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A Powerful Coaching Lesson That Made Me A Better Parent

Written by: Allison Castle, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

When I decided to become a health coach, I really didn’t fully understand what a health coach was. I thought I would be like a dietician or a nutritionist. I didn’t realize health coaching was more about habit change than meal plans, grocery shopping lists and healthy recipes. It is about asking questions, not giving advice. I hadn’t thought about the power of open-ended questions and curiosity to open up the opportunity for change before enrolling in my health coach certification program.

Little girl giving high five to affectionate loving father.

I also hadn’t thought about the possibility that all of my potential clients would be in a different place in their journey. That they might need different types of support from me. That I couldn’t just recommend what worked for me. That they may not be ready to jump right to kale and quinoa. I really had to learn to get on each clients’ map to be the best coach possible for each individual client.


The map illustrates the concept that everyone sees the world differently. We all have our own map of the world based on personal beliefs and perceptions. Everything we experience is adjusted to fit on our own personal map. This map is unique to each individual and is their reality. An effective coach does not impose their map on the client but helps a client connect with their own map.


In learning to get on my clients’ maps I realized that getting on my children’s maps could be really important too. Over the years, my children have expressed interest in things that I couldn’t understand. One instance that really stands out was with my son.


No matter how much I tried to avoid it, my son was drawn to guns at a young age. He made them out of everything, sticks, Legos, wiffle ball bats, etc. As he got older, he showed interest in hunting. I was not raised with guns and felt very uncomfortable with guns, even toy guns. I was also vegetarian (the rest of my family were not) and I didn’t want my son to have any part of it. From my map of the world guns were dangerous and hunting was wrong.


As parents, we may try to direct our kids towards what we think or where we want them to go. We may want to help them avoid making mistakes and getting hurt based on what we know and have learned. We may want to relive our childhood through them or expect them to share all of our same values.


But what we feel is right may not be right for them.


After learning how to get on my clients’ maps, I applied it to my son. I took a step back, listened and tried to understand his experience and perspective. So even though hunting and guns were not right for me that didn’t mean that it couldn’t be right for my son with the proper focus on safety and rules about eating everything he hunted. This was so much more difficult than getting on the map of my clients and it was a huge lesson in letting go of my own map.


This lesson taught me the power in allowing my children to be their own people. Allowing them to have their own perspectives and learnings, make mistakes and be curious.


I believe this powerful coaching lesson not only improved my relationship with my son in this situation but also helped me let go of the need to so firmly mold my children and allow them to continue to grow into the amazing individuals that they are.

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Allison Castle, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Allison Castle is a Mastery Certified Transformational Coach, Meditation Teacher, and Certified Public Accountant. After years of following the "expected path", chasing the traditional standards of success, and coming up short on feeling successful or fulfilled, Allison created her Life Alignment Coaching Program to help women stop waiting until they reach that milestone (number on a scale, job title, income level, etc.) to finally find the feeling of fulfillment and success that they have been working so hard for. Her mission: Don't wait for the destination. Enjoy the Journey!

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