"‘Point your kids in the right direction…’ "- Proverbs 22:6 TM
The ‘coach/trainer’ style: These parents provide direction by teaching and example, modelling respect, responsibility, safety, trust and maturity in how they treat the child. They are ‘in charge’, yet always preparing the child for the ‘in charge’ role in due time, delegating authority to the child when they are ready. Respect, not intimidation, is used to train kids, understanding that a respectful child will follow the rules even in your absence. Responsibility is modelled by the parent’s refusal to make (or accept) excuses. Independence is encouraged by how well children handle limits and controls. The parent is solution-focused, not problem-focused; forgiving; acknowledging their own failures; and directing kids to the future, not the past. These parents choose their battles wisely, avoiding damaging arguments but holding the line in matters of faith, respect, trust, honesty, responsibility and consequences. Mistakes are used to teach, not shame. Such parents are transparent, admitting their own shortcomings and apologising when it’s necessary. The rules are clear, consistent and fair. They don’t issue repeated ‘warnings’, and consequences apply without exception. Administering discipline is done with nurture, respect and reassurance. What are the pluses of the style? It provides kids with a safe, protective, loving environment for learning, while you, the parent, model respect, responsibility, trust and autonomy. Movement toward adulthood is a joint parent-child project. What are the minuses of this style? None!