Father as solution coach - do you have the skills?

CFFthumbnail(1).jpgWE always start with the best of intentions to facilitate our kids as they move from tweens to teens and beyond. We are aware that the world they live in now and the problems they encounter are different from back when we were young. So what is an ongoing constant for successful parent facilitation in the past and now? Successful resolutions often depend on how well we divorce the problem from the child ie *don't lump both together*. It would require us to look beyond the problem to focus on solution alternatives. However, there are actual skills that we must be equipped with in order to make adequate "solution talk" with our child. Edwin Choy, a Certified Solution Focus Therapist, and Co-founder of the Centre for Fathering discusses these skills in this continuing series - Fathers as Coach (to their children).

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Tween/teen problem-solving: Align with preferred futures

IT is natural for adults especially parents to approach problems we encounter with our tweens/teens by imposing our solution on the child, never mind if that was what he or she would have wanted in the first place. In such instances, we may ignore the potential of the child's own ideas for arriving at a positive outcome. As fathers, our coaching of the tween/teen may yield better results if we instead understood what were his or her preferred future with regards to solving the problem. In this continuing series on fathers as coaches to their tween/teen, Co-founder and Director of the Centre for Fathering, Edwin Choy advises focusing on the solution rather than the problem as a way of widening the scope for alternative outcomes which are better aligned with the child's preferred future. The writer who is a Certified Solution Focus Therapist goes on to then discuss three principles of the solution coaching process with your tween/teen.

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Teachable moments: Being there for your tween

IT IS a truism that our children (in the early years) value our time spent with them over the material provisions. This window of opportunity, to build that appreciation of time together reduces as the child advances through the tween years. By the time they reach their teenage years, they are less likely to seek out your company but if they do, it is due to a strong relationship established through your availability when they were younger. In later years, while they may spend less time with you, those fewer moments would be as rich in a different way, continuing to provide teachable sharings of your experience which they will weigh carefully as they increasingly learn to navigate their own way through life. Edwin Choy of the Centre for Fathering discusses this aspect in this latest instalment of a series on parents as coaches as their child turns into a teenager.

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"Not how I act but how I'm treated" - a matter of perception

CFFthumbnail.jpgTHE connection between affirmation and positive behaviour is well-known. In fact it can lead to reduction or perhaps even elimination of undesirable patterns of conduct because your child is more likely to weigh your thoughts on thorny issues if there is a constructive relationship between you and your child. The challenge to parents is to act to bring it about in the midst of the stresses and pressures of making a living to bring home the bacon. "Why can't you behave?" referring to the parent's expectations of right conduct. You would think that's the least your child could do since you work hard to give them a good home and provide their daily needs. This descent into a form of negativity prevents us from seeing new possibilities of resolving difficult situations argues Edwin Choy of the Centre for Fathering in this second part of a series on fathers as coach in a family.

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