coaching, Education, year 12

Coaching your own Kids

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I have a child/young man doing year 12. His final year of Secondary School.

As an educator I have witnessed the transitions of hundreds of kids through the their final year of school. I taught, encouraged, supported and coached them. I helped them back on track when they seemed destined for a disaster. As a teacher my role is clear and I can value add to the life of the year 12 student, as he or she pulls apart that text again, attempts to nail that language analysis or offer an opinion on Wilfred Owen’s poetry.

But.

But as a parent the hat I wear has felt uncomfortable all year. I want to exchange the parent hat for the teacher hat when it comes to ‘supporting’ my own child. My roles is unclear and fraught with mixed emotions. I am excited that in year 12 our young people step up, prepare for independent living and a whole new life. But I am simultaneously terrified that I have not offered the full training package to my son and somehow the parent manual was incomplete.

My partner and I both talk about coaching. In his profession and mine coaching is relevant. He recently decided to intentionally use coaching with our our family, in one to one conversations. He had a coffee and ‘coached’ my son. And he saw results.

So why do I find it so difficult to coach those I am closest and nearest to? Is it personal baggage, emotion, expectation?

Today I read Beyond Blue’s Surviving Year 12 Fact sheet for Parents. It is a succinct document and a perfect and timely resource for me. In the concluding Dos and Don’t s I found myself stuck on this tip.

Remember, the final year is about
your teenager, not you
It is not about me, this year 12. I have had my own year 12 (a long time ago) and have coached many other lovely students through their own year 12 journey. I am actively taking off the teacher hat, wearing my Mum fedora and watching as father and son converse, coach and catch up. And I cannot help but thinking that this is a bit Tim Winton; as the males in the family bond over the intense transition of finishing school and entering the world of adulthood. This in itself is a beautiful reward of coaching the kid.
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