The relevance of parent coaching

The relevance of parent coaching


The relevance of parent coaching

In the past few years, violence in the society has been on the rise. It makes us wonder about the origin of such behaviour and what we — as parents, teachers and adults — can do to create an environment that is safe, nurturing and compassionate for children. It is a fact that many of the inexplicable deviant adult behaviour can be traced to the lack of acceptance, compassion, belongingness, unconditional love and respect during childhood. Both teachers and parents can play a major role in addressing many of these issues and can help in correcting them before they come to haunt us in the future.

Adult responses to situations can make or break the spirit of young children. Often, the words we use to connect and understand children do not produce the intended response and is unintentionally not aligned to the goals we have for our children. Many of the adult behaviour instances of violence, suppressed anger, hatred, depression and bullying can be traced back to unmet needs during childhood. Unwittingly, the seeds of such behaviour are sown by adults on a regular basis in different situations. For instance, when a kid refuses to eat dinner, the parent starts blaming the kid for causing an inconvenience. Or when a student isn’t paying any attention in the class, they are derogated and put down in front of all other kids.

When such messages are often repeated in different formats, it affects the growth of a happy, independent thinking child. If left unchecked, these characteristics can build over a period of time and manifest themselves in adult years in many different forms, such as violence. Now, violence does not necessarily mean physical violence. Withdrawal of love, punishment, hurtful and sarcastic language are all varied forms of violence. 

What is parent coaching?
Parent coaching is vital to a kid’s mental wellbeing. Parent coaches are people who are solely focused on parent-child related issues. The parent coaching skills can be applied by parents at home, by a teacher in the classroom or by a child counsellor. Learning these skills can be fun and is possibly more important than the traditional importance that is placed on academics. There is no prerequisite to becoming a parent coach.

Communication is the best form of correction. Talk to your kids. Let them realise that there’s a space for them and their opinions. Don’t put down their ideas or suggestions harshly. Now this communication, an important element of parent coaching, consists of six layers, which are connection, compassion, communication, co-operation, choices and change.

Parents can develop skills at each of these layers to respond to different situations. A point to be noted here is that these layers are not sequential nor are they based only on one situation. One can utilise any layer to formulate an effective response, according to the situation at hand. So, when your kid doesn’t eat or acts cranky, maybe you could say, ‘something seems to be upsetting you. Do you want to talk about it?’ By doing this, you connect with your kid. Instead of complaining about having to cook and watching your kid not eat it, look deeper. Analyse why your child is displaying such behavioural instances. This initiates a communication between the two of you and helps you be compassionate with your kid. If your kid enjoys particular dishes, you could promise to include those during the weekly menu. This showcases that you are ready to co-operate with your young one. Ensure you are in loop with whatever is happening in your kids’ life.

Usually in trying situations, the first response of parents is to blame the child. If the child gets such responses both at home and school, he is likely to develop dislike towards parents and imbibe characteristics that one would not like to see in kids. Many times, parents put the fear of punishment in kids to get them to eat their vegetables and do their homework. But this is not right. While they may do things now, they may not do the same when they grow up.

Parent coaching is not a fad or a trend but an increasing necessity that enables parents to understand the inner world of children. As the world gets more complex, a lot of demands and expectations are placed on the new generation of parents and children, which is why there is an increasing need for parents to put in specific effort in nurturing the growth of their children. The skills required to understand children are very different from skills required to understand adults as the cognitive and analytical developments are distinctly different.

So, have you talked to your kid today?