Sometimes by helping too much, parents have positive intentions but are actually disempowering their kids. It’s very important to actually know that point where you help them to identify their natural strengths and what THEY’RE good at. You have to make them responsible for developing those strength themselves.

Parenting Hacks! – Transcript

Talia: We can all benefit from having a coach but sometimes there’s even greater benefit in being a coach. I’m here with Coach Kathy and today we’re talking about coaching our kids.

Kathy: Look it’s one of the greatest areas to be able to get some skills and it’s one of the intangible benefits that people get when they do coach training for work. So they get sent along by work to learn to be a better leader and then inevitably I get told, “Wow! This has really helped me improve my relationship with my kids.”

Talia: When we consider coaching our kids, what should we be thinking about?

Kathy: It’s really important to think about that kind of difficult time when you need to stop controlling and giving advice and being the support and the all-knowing parent and shift into that role where you’re giving that support and you’re giving that love but you’re kind of handing the baton to your teenager or to your twenty-something child to take responsibility and be more accountable for the outcomes that they get in their own life.

Stacey: I made them work for what they wanted. So if my daughter wanted new clothes or something, I gave her the basics. But if she wanted the branded stuff or she wanted her hair done or she wanted you know, the makeup, well “you need to get a job and fund that yourself.” So any extras, that’s what they wanna do.

My 15-year-old son scuba dives now. I got him into the course and that’s up to him to buy his scuba diving equipment. I don’t pay for anything for them that’s special. So they have to work or they have to make their own money.

Talia: So we’re not actually talking about toddlers needing to move on from breastfeeding, we’re talking about essentially adults that need to go to that next stage of life. How do we help them?

Kathy: It’s a funny thing that sometimes by helping too much, parents have a really positive intention. But by helping too much, you actually are disempowering your kids.

So it’s very important to actually know that point where you help them to identify their natural strengths and what they’re good at. But then you have to make them responsible for developing those strengths themselves for putting in the effort.

Stacey: I don’t wrap my kids in cotton wool. I just let them do what and be whatever they wanna be. I don’t even… if they come to me and say, “Mom, I want to be a toilet cleaner,” “Awesome you found your passion!”

As long as they love what they’re doing I encourage it, I don’t care. And if they wanted to leave school and get a job, I don’t care, as long as they’re working.

I’m just easygoing I think and I don’t ever tell them they can’t do anything. I tell them “Yeah.” And also I don’t put pressure on them, so if they try a job and they don’t like it, well, so be it. You’ve tried it.  You don’t like it?  Awesome! Move on to the next thing. Give that a go. I just encourage them to keep trying and find what they love.

Kathy: For any of us: if we’re going to be successful, we have to put in the effort ourselves. And what I see in many situations, is that people are not successful because someone else has done too much for them and so they start to doubt their own ability to be able to do it for themselves.

Talia: Right, so sometimes it’s okay to help your kid with some math homework, but once they’re in uni and they need to go for a job interview, they need to stand on their own two feet, right?

Kathy: Absolutely! So you can give them some tips and remind them how great they are and what their strengths are, but it’s really important not to be still controlling or still paying all their bills or taking responsibility for doing all the cooking or all the things that as an adult they should be doing for themselves.

Talia: You’re talking about encouraging the parents to stop being the players but to be the coach.

Kathy: Bingo, absolutely!

“The parents need to be the one on the side cheering them on but they’re not in there playing the game.”

Talia: That’s right. So you are the coach.

Kathy: Absolutely.

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