Posts tagged ‘parenting coach’

Parents In The News: Kid On Subway

What Is Your Subway?

What Is Your Subway?

So Izzy was on a NY subway alone.  As a parent coach, people ask my opinion.  Parents want to hear me say either; Mom should never have let a child do that OR It was fine for a NY Mom to do that.  The real answer lies elsewhere for me.  I need more info.  So my Counter Offer is to give, not so much an opinion, but my thoughts on the issues, intentions and impacts of the story. 

The Lead In  I’m curious about the conversations discussed and lessons provided to prepare Izzy for such a task.  Is he prepared for what could go wrong?  Getting lost, stranger snatching, injury, losing his nerve, or poor judgement are all realities that would do well to be covered.  The trick is to be realistic of the hazards without casuing paralyzing fear.  Assume Mom did this; point of fact, he made it home.

The Event Imagine you are Izzy.  What is going through your head as you locate, ride on and then leave the subway for home?  You are feeling trusted, accomplished, capable, powerful and special.  Talk about Appropriate Power! These feelings are not to be scoffed at.  If sending your child on the subway is not in the cards for you, find a way to recreate them for your child.  This is the element of parenting that Mom points up as being missing in the lives of kids today.  We know that, yet are scared to put them out there, thinking the stakes are too high.  What’s your version of the subway?

The Impact Its National News and Judgement for the Mom.  It’s not my place to say if she should or shouldn’t have made that choice, she is in charge of that.  I feel less concerned than when I hear a child was left or fogotten on a subway.  That is evidence of a parent being too concered with other things.  I never got that feeling with this Mom.  It is clear to me she is parenting Izzy in a way that is Intentional not Automatic, Aware not Unconscious, Considering not Past Based.  I am gad to see that. 

What About You?  Your personal opinion does not matter (about this), and that’s democracy, baby.  Instead, spend some time looking at where you have traded your child’s independence for safety without looking deeper.  Where can you foster some new skills for them?  Where are you ready to grow and (gasp) give them back some time to themselves?  Here’s my suggestion:  Instead of setting out to protect them from every danger and mishap (which is in the end utterly impossible), spend some real time literally and figuratively preparing them for WHATEVER happens.  I am clear I cannot promise my child that nothing bad will ever happen, but he knows this; WHATEVER happens, he can handle it, because I promise to raise him with the practical skills and information to do that.  Plus, I’ll be here when he needs me (which is less and less now,) but still very important.

One last thing  IF I were to put my son at the same age, in a similar situation, I would opt for the cell phone; but that’s what I’m in charge of with my little guy.   That’s about the best you’ll get from me.  To Izzy’s Mom, you’re on to something, keep digging.

June 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip: Do You Do Too Much For Your Kid?

No Doubt About Their Skills

No Doubt About Their Skills

Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about…clearing dishes, tidying up, carrying bags for them, all the little niceties that you just do naturally as a way to say I love you.  There is a downside to treating a child this way that you need to know about.  They learn that the world is a magic place where things are taken care of for them with no concerete idea how clean laundry ACTUALLY gets back into the drawer.  But wait there’s more…and it’s worse!

When you manage your kids lives, run the routine, skipper the schedule, you send a message to your child = You Can’t Handle This.  Not only are you training them to be lazy, entitled, dependent and unskilled (gasp!)  They honestly begin to feel that there must be a good reason they manage nothing, they conclude they must not be capable.

The Fix?  Step back, fight the urge to do for them and invite them to handle things.  If that makes you cringe…that’s your first clue this is necessary.  Look for this behavior: they tell you what’s wrong (they are hungry or tired or bored) and wait expectantly for you to solve that for them.  Now, you will reply:  Thanks for letting me know.  Anything else?  (Don’t forget to smile!)  Until they make a real Request, Do Not Act. 

