Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Coaching

I am a big believer in coaching.

I've invested time and time again - fitness, swimming, triathlon, cycling, skiing... If I took up darts next week? ...well, I'd probably hire a coach.

As important as my athletic pursuits are to me, they are really kind of inconsequential compared to my role as a parent. Yet, until very recently, it had never occurred to me to hire a parenting coach.

I have never really spent any time writing about the challenges of parenthood... but that's not because being a parent is a breeze. It's not. Our family of 5 is an ever-changing, ever-challenging, mixture of personalities - and sometimes that mix works better than other times.

As educated, intelligent parents it's easy to feel like you should be able to solve just about any parenting issue. In our case, Sacha and I have 7.5 years of parenting under our belts - that's just over one "dog year" for those of you without kids.

I'd like to say that harmony abounds and there is nothing but "cumbaya" around our house, but lately Sacha and I have been running up against a short (but complicated) list of parenting challenges. The self-conscious parent in me will add that these "challenges" are likely nothing abnormal (at least I hope), but they are intensely irritating and generally distracting from the enjoyment of life for all involved. The result is stress - not just for us adults, but for the kids - their little brains and little hearts. It's not cool and we needed help.

Tonight we met with a Parenting Coach.

The first, and probably most interesting thing about the meeting, was that both Sacha and I came away agreeing with 100% of what she said. WOW - let's just say we haven't been in agreement on how to handle these issues - ever. We could barely agree on how to describe them!

We came away with a better understanding of the issues, tools to help us navigate through them, and methods to support each other when challenges crop up. In short, we have a plan, we know how to execute it and we are a team again.

Pretty great coaching.

The other HUGE lesson learnt for me is that we didn't need to stumble through the parenting process without help.

  • When I was 5 a baseball coach taught me to choke up on the bat - I hit the ball a lot better!
  • When I was 14 a rugby coach taught me that TEAM was all that mattered - by ourselves we are nothing.
  • When I was 21 a physiotherapist taught me that setting goals was an important part of achieving my dreams - she taught me to walk again too.
  • When I was 30 a personal trainer taught me to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone - I found my passion in endurance sports.

  • Tonight a parenting consultant taught me how to be a better coach and dad for my kids - which means that a bare minimum of 5 lives were improved in 90mins at the local coffee house.

If you were pulling your hair out earlier today, have a sticky issue or just want to raise your game to be the best parent you can be I highly recommend getting some coaching.

If you happen to live in or around Vancouver you need look no further than:

Karen Hoffman BA, CCFE, RPC

Canadian Certified Family Educator
Registered Professional Counsellor

Thanks Karen!

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2Grandmas2 said...

VERY well put and lovely pictures of the kids! Kudos.


Ri said...

Wow. That's a fascinating post. I didn't know that such a thing existed, but what a good idea.

Stephanie Corker Irwin said...

Brilliant post! Best gift you can ever give a child is the gift of being the best possible human being. I totally commend you for finding a coach and listening to her! Way to go Team Jones!

Ri said...

ok, so its been a few days. Are you seeing any results yet?

What's your take on it at this point? Is the plan reasonably easy to follow?

Love to hear some follow up on this post.