Many parents expect their children to obey them fully and completely each and every time they make a request of them. When asked why they have this expectation, they often answer: “I am the parent and I know better.”
I agree that more often then not, we do know better, but I can’t stop wondering if imposing our belief system on our children aligns with the importance of respect and openness which are key values in every kind of relationship.
Using the Parent Coaching tools means showing more respect to your child by refraining from imposing commands and solutions to different situations and by asking instead simple yet powerful questions that will lead the child to find her own creative solution to the challenge she is facing.
As an example: This morning my 8 and 10 year old daughters had an argument that almost led to a physical fight. I could have shouted at them something like: “Stop fighting, talk nicely, and go to your rooms.” I could have also said: “Why did you call her names? Why are you shouting? etc…”
Instead, using the Parent Coaching approach I asked them the following questions:
- Does this fight serve you in a positive way?
- What do you need from yourself and from each other in order to calm down and to communicate more respectfully?
Asking those questions gives the child tools to move forward and resolve the situation in a more respectful way. The parent, in this case me, did not impose a solution on the children. I made them think and come up with their own solution by asking a few simple questions.
Remember – children are super intelligent and they will always come up with resourceful solutions when being asked the right questions.