Hey Mom, How About Coaching Your Kids? - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coaching is all the rage now days but what about coaching for children? Parents are in a perfect position to use some coaching skills to help their children develop their self-esteem, confidence and sense of responsibility. It can also be used to help them with goal setting and attainment.

First I would like to differentiate coaching from other helping professions. Coaching is a partnership. The coach asks open-ended questions to help the coachees think through issues for themselves. Coaches help coachees examine their beliefs and values and to keep them in alignment. Coaching is not counseling, therapy, advising, mentoring or consulting. Coaching skills are tool parents can use to help their children grow, learn and develop as human beings.
Two of the primary coaching skills that parents can use are active listening skills and powerful questioning skills. Most of us were never taught these skills in school but they are essential to good communication and understanding.

In active listening you pay attention to nothing but the speaker. You clear your mind of distraction and focus on what the speaker is and is not saying. Sometimes what is not said is as important or more important than what is said. Active listening also includes paying attention to body language and noting when it does not say the same thing as verbal language.

Powerful questioning starts with open-ended questions that are designed to help the coachee think for themselves. They are never leading questions but rather questions that make the coachee think more broadly than they are thinking currently. They are “what” and “how” questions not “why” questions.

Here are some examples of powerful questions parents can use with children:
1. What are you going to do next?

2. How can you make that work for you?

3. What will happen if you do that?

4. What is most important to you?

5. Which one of your goals or values does that relate to?

6. How is that working for you?

7. If you knew the answer what would it be?

8. Which one of these ideas do you want to work on?

9. How will doing that impact other people?

10. What felt the best about doing that?

If you are unsure about trying some of this with your children it might be really helpful to hire a good, well-trained coach to get you started and to teach you some more about powerful questioning. A good coach can also help you with other difficult parenting issues.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog

Liz Mays said...

Those are very thoughtful questions and would be really great to encourage responsible thinking!

Together We Save said...

Thanks for sharing... these are some great lessons.

sheila said...

Wow, seems I've been doing all these things! My kids early school years were in Montessori school, so we incorporated this approach early on. These are wonderful. Also, a great point to stress is that as a parent, using these skills, you'll learn alot about your self as well.


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