Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Experienced Coach

Written by Brenda Power
Editor, Choice Literacy

My 15-year-old daughter started driver's education last month, which means driving with her over the past few weeks has been a special kind of hell for me. Dee hasn't had enough training to get her learner's permit, but she has acquired enough skills and knowledge to critique my driving...oh, pretty much every time I make a turn or pull up to a stoplight. Which would be every two to three minutes. Without fail.

The experience has made me think a lot about the role of any coach...What I've realized all over again is:

  • No one likes to be coached by someone who doesn't have skills or experience with the activity being coached. Everything always looks easier from the outside.
  • We can all benefit from the outside perspective of someone watching our moves closely. I am a much better driver this month than I was last month, just because some of my sloppiest habits have been pointed out to me. Repeatedly.
  • We work hardest at the things we care most about. When Dee finally got her permit a week ago, I was amazed at how careful and smart she is in her driving. She eagerly asks for feedback after every drive, asks questions throughout the process, and is open to the honest analysis of her skills.

Most of all, I was reminded that those of us who coach others really need the experience periodically of learning something new, preferably something that is a true challenge. What are you planning to learn this summer? Who will be your coach?

Brenda's story about her daughter reminds me of the challenges I face when working with families. Nothing is more important to me than my family and I know the same holds true for those who enroll in my courses. I try very hard to express my opinions and points of view without being judgmental. I show my concern for parents' challenges and try to focus on what they want to achieve, what goals they plan to reach.

Being a Certified Parent Educator and teaching the courses and workshops on communication, discipline and redirecting children's behavior forces me to be more aware of the actions I take and the words I choose. I make mistakes - everyone does - and I use the lessons I learn from them to share with the parents I work with. After all, learning from my mistakes might help others to see how they can avoid making the same ones with their families.

Like Brenda, I know that the families I work with are dedicated to their children and the relationships in their lives and it only makes them stronger to ask for help when they need that extra support.

It takes a community to raise a child and I'm pleased to see the Happy Healthy Hip Parenting community growing and spreading peace between family members, friends and neighbors.

No comments: