Teachable moments: Being there for your tween

 

IN the previous discussion, we touched on how affirmation could lead to new possibilities of resolving difficult situations with your late tweens or teens.

 

Availability and approachability is crucial

Here in this third part of a series of how parents become more effective as coaches to their child when he or she starts turning into a teenager, we come to the third foundation for coaching our late tweens or teens ie that as fathers we need to be available and approachable. You would notice that teenagers spend less and less time with their parents. Some even do not want to be seen with their parents! Friends become more important for them. The amount of school work also takes their time away.

This makes it all the more crucial for fathers to be available whenever our teens need us or want us to connect with them. That does not mean we are at their beck and call. There are boundaries our teens need to observe. At the same time, if we are never available, it will be hard to develop a comfortable relationship where fathers can be in a coaching relationship with their teens.

 

Best teaching moments are unplanned!

Many of the “teachable moments” are not planned and cannot be planned. They just happened! The more available you are, the more likely those special moments occur when you still can be an influence to your teens. So when your teens are ready to connect, drop what you are doing, and spend that few minutes to listen to what he or she has to say.

 

More valuable than your work

Being available is good. Being approachable makes it better! Can your teen come to you confidently knowing how you will receive him or her? Does your teen enjoy talking, relating and spending time with you? If your answer is yes, you are an available and approachable father. That comes with how you value and view your teens. If you value them you would make time for them – no matter how inconvenient it is . If you view them as people with rich gifts and potential beyond their problems, you will stay open to connect with them in a warm and welcoming way.

The next time your teen needs you – remember they are more valuable than your work. It might just be the
next coaching moment!

 

Reflection pointers for fathers

  • Remember some people whom your felt were approachable during your teenage years. Can you learn anything from them?
  • Are you consistent in your daily life at home? A consistent pattern allows your teen to know your availability.

 

Action pointer for fathers

  • Bring your children to the bank to deposit some of their ang pao money into their account or start an account for them with that money. Instill a habit of saving in their life.

Note:   This article is part of a series first broadcast on 'Parenting Today' 93.8FM. A Certified Solution Focus Therapist, writer Edwin Choy is co-founder and director of the Centre for Fathering. He would like to hear your personal experiences in coaching your teens to help him improve his training workshop for fathers on coaching. Please email him atedwin@fathers.com.sg

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What to expect when your child moves from primary to secondary

From seniors to juniors: Tweens into teens

 

Other articles in the "Fathering Matters" series 

 

A matter of perception

Fathers turn coach as tweens move into teens

New Year fathering resolutions

Haiti earthquake:  Disaster, compassion and our children

Home government: What type is yours...most of the time?

A secret to better your child's educational performance

Letter from Anastasia

The Tays' "little starfishes" with "great potential"

Foster dad, Raymond Loh: 4 kids and counting...

Fathers with big hearts!

Family rules - Part I and Part II

A challenge to motivate?

"That's NOT what I meant!"

"So few marks?" or "You made some progress..."

Grow your relationship with your child by volunteering

Marathon dad

Parent-child styles for learning and connecting

Connect using positive presuppositions