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The Proof is in Our Children by Gregory Bland

Dec 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Parent Coaching - Guest Posts


The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, but then again, neither do the nuts!  It has been said, ‘You can teach a child what you want, but you reproduce what you are.’  As you read that statement what feeling does it invoke within your heart and mind?  Excitement, deep concern, fear, anticipation . . .

Let’s begin by taking a moment to Pause, Pray, and Ponder.

Consider how you may pray for your own children. What are the special concerns you have for them, what issues might they be facing, or what could you pray about regarding your relationship with them?  You might also pray about the impact you are having upon their lives, or ask God for the wisdom you need as you tackle the ‘difficult issues’ you are facing.  Parenting provides plenty of opportunities to pray and as you do, remember that God desires to support and strengthen you!   Please, take a moment now and pray in the way that is most appropriate for you and your family situation.
Welcome back!  As we continue, can I ask you to take a moment to ponder the following?  (If you journal, you may want to consider writing down your thoughts.)

What is the impact are you having upon your children?
In what ways do you recognize that they are being shaped and molded by your parenting?  What is being reproduced in their lives?
In what practical ways are you currently preparing your children for life beyond your household?
What are your child’s dreams, aspirations, gifts and fears?
If your child were to write an essay about their relationship with you and the impact you’ve had upon their lives, what would they write?  Compare that to what you would like them to write?
What do you as a parent need to do today that will begin moving your children toward what you would like them to write about you?
In relation to the above what will you commit to doing this week?

Professional Coaches affirm the value of coaching within the context of parenting, parent coaching,  but do our children affirm the same? Through interacting with this article, The Proof is in Our Children, you will see first-hand the impact of Parent Coaching from a teenager’s point of view.

Jasmine Stoltzfus is a young woman whom Lynn and I met at a RCN (Relational Coaching Network) retreat in 2008.  Jasmine appeared to be a very mature and responsible young lady who was genuinely interested in others.  After talking with Jasmine for a few minutes, she then enquired of us, “Tell me about your children.”  Smiling, I thought to myself, ‘This young lady was obviously raised in a coach’s home.’  Jasmine is one of many young people that have had the privilege of growing up in a coaching environment.  Tony and Kathy Stoltzfus have embraced coaching as a way of life which has positively impacted Jasmine.  As you read watch specifically for how coaching has impacted Jasmine, her view of life and relationships.

GB:  How would you describe life growing up in a coaching environment?

JS:  It’s definitely different than what I’ve seen in some of my friends’ lives.   For example, the way problems are dealt with, such as when I break the rules.  Instead of simply having some expected consequence dropped in my lap, my parents (both coaches) and I talk about where my heart is, was and will be in the future on the issue. I am asked what “action steps” I intend on taking the next time, to prevent myself from coming home ten minutes late, forgetting to call my parents when plans change etc.

I can also see how my parents give me a great sense of vision for my life. We talk about my future, my giftings, talents, and the desires of my heart in depth quite often.  My parents are excellent at affirming and believing in me. Additionally, they “call out” characteristics they see in me, such as leadership and joy.

As I’ve gotten older and know more people, I’ve recognized a great number of teens who graduate from high school and then just wander around without any plan or intention of creating one.  I am glad that my parents take the time, energy, and patience to develop in me the belief and importance for seeking God’s plan.  They teach me that vision, calling, preparation, and humility are extremely important things. I do not take these lightly.

My parents also spend a lot of time talking with me about the intentions behind their actions. This has helped me a great deal, because if I don’t understand what they are asking me to do or exactly what they are trying to accomplish through their discipline I am more susceptible and likely to resist or rebel against them.

In addition, they work on giving me perspective, and considering how other people will be affected by my actions, such as taking the car somewhere without asking anyone if they’ll need it that afternoon.

They teach me to take responsibility for my actions and started me early on a lot of things.  I buy my shampoo, clothing, shoes, coats, music, EVERYTHING! Ha ha! So I am learning to use my money wisely at a young age.

My parents both aid me in understanding myself and what’s behind what I do. For example, I have learned that one of the reasons I’m usually five or ten minutes late is because I’m so optimistic.  I think I can always do one more thing before I leave. Since we’re already on the topic of optimism, I’m not actually that late anyway.

GB laughs out loud.

So if my being late, for example, is something we both think would be good to change, I come up with some action steps that they (usually) approve of and add in their own five cents.

These are some things that I probably would not have learned or understood if I wasn’t growing up with coaching parents.

GB:  One last question Jasmine, how do you feel being raised in a coaching environment has affected your relationship with your parents?

JS:  The way they parent me has helped me to see them more like fellow people, instead of rulers with vast amounts of laws. They involve me in making decisions about my boundaries, consequences, and future. This helps me to relate my heart to them more easily, and treat them both like friends. As I have grown, they have steadily included me more and more in the decision making process, and have also given me more freedom in making my own decisions.
I believe I will have long lasting great relationships with my parents for many reasons, one being because they know how to treat me like a friend. They respect me like a friend, they believe in me like a friend, and they hear me out like a friend.

GB:  Thank you Jasmine, I appreciate your time today and know your parents are also impacted by your relationship with them.

Jasmine’s answer is rich with information and insight which provide great understanding for us as parent coaches.  Take a moment and reflect on what you’ve read to this point.

What stands out to you about the home environment that Jasmine is describing?
What strengths do you see with coaching as a natural approach to parenting?
In what way do you think parent coaching would help in your family?
What is one thing you could commit to working on within your parenting this week?
When will you begin?

Please feel free to respond, interact and share your thoughts as we journey together in Pro-Active Parent Coaching.

Until next time,
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Greg Bland

* Photo in article of Jasmine Stoltzfus taken by her brother Taylor Stoltzfus.

*Gregory and Lynn Bland currently reside in Nova Scotia, Canada and are actively coaching, writing and developing a course to train parents in Pro-ActiveParentCoaching.  Additionally they are providing interim pastoring for the Maritime District of the PAOC.  For more information check out Pro-ActiveParentCoaching or write to

Copyright 2009 Gregory Bland | Pro-ActiveParentCoaching | Nova Scotia | Canada |

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