We offer help and training on family therapy,
parent coaching and relationship skills.
When coaching people to coach children and adolescents, we explore what
motivates the children, NOT so much the parents! To interact better with
we strive to understand their family lives, their interests, personality, sports, hobbies
and skills. We show that we care! Watching, listening and talking are more
important than telling.
Coaching children is challenging and
rewarding, whether the coaching is to improve sport, schoolwork, music or
relationships. Some challenges of coaching children are:
- to treat each child as a person
- to avoid favoring children who have exceptional
- to accept children who have attachment disorders or
A 1989 survey showed that children value
(in order of importance to the children) during
1. Improving their skills
2. Playing, using their skills
3. Good relationship with a coach
4. Being selected for a team
5. Competing and trying to win
6. Having exciting, close games
7. Being with friends
8. Wearing a correct uniform
9. Beating opponents
10. Receiving medals or trophies
You can coach children to improve their skills, change their
beliefs, and develop their sense of identity. As children need adult models,
good coaching can foster a sense of belonging and a base from which children
deal with many life challenges. Children from chaotic family backgrounds can
model a coach.
You can coach children to develop relationship and
emotional intelligence, academic
ability and effective thinking. You can coach children to practice and develop
leadership, academic skills, decision-making and responsibility as well as
adventures and fun. You can help create an environment in which children not
only succeed but develop emotional maturity.
When parents ask us to coach their children ... we
usually insist on coaching the parents first! We often find that when the
parents sort out their own issues ... the children's issues may seem to vanish
Other aspects of coaching children involve
dealing with personal crisis (accidents or illness), family crisis
(divorce, death or serious disease of the parents)
and moving home (leaving friends).
Parent Alienation .
Divorce Children .
Why don't you ...? Yes but ...
Many children (and immature adults) will answer many of your
questions with, "Yes - but ...". Avoid playing what we call Yes
But ping pong, and explore and change their underlying habits.
Although much client abuse is between male
coaches and female clients, if you coach children, there is a risk that
you may be called a child
If you coach children or young adults, you
may be wise to exaggerate
your professional relationship with slightly paranoid
if you are male.
Ignoring this can result in heavy consequences.
Although helping professionals are rarely predators - some
few have molested children. Insist that a parent stays ideally in or at least
close to the coaching location when coaching their children.
You can offer a written policy that describes your
definitions of sexual harassment and that includes that you will not
involve yourself in non-coaching relationships with young clients. For
example, you may commit that you:
- won't buy presents for young clients
- won't make phone calls to young clients
- won't visit young clients without a parent present
You can educate clients about why these actions are
inappropriate for a coach and your fear of being accused of child abuse.
This can happen. Children who were previously sexually molested,
for example, may believe this happens to every child ... and expect
it from you. Nobody else may have taken the time to explain appropriate
Many coaches we have talked to express anger and embarrassment
about this topic - and they avoid it. They know that they are good people
- they feel so bad about child abuse that they may not discuss it.
We have met competent, ethical
coaches who will not coach children nor teenagers -
they fear accusations that could
destroy their reputation. Be professional and be cautious!
Avoid being alone with children, teenagers or child-like
adults. Have a parent or another coach present at least most of the time.
A spouse, a friend or another coach can eliminate your being alone with
children ... or with child-like adults.
Another difficult possibility is that a child prefers you
to a parent. This can lead to one or both parents becoming upset with you
because you are too good at building trusting relationships!
Emotionally unstable children, teenagers or immature adults may
if they feel that you rejected or abandoned them!
- Avoid being alone in a car with a child or teenager.
- Avoid personal communications and keep copies of all letters or e-mails.
- Avoid transporting children except in emergency or unusual situations
when a parent agrees.
- Avoid gifts ... it's better to ask parents whether about gifts,
and give a gift to the parents and ask the parents give it to
the child if they wish. Don't give gifts to children directly.
- Be alert if a child shows particular fondness for you. If a child shows
inappropriate interest in you, seems to want to hang around you or tells you
how special you are, set boundaries and avoid spending more time with
that child than you would with any other child.
- A child who is dependent and emotionally unstable may make a false accusation,
if that child feels rejected. If a child says about you, 'He/she did something to me,'
you may find yourself in very deep trouble!
Build trust, do good and maintain professional relationships!
Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018
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