Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Gift For Our Kids...

I set out on this coaching journey knowing one thing - reach the kids. Small, medium, large...it doesn't matter their size. What matters is them. Each individual sole. So precious. Each with a gift for the world. As a parent we see our children at their best and at our wits end! It gets easy to confuse the two sometimes. As a teacher, they see potential. Realized or not quite yet, but potential none the less. They see what we parents do not always wish too...and sometimes not enough of what we 'know' is there. We all want the best for our kids. So how do we sort that out? Where do we begin?

Let us begin with the kids. This is their life...their journey. We are their guardians, educators, and taxi drivers. We feed and clothe..protect and aid...shuttle to sports and music...give them what we did not have. These are noble and worthy achievements but hopefully there is more. Not more in the goods and services the kids from this generation seem to require. No. More in the way of awareness. Awareness for themselves and control in their own life. Yes, control. As a parent that seems to be what we want more of - control. That way we can control the outcome that we most desire. I think we can trust that we have learned that skill already. How about letting our kids have a crack at it? I do not mean to let go of parental responsibility. That is our job and what we signed up for. What I do mean is this - having a different kind of conversation with your child about their day. The kind of conversation that asks questions about who they were being - serious, playful, silly, dreamer, focused...you get the idea. There is no right or wrong answer here. Only an answer. Children could be many of those moods in one day (as can we!). Find out about one. Ask how they enjoyed (or not) that way of being and why. Would they be that same way again in a similar situation? How could they be another way and what might the outcome be? Remember, no right or wrong. What you are doing is helping them realize that they are at choice. What they choose impacts the outcome that they see. Do not try to influence the choice (safety first, you are the parent!). Letting a child realize that they can control their own experience is a wonderful skill for them to practice. I have seen my kids take a frustrating situation and turn it around (for themselves) the next time by changing their own attitude - not by looking for someone else to change first. This is not something we can experience for them. What we can do, as the taxi driver on the way to the next important event, is get the conversation going. Be a curious taxi driver from another country who not only has great questions, but great ears for listening because it is all brand new. This is not our been there done that. This is their life, their day, their adventure. We owe it to them to be fully present. Isn't this the best gift we have to offer anyway?

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