adults.
We should celebrate our children’s successes, no matter how small they may be. This is a way of acknowledging their hard work and the progress they’ve made towards their goals.
Remember that coaching is a collaborative process, and it’s important to involve your son in the decision-making process and respect his autonomy. With time and patience, you can build a strong coaching relationship with your son and help him navigate this challenging time.
Best of luck to you and your family!
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Disclaimer: Please note that the advice and guidance provided in this column are based on the coach’s professional expertise and experience, but are not intended to replace or substitute for professional counseling, therapy, or medical advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate professional help if needed. Specific results or outcomes are not guaranteed as each individual’s circumstances and experiences are unique.