Let kids struggle, fall short, fail, be confused, get uncomfortable, feel frustrated and wonder how it will all turn out.  You can offer sage guidance but do it from the side, letting them know it is ultimately up to them to manage.  Use the word Manage; as in, “You can manage that, I know it.”  This gives them real world practice in problem solving and the golden ring of self esteem building:  actual accomplishment!

May 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm 2 comments

Parent Coaching Tip: Get Started Already! Agreements Await

A big part of the Family Plan Starter Kit

A big part of the Family Plan Starter Kit

I’ve done some research.  Here’s what those I’ve asked have said;  when they hear about my program they immediately see value and like the concepts.  Here’s what else they say.  That they don’t get started right away!  WHAT?  Are you kidding me?  The results can’t happen without getting started, and believe me the results are the Juice of our program.  You can study Power Struggles all you want, but if you don’t change anything with your kids, nothing will change.

So I asked why and here’s what they say:

Too busy to really make the plan to present to kids

Didn’t know how to explain it to the kids

Couldn’t figure out all the the parts first.

Here’s what you need to know!  Stop acting like you have to figure everything out first and then have the heavens open and the angels sing to make a difference in your family.  Want to get started today?  Here’s how…

The NEXT issue that comes up in your family, notice it and mentally mark it for your first Agreement.After things settle down, say, “The way you and your sister were fighting didn’t wotk for me, did it work for you?”

Ask, “Do you want a family that works?”

Say, “What Agreement can we have that covers fighting that we can agree to have as important?”

Once they figure this out, ask, “OK so we agree to Be Gentle and Use Words When Upset, can you agree to that?”

BAM!  You have your first Agreement.  Stop waiting for your Fairy Godmother to fix it all up for you.  When you ask yourself and your family what they Want More Of and Want Less Of in the family, you will get plenty to make into Agreements.  Cars are a great place to have these talks.  If you have media on your car, TURN IT OFF!  Way better talks that way.

You can leave your inner evil step-parent in the dust and create the fairy tale family of your dreams.  Make it happen today!

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March 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coach Tip: Kids Can’t Demand-Or Can They?

Kids & Destiny

Kids & Destiny

I am happy to have had Sonia in my life for the past “school year,” but more than that, I am honored that she has chosen to join the team at Licensed 2 Parent as a Parent Coach Intern.  She has taken on learning a lot and shows a true passion for families and creating peace by example.  I have asked her to ocasionally contribute to the blog with her own experiences along the way!  She writes about a particularly cool moment:

Why can’t I demand?!  My 5 year old son wants to know.  We teach that parents are allowed to make Demands.  Children are taught to powerfully Request, but Demands (of their parents or others) are not acceptable.  During a weekend Intensive I attend for Self Discovery, I considered another answer.  When I do inner work to move myself forward, I DEMAND of myself to be my best, my highest, my greatest, etc.  

 

 

Wait a minute, can’t kids can demand of themselves?  They can demand anything they want of themselves.  When I shared this with my son, he liked it!  I saw the empowerment he felt.  It removed the separation that ONLY a parent (or small baby) can Demand.

 

 

Later, he said, “Hey, I can demand of myself without saying please!” 

“Absolutely, kid, absolutely!”  When will you talk with your kids and let them know they can demand? … of themselves!

 

Sonia Hankin, MHC, CIC

Certified Integrative Coach

www.theglobalheart.org/soniahankin

Parent Coach Intern

www.Licensed2Parent.com

February 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: Do Parents Keep Agreements?

Who Parents The Parents?

Who Parents The Parents?

Yes, but not the same ones as your kids!  When House Rules are made by a family, it seems only fair that the adults and the kids are responsible for keeping them, right?  Not so much!

This may fly in the face of the way you have been doing things at home, but check it out:  The Agreements exist so that the children are taught a standard of behavior they are working on.  Take Being Grateful.   Kids need lots of practice with this one.  How about using a quiet voice inside?  Mom still struggling with that one?  No.

Think of the hundreds of Agreements parents are currently managing and those they have mastered over time; compare that to the Agreements listed for your family.  You figured out Be Gentle decades ago, right?  The Agreements are there to guide your child and provide a measurement for them to compare choices in the moment. 

