Updated: Sep 17
Connect through coaching conversations as you shift from the boss-manager-parent (telling them what to do all the time, nagging, lecturing) and being more of a "curious-coach-parent" where you are asking more questions, listening more and speaking less.
"Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out." Proverbs 20:5
Coaching requires deep listening which helps you understand yourself and your child better as you "draw out" self-awareness with regards to values, beliefs, who they were created to be; how they respond in situations; their thinking patterns, and how they control emotions which leads them to problem solve for themselves.
Healthy self-awareness is not about SELF becoming the focus.
Often today we see too much self-focus in an insecure way. Young people are thinking: how should I look, how should I behave so I will be liked, how should I act so I`m accepted? It`s about outside appearances and performance.
We need to be more God-aware and less self-aware in a self-absorbed way where our SELF gets in the way of our worship and witness
You want your children to know why they do the things they do - recognize their selfish ways, and challenge their thinking and behavior to honor God.
It`s also about coaching them with regards to listening deeply, so they feel HEARD.
Coaching uses questions: questions that challenge your child, correct them so they see the error of their ways (what could you do differently next time?). There will be times when you will empathize with them, so they know you feel their hurt or pain. There will also be times when you will do reflective listening when you repeat back what you hear them saying for more clarity to avoid misunderstandings and false assumptions.
Questions can either connect or disconnect so use them carefully.
Do not interrogate with lots of questions. Use a few, only 1-3 questions when needed.
Change the words and use words that resonate with your child
Do not lecture.
Give them space to think and process without jumping in with an answer or opinion.
Use "what & how" questions as opposed to "why" questions as why questions can come off as judgemental and your child may get defensiveness.
Knowing questions beforehand will help you plan conversations especially around conflicts so you show up more calm once you've had time to think about it.
A few conversational tips:
Time and place:
When they are ready to speak may not be a good time for you. Many teens like to open up later at night when you're exhausted and ready for bed! Take advantage of these "inconvenient" moments while you HAVE them NOW! (your child will leave home soon and it goes faster than you think)
Most boys open up when they're doing something with you - side by side. This is when you can have more of an organic conversation so store up a few questions for these times (What did you think about ....?)
Use the dinner table for discussions but not for conflict situations. Moods affect health and digestion and you want to enjoy your meal together.
Faith based discussions:
Words have meanings and meanings are being changed. Ideas have consequences. Discuss words that are being changed and do word studies. Get into the word with your children. Critically think about issues in the world and compare with scripture.
Use questions like: What got you thinking about this? What do you mean by that? How do you know that’s true? What if it`s not true? What if you`re wrong?
Get on the same page with clear expectations around social media, chores etc.
Agreements are not the same as contracts. Contracts have the other party write it up and you just have to sign and agree, even if you don`t agree. Agreements are when your child has a say with regards to what should be in the agreement. It`s about CONVERSATION! You are building trust and relationship by hearing what they think. There will be some "non-negotiables" like what time devices get switched off (although you can still have a conversation about this).
Agreements don't mean that they get to do what they want! It means you are opening up the conversation so your child feels heard. The parent will decide what the final agreement will look like.
If there are trust issues you could ask: How is your behavior building trust right now?
We need to model the behavior we want to see in our child. Our device use must be intentional with regards to social media. Having no phone zones is highly recommended so families can connect and be present with one another (ideas: in bedrooms, dinner table, family activities even while watching a movie together).
Notice what they are doing right: For example: "I`ve noticed ............. you are much more tech intentional."
How are you living out biblical values and a Christian worldview?
There is no prefect parent or perfect family or perfect child. We need to have humility, admit when we`re wrong, apologize, and forgive others.
Our actions speak louder than our words. Your child needs to see you are practicing, not just preaching.
Having planned conversations and asking questions will help you show up more calm and present, so you can think more rationally during conflict.
Trust in the Lord - He has a plan for your family and continue to pray for your children without ceasing.
Parent out of faith, not fear.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
"....“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14b
Resources to support parents with coaching tools and strategies in preparing adolescents for life after home schooling.
Create clear agreements for a Stress-free Start-up Semester and get this resource:11 exact agreements with a step by step plan to create a calmer home environment!
If you interested in learning more about how to be a parent coach, and experience transformation in yourself, and your relationships with your tweens and teens, join a supportive group coaching community. How would it feel if you could take a break from being supermom to the rescue and your teens could advocate for themselves?