The last few weeks we have been looking at five shifts to make that will help empower your teenager to become mature, healthy self-led adults. We have looked at Shift #1: Talker to Listener and Shift #2: Center to Side. As a reminder, I am not an expert in parenting. But I have learned a thing or two about coaching and helping people take action towards the direction God has designed for them in life and ministry. Also, these five shifts are not limited to parenting. They relate to working with teenagers in youth groups or wherever you’re connecting with people in meaningful ways to help them take the next step on their journey to follow Jesus’ mission for their life. Let me give a bit of background so you have some context.
Shift #3: Causal Interaction to a Conversation with Purpose
One of the things we did very early with our kids was to use a coach approach whenever we could. Simply put – we used listening and asking questions versus telling. Of course, a parent must tell their child not to touch the hot stove or they can be seriously injured, but on other occasions, if the situation warranted, we tried to apply coaching technology.
This led to some very interesting conversations during their teenage years. Due to the location of our home we had three viable high school options within a 7 minute drive (10 minutes if we were in traffic). Early on in the decision-making process we decided each school was viable, had solid academics and comparable extra-curricular activities. I imagine, these are the primary priorities most parents consider when considering a public school. We had good, healthy and sometimes tense conversations about what school the kids wanted to attend. We agreed that this was a decision the kids would make. We were deliberate, discerning and prayed for wisdom along the way.
I liked the newest campus because it had all the bells and whistles that a new school in 2010 should have. Gina liked another school in particular because they offered the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. However, the kids preferred the largest school of the three: it offered the most dual enrollment courses, had the most Advanced Placement (AP) offerings and they had an amazing principal who was the founding leader with a stellar record. I discovered that dual enrollment credits transfer directly over to college which could save up to a year of tuition (I really appreciated their logic). It wasn’t the most attractive of the three options but it was not in any way deficient – so we went with this option.
Here are the things we did to move from a causal interaction to a conversation with purpose.
Key Question: How can I establish high trust?
- Build a trusting environment
- Empathy conveys that you feel what the other is feeling
- Adopt a coaching process
- Make their agenda your agenda and help them clarify a step.
- Engage with your teen
- Help them tap into their intrinsic motivation.
Below are two opportunities that can help you refine your disciple-coach skills!
5 Disciple Coach Habits webinar – Monday, October 11 from 10-3 PST
The full package includes the webinar AND triad sessions: