Parent coaches – why it’s important to be clear about what you’re doing to help
It’s Sunday morning and I’ve just dropped my 2 lads (17 and 11) up to the ‘astro’ at their high school so they can practise some football skills and there’s a dad with his son, who looks about 9 or 10, already there. I stayed in the car (no, it wasn’t raining!) while ‘other’ dad was out with the cones and fast-feet ladders and seemed from a distance to be well in charge of the session.
Which got me thinking. For parents to help their kids develop their skills, they need to be very clear about what they’re doing to help. For me this was …
Giving them a lift up there (just in case having to walk up there had an impact on their motivation!)
Asking them what they were going to work on and why it was the priority
Asking them how this related to the skills they would need to be good at to be successful in the future
Offering my help if they needed a ‘stooge’ to get in the way (thankfully not required!)
Asking on the way home how they could make the practises more effective next time
I wanted to help my boys learn more about planning by asking them good questions and to get into the habit of taking responsibility for their own learning (a consistent theme in our house!). I didn’t ask ‘other’ dad because he looked like he didn’t want to be interrupted, but I wonder what he felt he was doing to help?
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