By Edwin Choy, Centre for Fathering
The third foundation for coaching our teens is that as fathers we need to be available and approachable. You would notice that teenagers spend less and less time with their parents. Some even do not want to be seen with their parents! Friends become more important for them. The amount of school workload also takes their time away.
This makes it all the more crucial for fathers to be available whenever our teens needs us or wants to connect with us. That does not mean that we are at their backing call. There are boundaries our teens need to observe. At the same time, if we are never available, it will be hard to develop a comfortable relationship where fathers can be in a coaching relationship with their teens.
“Being available is good. Being approachable makes it better! Can your teen come to you confidently knowing how you will receive him?”Edwin Choy
Many of the “teachable moments” are not planned and cannot be planned. It just happened! The more available you are, the more likely those special moments occur when you still can be an influence for your teens. So when your teens are ready to connect, drop what you are doing, and spend that few minutes to listen to what he or she wants.
Being available is good. Being approachable makes it better! Can your teen come to you confidently knowing how you will receive him? Does your teen enjoy talking, relating and spending time with you? If your answer is yes, you are an available and approachable father. That comes with how you value and view your teens. If you value them you would make time for time – not matter how inconvenient. If you view them as people with rich gifts and potential beyond their problems, you will stay open to connect with them in a warm and welcome way.
The next time your teen needs you – remember they are more valuable than your work. It might just be the next coaching moment!
Reflection pointers for fathers …
- Remember some people who your felt were approachable during your teenage years. Can you learn anything from them?
- Are you consistent in your daily life at home? A consistent pattern allows your teen to know your availability.
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