Are you parent? Prepare back to school with some coaching tips

Aug 30, 17 | by Benoit Mahé

Back to school for parents to enjoy

During this back to school period, most parents want the best for their children. However, how do you engage with these young people? How can you help them with all of the changes involved? For once, we set out to go beyond the retail framework and to offer our parent readers a simple and effective method to guide this young generation, pushing them to commit to their education and stimulating conversation through the quality questions of coaching.

Some conditions of success:
Whether the young person concerned is 6, 12, or 21, one thing that is true is that we don’t say things the same way when we are sitting or standing. This session takes place with everyone seated, with a closed door.
Another very effective option is “The Walking coaching”. There really is a remarkable difference between the way things are said during a casual walk or trekking.

The time the parent-coach spends talking should not surpass 30% to let the child express himself during the other 70%. Parent words are limited to the 3 basic linguistic acts of the coach: The open question (short and powerful), the active silence (accompanied by non-verbal communication) and the feedback (only if necessary and it can be positive feedback, for example: “I’m sure that you will succeed and you know I’m very proud of you.”)

6 questions

1. How are you? The parent looks at the child with benevolence and listens to his or her response. The parent does not move on to the next question until the conversation’s context has been established. The breathing synchronizes between the two until parent and child breathe rhythmically.

2. What do you think? (Or what do you think about this upcoming year?) The marks last term’s report can be placed on the table.

3. What is your main goal?
• The parent will make sure that this question is positively structured. That way, if the child responds with a “Not to repeat the year”, the parent can ask, “How can you say that in a positive way?”, the child’s response can evolve towards something more like “Move up to the next class”
• The parent makes sure the goal is precise. If the child says “I’d like to pass maths this year”, the parent can paraphrase: “Pass?” in search of a clear response such as “Yes, for example, to be among the top tier of the class.”

4. How can you do it? This is the point of “Observer change”. The child will start formulating solutions and actions.
• “If I could work 15 minutes a day, I’m sure I would pass.”
• “I think my smartphone sometimes distracts me.”
• “I should take better notes on homework instructions.” In cases like these, the parent-coach responds “You should?” and if the child fails to react, they can add “You should, or you will?”

5. What exactly are you committing to? The parent helps the child clarify where their commitment lies: What, where, how much, etc.
• “At what time will your daily 15 minutes of maths be?”
• “What will you do with your smartphone?”

6. Anything else? (or) What do you expect from me to reach this goal?
This short coaching session will last 5 minutes and will only last longer if the child requires it.
During this coaching session, the child will feel that he/she is receiving exclusive attention and that he/she is being heard. The child will feel valued and not judged. The parent can establish a follow-up method after the session, as a ritual. “How often would you like the 2 of us to sit down?” We go from a protective paternal/maternal relationship based in obligation (you should…, you must…, if I were you…) which can sometimes be frustrating, to a relationship built on consideration and trust, empowering the child.

This is a small gift to our readers. In education, just like in retail management, let’s do things simple that can become a daily ritual, combining empathy and stimulation to reach excellence. This method will obviously not resolve every concern, but our experience has shown us that it really can help.

Enjoy coaching and have a wonderful back to school and back to work time!

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