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One of our key roles as a parent is to fix problems and help our children thrive. We do it naturally from the minute they are born, we comfort their crying and find solutions (in my case – as fast as I could so that peace would reign once more!).
Yet as a coach, we are taught not to fix, but to enable our clients to fix themselves. This is a constant struggle as a coach, we know the answers (or we think we do) and yet we also know that if they find the answer for themselves, it will be a hundred times more powerful – we have to learn to be quiet while they figure it out and we have to let go of our own egos who want to show how great we are at fixing!
Back to children, what does this mean in practice? A good friend of mine was sharing how she was advised that we should let toddlers cry a little longer because what can happen is their tears drop into their mouths and momentarily they are distracted by the new taste and this can reset them without our intervention. I am not advocating leaving children to cry without any reassurance or comfort but it’s made me question whether we can be too quick to fix and actually if we could hold ourselves back even just for an extra minute, we will teach them an even more powerful lesson that we know they are ok and can do it for themselves.
Which one of these is the hardest for you? For me it’s probably number 5. Am I too quick to be there?
It’s so hard to get it right as a parent because there are two lives happening in parallel – ours and theirs. Realising we are both the same and different means that we won’t always know the best answer for them. As they grow up, we might be with them less and less. Therefore perhaps the greatest gift we can give them is to help them start believing from a young age in their ability to find their own answers and think for themselves.
How do you achieve this as a parent?
We are looking forward to discussing this on our parenting course and we would love to hear your ideas?