When in Doubt, Give Options Not Advice

In coach training, we are taught to avoid giving advice. This is for several reasons. Perhaps most importantly, it empowers and keeps the focus on the client.

The same is true with our kids. When they aren’t sure which direction to go, it’s easy to tell them what we would do. (Actually, even when they do know which direction they want to go, we often feel compelled to tell them what we would do.) A key part of our job as parents is to prepare kids for adulthood. That includes decision-making and living with the results of our choices. Being willing to take risks, and make mistakes, is hard for many of us. If, as parents, we can back-off on advice giving, we better prepare our kids for independence.

Here’s my advice 😉 If you find yourself in suggestion mode, make sure that you provide more than one option. It sounds something like this, “One way to handle this might be… Another option would be… Which of those feels better to you?” Then sit back, watch, and let them choose. Even if the choices are close, it empowers them and requires that the choice be theirs. Try it out!

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