During our i-can™ parent labs (where we share some of the strategies to help support your child’s i-can™ mindset) we ask this hypothetical…
Let’s pretend your child has a goal of learning how to tie their shoes. You are running late, and those shoes still aren’t tied. Do you tie the shoes for your child OR let them continue trying to do it themselves along with your coaching as needed?
Parents immediately intuit they are “supposed” to do the later, but their next comment is pretty much always something along the lines of, “Of course that’s what I want to do, but having time in that moment just isn’t realistic.”
We hear you! Using a questions-based system to coach a child through a difficult task (aka i-can™ coaching) is time consuming. Below are a few tips for finding the time.
What are the most important and urgent goals your child has? Use time in the car, over a meal, or whenever you have time to talk with your child about what they want to grow in. Then focus on making time to work on that goal, and don’t be afraid to let others take a backseat.
Put a time time in your calendar to help coach your child toward their prioritized goal. Tie it to an activity that happens consistently like brushing teeth, reading, doing a chore, driving in the car, or eating meals. Just like with any other habit, putting i-can coaching time in your calendar makes it way more likely you will make time to do it.
Use “eventually” for non-prioritized goals
When you find you need to do something for your child because of time constraints, use “eventually” to remind them that you know they are capable of doing the task in the future, just right now isn’t the time to practice. To go back to the shoe example, you might say something like, “I know you will eventually be able to tie your shoes by yourself with some more practice, but right now we are running late so I’m going to help.”
And finally, be kind to yourself. You will have moments when you just need to do it for them to make the trains run on time. Have fun i-can™ coaching!