October 21, 2008
Principles of Coaching for Parents by Kenny Toh
As parents, we don many hats and play different roles in our children’s lives. We provide for their needs, guide them when they are lost, teach them new skills, become their sources of comfort and support when life gets tough on them, and discipline them when they misbehave. The list seems endless, but there is one thing for certain; all are driven by the intention to give them our best as well as bring out the best in them.
Today's children are developing and growing at an alarming rate and posing parents with new challenges that traditional approaches to parenting fail to address. The authoritarian approach that demands children to do or behave as told fails to foster mutual respect, while the disciplinarian approach is overly skewed on correcting external behaviors such that we overlook the innate goodness in our children. On the other extreme, laissez-faire parents who give in easily to their children's demands in a frantic bid to be liked often fail to instill the necessary values that are essential for raising self-reliant children. A fresh perspective to parenting that is relevant to raising today’s children is certainly needed.
The discipline of coaching has traditionally been associated with sports. Almost every Olympic athlete has a personal coach. Today, the term ‘coaching’ is applied virtually in every field, from business to personal effectiveness, and even child education. The essence of coaching is about bringing out the greatness in a person. It involves a relationship in which a coach helps another grow personally towards achieving a desired result. While the process may overlap with the better-known disciplines such as teaching, mentoring, and counseling, a distinctive feature in coaching is that it focuses on empowering the individual to explore new possibilities and take action towards realizing them.
Check back next week for the continuation of this article for parents…..