By Edwin Choy, Centre for Fathering
Last week we laid the foundation of focusing on solutions and not problems when coaching our teens. Today, we will look at three basic principles of the solution coaching process.
The first is “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!” Even though this is common sense, many fathers make the mistake of trying to change things for their teens even when there is no problem. If your teens are managing their responsibilities well, don’t insist on change just because they are not doing it the way you want. Allow your teenagers to find their own balance. Likewise when your teens ask for changes when nothing is wrong, remind them gently that the desired change might not be necessary.
The second principle is to “identify what works and do more of it.” As coach, one of the most important tasks is to find out what works for your teens and commend them for doing it well. Not only should they be affirmed, they also need to be encouraged to do more of what works. Motivating them is integral to the great coaching process!
The third principle is to “identify what doesn’t work and do something different.” As creatures of habit, we often try to solve problems in a particular way regardless it is appropriate or not. Dr Paul Faulkner, a marriage and family therapist wrote in his book, “If you keep on doing what you always did, you will keep on getting what you always got.” As coach, it is helpful to point to your teens when their approach does not work and encourage them to explore different alternatives to the problem. The solution very often is found beyond the problem!
“Allow your teenagers to find their own balance. Likewise when your teens ask for changes when nothing is wrong, remind them gently that the desired change might not be necessary.”Edwin Choy
Reflection pointers for fathers …
- As fathers we try to fix things the way we did for our own problems. “if it works for me it should work for you.” That may not be true.
- As every coach in an athletic team know how each player works and train them according to their strengths, your role as a father and coach should go according to the way your child works.
Action pointers for fathers ..
- Go for a picnic with your family. As a family, prepare the sandwiches, beverage, pick out games to bring along and decide the venue. (Beach, Botanical Garden, Zoo)
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