Coaching Parents

Coaching Corner by Able Coach

By Dr Shan Narayanan

Great to meet all of you at the Coaching Corner!

Coaching can be used for various purposes. Being a Paediatrician, one of the purpose that I apply coaching regularly is with parents.

Parenting is raising a child. It is the promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and cognitive development of a child from birth to adulthood. Parents may be biological parents, adoptive parents or anyone who plays a major role in bring up a child.

Babies do not arrive to parents with an instruction manual. Parents acquire the skill to parent from hand down information from their parents, reading and from the mistakes they make in the process of parenting.

There are challenging situations where parents are unable to move forward in bring up the child. This is the area where coaching has a major role. Coaching offers the parents, an alternative perspective around family situations to deal with the challenges and thus bring resolution and move forward.

Recently, I had Julia, mother of Ashley (not their real names), 11 years old, come to the clinic. Ashley has been under my care since birth. The usual bubbly mum, was here looking very stressed and tired. The following is the conversation we had:

Julia: Doctor, I can’t handle Ashley any more, he has become very difficult.

Me: Why do you say so Julia?

Julia: He is always out with a new group of boys. He takes money off my purse. He makes me mad!

Me: Why do you think Ashley is doing so?

Julia: I am not sure doctor. That is why I am here.

Me: I am here to support you Julia, do give a thought, why Ashley is behaving this way?

Julia goes quiet, then breaks down crying.

Julia: (Sobbing) she says, Recently I have taken up a second job, I am away most of the time. Every time I am at home, I have been shouting at Ashley for something or other. I think I am pushing him away from me.

Me: Wow, Julia, with that awareness, how do you think, we can move forward?

The above conversation is a coaching conversation. Various questions were asked to understand the situation without making any judgement. Through the conversation, the mother became aware of the source of the problem. With this awareness, we then had a discussion on the various adjustments she had to make and then went through the skills she needs to deal with Ashley’s behaviour.


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