Back OFF, Mom & Dad!
So this tip may come as a bit of a shocker – because the message is not from your kids. It's from your coach!
Sometimes it's hard to step back, but your child may very well need that space in order to find the path that works for her – and feel like it's her idea!
In fact, one of our greatest responsibilities as parents of complex kids is to transfer ownership and control to our kids, one step at a time. We don't want them to become adults who can't manage themselves. So that means we need to step back and let them practice.
Here's a great story to illustrate the power of stepping back. It came from one of our private coaching clients when her daughter (who is now in college) first started high school. When this mom's focus in coaching shifted from "making sure" her daughter did what was expected to empowering her daughter to figure things out – everything changed, forever.
"Today was my daughter's first day of high school. After years of "I won't use it" arguments about planners and calendars, through coaching I finally learned to stop and let her reap the consequences of failure to plan. I hovered in the background, and she actually learned to say “thanks mom” when I asked her about something she was forgetting. Today, I went down stairs and found a white board calendar posted on the wall next to her bedroom door... all filled in with the school calendar, announcements tacked to the cork board. I also found a table that I'd set up as a launch pad filled with all her stuff for the next day. If you knew how much we argued about using a launch pad during 8th grade! When I backed off, she learned to take over – in her way, in her time. Thanks, Elaine!"
If you're finding yourself in a battle of wills with your kiddo, it might just be time to loosen the reins and allow them to lead themselves a bit more. Choose one area – and try not to throw up your hands and give up if the change isn't immediate. Just agree on one area where you'll back off, and they can step in – and then watch the magic (slowly) happen.