Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, decisions! Our young adult kids face so many BIG decisions. Career. Marriage. Home. What do you do when they come to you for advice?

When our son, Jared, graduated from college, and began the big job search, he had 3 different job opportunities to choose from. When he phoned to let his dad and I weigh in on his decision though, we didn’t tell him what to do. After all, he was 22 years old. He’s the one who’s going to have to live with the decision. Plus, I don’t want him to end up on Dr. Phil someday, saying how I messed up his life. 😉

It’s hard not to influence him though, especially when one of the job opportunities would bring him closer to home. Selfishly, I’d love to steer him towards that job. Of course, he knows my heart already, so I just admit to the obvious, “You know I’d love it if you were closer to home, but this is about the best opportunity for you.” Since it’s a choice between lots of great options, we tried to empower him with the tools to make a wise choice on his own.

His dad suggested the old pro vs. con list and then added, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?” My contribution was, “They all sound like great opportunities! Which one is the best stepping stone to where you want to be eventually?” Asking the right question is a powerful parenting tool! This stage of parenting is less about telling your child what to do, and more about coaching.

Frankly, it was a tough transition for me. When the decisions are big, it’s tempting to jump in there and take over, but when your child is no longer a child anymore; it’s time to stop calling the shots and hand over the reins. Of course, you can always stay stuck in the advice giving stage, but just don’t be surprised when your kids don’t call as often as they used to or when they become so dependent on you that they’re still living at home when they’re in their 30’s. 😉


Coaching Tips for Parents

Parenting is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs on the planet, but it doesn’t come with a manual. I’ve read tons of parenting books, solicited my fair share of advice from successful parents, attended parenting classes, like Nurtured Heart, and listened to Love and Logic DVDs. I’m not too proud to have paid good money (and well spent, might I add) for a life coach during rough patches.

Recently, I’ve been on the other side of the coaching conversation as a new teacher coach. It turns out; the same coaching questions that empower beginning teachers to thrive in the classroom are the same questions that can inspire your adult child to reach their full potential. These coaching techniques are so life changing; I just had to share them with you. It would be just plain selfish not to. Stay tuned for excepts from my upcoming parenting book, 10 Tips to Coach Your Young Adult Child for Success.