Supporting Growth the EASEy Way part 5 by Gregory BlandMar 28th, 2013 | By Greg Bland | Category: Parenting
Hannah excitedly headed into the house with her bundle of craft supplies. Running to ‘mommy’ she shared the news of her decision to make greeting cards to sell. Together we took time to select the photos to have printed and readied everything for the big sale.
The natural next step for us is the Encouraging Progress stage of our Pro-Active Parent Coaching Model. We want to keep energy high and provide the necessary encouragement that will foster enthusiasm and continue to build upon their motivation.
It’s important to remember that our children and teens, just as we do, sometimes face discouragement and lose focus because of circumstances. Encouraging Progress is like a fuel stop, giving us the necessary fuel to refocus and continue moving forward.
Because Hannah verbalized her commitment, a healthy accountability structure has already been established. This makes further coaching conversations not only possible, but expected. We begin by asking for a progress report and allowing our children to share about what they have accomplished, or learned so far. As we listen, we are instinctively looking for ways to encourage the steps that have already taken and how we might encourage continue forward movement.
You may discover, as I did with Hannah, that the objectives are not always met as quickly as they hope for, and we may need to revisit the E.A.S.E. model adjusting their goals if necessary.
After the sale, I asked Hannah how she did and she revealed that he r objective was not met. The tone of her voice and disposition communicated great disappointment. Observe how I encouraged the progress that she had already made while refocusing her attention upon her objective.
“I did OK, I guess. I sold 42 cards, but it doesn’t give me enough money to buy the gifts I wanted to give this year.”
“That’s OK. How much did you make?”
“After I subtract the price of my supplies, I only made $70.00.”
“That’s awesome, Honey! Think about it: $70.00 has brought you almost to the half way mark. You’re doing great! All we have to do now is think of additional ways to sell your cards.”
“Would you like to do that?”
“Yeah, that’d be great!”
“OK, so what other possibilities can you think of?”
“We could rent a table again and do another Saturday sale.”
“That’s a good idea. Is there anything else you can think of?”
“I can call family members and ask if they want to buy some of the cards.”
“Yes, that’s another possibility; see, you’re pretty good at coming up with ideas! What else could you do?”
“I’m not sure.”
“OK, give it a moment or two; something might come to you.”
“Have you thought of everything you can?”
“Yes, I can’t think of anything else.”
“Could I make a couple of suggestions for you to think about?”
“Remember, these are just ideas for you to consider, you can choose one of these, or something else if you like. That is completely up to you.”
“You could approach some of the many craft stores in the area and ask if you can set up a permanent display of your cards in their store.”
“That’s a good idea, Dad.”
“Thank you. We could also post your cards for sale on Daddy’s Facebook® account and see if that generates any interest or sales for you.”
“Ohhh, I like that too!”
“What do you think about these ideas?”
“I like them. Do you have any more ideas?”
“No, not really. So if you were to look at these possibilities then: renting another table in the mall; calling family members to buy some of the cards; approaching craft stores to put up a display; or posting on Facebook®, what are you most attracted to?”
“Let’s post them on Facebook®, I like that idea the best.”
“Yes, let’s do it today!”
“Alright, let’s see what happens.”
I ask for progress report on the sale. This gives me an understanding of the progress she has made, but also the energy level with which she is moving forward. It was easy to tell she was discouraged. The tone of her voice, facial expression, and focus on what she didn’t accomplish.
My goal as the parent coach was to help her focus upon her success, what she had already accomplished, not what she lacked.
Revisiting the coaching model keeps responsibility with Hannah, because I am not ‘rescuing’ her by offering solutions or giving her money, but allowing her to walk through this process once again.
I give Hannah permission to take time and think this through by allowing silence before asking if she is done.
I have a couple of ideas myself and ask permission to share them. Notice I use the term ‘could’ not ‘should’ in offering these suggestions.
In making suggestions we must hold our ideas loosely, giving our child the freedom to accept or decline them without feeling bad in any way. In some cases they may need our reassurance that they can dismiss an idea of ours and we’ll be fine with that.
Here I am Assessing Desire.
I restate the Possibilities for her consideration and ask what she is most attracted to?
Her decision is quick and definitive and we Secure Commitment with ease.
The beauty of Pro-Active Parent Coaching is found in the fact that it fosters a natural support system for our children’s growth through continued coaching conversations. In this way we can help our children push through the discouragement that often comes in reaching toward their goals. I love the fact that this really is a WIN-WIN relationship. We support our children as they mature and grow in responsibility and their respect for us increases as we take the pastor of Parent Coach.
I don’t want to leave you hanging here, so let me share with you what took place with Hannah’s earning objective. Once Hannah made her decision to display the cards for sale on my Facebook® account, we sat together at the computer and created a new photo album. This act in itself was a great time of connection between us that affirmed Lynn’s and my support and belief in Hannah’s ability, decisions, and growth in this area.
Over the next two weeks Hannah sold an additional 85 cards, earning enough money to purchase all the Christmas gifts she desired to give, make a special donation to the church, and continue saving toward a special gift her heart was set upon. Not only that, she reached her objective early, by finishing all of her shopping on November 28th! Today, a couple of years later, she still enjoys sales of her cards which is providing a small but nice income for her.
We can easily see the value coaching brings to the parent/child relationship as it provides a natural support system for their growth in responsibility, decision making, and at the same time fosters a healthy respectful relationship between a parent and child.
Until next time consider how you might EASE your child/teen into growth and responsibility.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
*Gregory, Lynn, and family currently reside in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. Greg created the Pro-Active Parent Coaching Model, authored the book Pro-Active Parent Coaching: Capturing the Heart of Your Child, and offers training for parents who desire to connect with and empower their children through the discipline of Coaching. Greg strongly holds a conviction that as parents we are the best coaches for our children and teens. Currently Greg, Lynn, and family are providing pastoral care, participate in various speaking engagements, and offer coach training. For more information visit Pro-Active Parent Coaching or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.