On Friday, October 13 (a very auspicious day!) I am launching the pilot program for Parent as Coach, an 8-week online course that teaches parents coaching fundamentals to use in their relationships with their kids. The intention behind the course is to give fundamental coaching skills to parents so they have deeper, richer and more trusting relationships with their kiddos and family systems. Doesn’t that sound awesome – who doesn’t want a deeper and more understanding relationship with their kids? While on the journey of learning coaching skills, we’ll be taking deliberate deep dives into emotional intelligence, boundary setting, rest, stress and values – all in support parents being the best they can be for their kids.
We all want emotionally intelligent children. Here's the catch – you can’t teach or model for your kids what you don’t know/haven’t lived. So… wonderful that you want emotional intelligence for your kids as they navigate their lives, but guess what?
And that is what Parent as Coach is all about.
Parent as Coach is:
1. Well researched and full of the latest in emotional intelligence, the science of trust, rest, and creating safe spaces for our kids to lean into conversations with us. I’ll be introducing parents to researchers, books, resources, podcasts and talks as well as teaching foundational coaching skills.
2. Parent as coach is also my work of love, wisdom and passion. When you create a Venn diagram of me, it is simply, mom, coach, teacher. Therefore... Parent as Coach!
The course has been sitting inside of me for 6 years, as I’ve completed my coach training (I’m a PCC coach with the International Coach Federation), achieved my Masters in Coaching and become faculty and a mentor at Canada Coach Academy teaching Life + Wellness coaching, Leadership, Executive and Performance coaching.
In Parent as Coach, we’ll be creating a foundation for our learning through investigating 5 primary coaching skills:
Open Ended Questions
As you look at that list, I wonder what comes up for you? Curiousity and listening... basic human skills, would you say? What about no advice – what could that possibly mean in a parenting context?! Over the next few weeks on this blog, I’ll be digging into each of these foundational coaching skills to help you create the relationship you want with your kids. Let’s start with the foundation of the foundation – the most important skill of all:
What would happen if you leaned into curiousity today when you pick your kid up from school or when you’re having a conversation with them at dinner, allowing yourself to fall into not knowing. Instead of assuming you know what your child’s emotion or experience was like, lean in and ask:
What more can you say about that?
And then what happened?
What do you think that means?
What do you mean by that? Say more.
What emotion did you feel?
We’re so used to being the experts in our lives, that we can forget to give our kids the incredible benefit and gift of our curiousity.
Benefits for our kids when we’re curious about their experience:
When we’re curious, we’re allowing them to own conversational space. This sets them up for the future to be confident in telling stories, or recounting experiences, not only with us, but in other forums and with other people.
When we’re curious and listen well, they feel our authentic attention on them which helps them feel valued and important and like they matter.
As we get curious about their experience, they’re thinking back, reflecting, making connections they might not have made already, and making meanings of events. Reflecting on events and experiences is how we learn from our life’s experiences.
Echo back words with a question mark. They say, ‘I don’t know what to do, I feel stuck.’ You can ask, ‘Stuck? Say more.’
When they finish telling you a story or a bit of their day ask, ‘what’s important about all that for you?’
Simply ask, ‘what else?’
Engage them with your presence – let them feel your curiousity. This can be done at the dinner table with eye contact or body language, or if your kids are older, and your conversations go better in the car or on a walk, just let your kid know that you’re listening, and curious. ‘I really want to know what that was like for you – what else happened? How did you feel?’