When rules are broken, it begs a corresponding punishment.  Agreements are different.  If you don’t keep your agreement, you measure yourself (or your parent coaches you) and you choose again, knowing the consequences.  To encourage or expect a child to monitor adult behavior, point out when it is lacking and Demand a price be paid if  parent breaks their word is inappropriate power.  If you do it you are feeding the monster you are working to slay.

Adults manage their own agreements:  Speed limits, fidelity, businesses, mortages, bills, ethical and legal concerns are real and present.  Adults experience natural consequences for keeping them or not.   That is the real world, to do otherwise gives kids practice with an artificial world they can’t use to cope later on. 

There is more to learn, get the Audio Download on Agreements (and a bunch of other cool topics) here.  Five dollars for one/ 8 for $25. http://www.licensed2parent.com/services.html

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January 15, 2009 at 2:10 am Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: Can Kids Earn Privileges Back?

The "Earn Back" Puzzle Solved

The "Earn Back" Privilege Puzzle Solved!

Not really.  This is a total FAQ when I work with families.  It seems to them that if a child misbehaves they lose something, if they behave again they can get it back, right?  Nope.  Here’s what gets left out.  Reality in adulthood.  Oh and creating another power struggle.  Let’s take one at a time.

Real World

When you speed you may or may not get a ticket.  If you do get “caught” and have to pay, if you stop speeding (forever? a week?) you don’t get your money back.  Having a privilege at risk means it is at risk.  The best privileges are the non-physical ones of opportunity: getting to choose a restaurant, spending extra alone time with a parent, having free time to do as you please, computer time.  You can never get these back. 

If you DO remove a physical thing, it comes back into play after a set time that works for your family, say a day.  You want the emphasis on the fact that the child’s next choice will have an impact.  Then provide the impact and allow them to experience it fully.  The goal is for them to know that when you say you will take a privilege, you will and they will notice it is gone.  Then they will choose the behavior that works more often (without having the thing even removed!)

Power Struggle

When you give a child a moment to consider if their behavior works for your family (through Agreements) you give them the appropriate power to choose the next move with our without a consequence.  Once they choose to do what doesn’t work, they experience the impact of that choice.

If you then allow them to “earn” back the privilege through doing what works, you are giving Inapproriate Power by letting them say when the impact is complete.  Putting them in that driver’s seat creates them knowing that your consequences are only as temporary as they choose them to be.  That’s a parenting red alert.

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November 28, 2008 at 4:40 pm 2 comments

Parent Coaching: A Gift On So Many Levels

Pre Paid Coaching in progress!

Pre Paid Coaching in progress!

Four people have signed up for the Pre Paid Parent Coaching in 24 hours!  I am so excited to get started with each of them.  I could hear even in the set up call just where I need to start with one family.  This Mom really wants a set schedule for her kids to display more independence.  I know once she learns how to turn over parts of the daily routine to them, she will see a different result. 

Giving appropriate power not only reduces Power Struggles, it sends a critical message to kids:  You can do this, I trust you, go for it.  So often that message is:  I’ll do it, you can’t manage it as it should be done.  That instills doubt in a child.  Imagine your boss sharing your office and telling you what is next on your to do list!  How long would we put up with that? Kids have little choice. 

My little chef!

My little chef!

For the first time today my 6 year old chose a vegetable at the store (yellow squash), washed it, cut it (less oversight with a butter knife), and learned how to saute and season it.  He was so engaged.  He requested we add cheese, we did!  And he ate it , it was good! It was different than I would have done it but he had the golden egg of Appropriate Power. 

The gift of parent coaching...One person got the Coaching Program as a Holiday Gift for someone.  It feels very rewarding to be able to provide parent coaching both easily and affordably.  The parent plan makes such an impact on the child, the parent, the family, and the people those kids will grow into.  A gift on so many levels.

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November 25, 2008 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

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Dawn Roth

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