Fathers As Coach – A Useful Paradigm for Parenting Teens (2/9)

By Edwin Choy, Centre for Fathering

Last week we addressed the first foundation of being a good coach to our teens “that we are the best parents for them”.

The next foundation of good teen coaching is to view our teens in a way that will nurture their growth.

It is amazing how our different our feelings and reactions to a person can be depending on how we perceive them.  There is much truth in the statement by Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady – the difference between a flower girl and a princess is not how she acts but how she is treated.

If you harbour negative feelings towards a person from the beginning, that person usually can never be right no matter what he does or says. If you were to remember every wrong that your teen has committed, you will have a burden so heavy that you will not be able to see any good in him/her.

On the other hand, if we learn to see a person such that his/her wonderful qualities outshine the imperfections, we exert a powerful influence in nurturing him/her. Focusing on our teen’s weaknesses and imperfections is likely to worsen a situation.  Focusing on the strengths of our teens not only affirms them but also creates new possibilities for resolving difficult situations.  Sometimes it is not that things have changed for you and your teens, just that you are now seeing them differently!

“Focusing on the strengths of our teens not only affirms them but also creates new possibilities for resolving difficult situations. “Edwin Choy

Our teens make mistakes. But they have made great decisions too!  They may not be talented in some areas but they are gifted in others. They have great resources to draw from in times of need.  They have the potential to do far more than we can ever imagine. They are human and alive, therefore, they are worth all your love!

So start the year right with your teens. Tell them that they are special, no matter what happens!

Reflection pointers for fathers …

1. Remember some of the major decisions you made when you were a teenagers, how did your parents reacted to you when you let them know about your decisions. Was their reaction helpful?

2. How do you react when your teenage children share with you their thoughts or decisions? Was your reaction one that is consultative or one that is corrective from the start? What is your wife’s view to your response?

3. Do you find yourself looking forward to the wonderful things that your child could do, or just weary of the next time he/she messes up.


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