I am a father, my biggest reward and hardest responsibility. As a professional coach I’m aware of what is lacking and constantly in process; strategising and implementing essentials to equip my kids to have everything they need for tomorrow. I need to raise confident, creative, self-sufficient, caring and balanced individuals to be great future partners, parents, business builders and community members. My luck (with many mistakes) saves me but what about you?
Facts: Every individual needs to be noticed and this requires time. Statistics show that parents are not focusing on their kids’ ways of doings and workings due to time pressure. Are your kids losing out because of for example poor time management? What are you going to do about this?
Teacher vs coach vs mentor: Your role as parent changes as your kids grow up. Learn to differentiate between being their teacher, coach and mentor as different skills and actions are needed.
How: If you want your kids to come to you for advice one day, learn to be their coach and they will seek you out as their mentor.
Through coaching facilitate their thinking.
Listen to their needs. Let them achieve their own goals (not yours).
Be what they need you to be. Sometimes a soundboard; always their biggest supporter.
Don’t try to fix their problems, they are not asking you too.
Teaching: Decide what you want to teach them before they leave home (for example manners, confidence, maybe surfing).
Coaching: Ask simple and powerful questions, for example “If you were telling me what to do, what advice would you give me?” Be focused and listen actively; also hear what is unsaid. Don’t tell them what to do; they have to find the answers themselves.
Mentoring: Be there when the time comes to mentor.
Be an example. Be honest. Share your wins/losses.
The challenge: Start by committing time in your diary today. Commit that you will be a teacher, coach and mentor with specific goals to someone who will keep you accountable. Your kids look forward to something great.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF Accredited Executive and Business Coach