When The Coach Is Also The Parent
A parent acts as their child’s trainer, coach, and teacher from the time they were born. The parent teaches them to eat, to speak, to tie their shoes. Whether acting as your child’s sports coach, or acting as their teacher in formal homeschooling; these roles are simply an extension of that parental role where we get to introduce our children to the world and teach them the skills to navigate it. Before transitioning into a new season of coaching your child’s soccer team or beginning a new and challenging home school year, it can be helpful to set aside time for reflection on your relationship with that child because the problems that can emerge in these roles are usually present before.
Take the time to make necessary adjustments and addressing relational problems now, rather than dealing with power struggles while trying to teach dribbling skills. If there are already problems in your parenting relationship, being in a situation where your child has to perform and obey in a group context will only highlight these problems. Make sure that you have made time to address any problems that come up in your coaching or teaching rather than just hoping that no problems will surface. In this way coaching or teaching your child in a formal setting can be a wonderful way to expose things that weren’t working and that need to be addressed and ironed out.
It’s also helpful to have regular check-ins with the child after the activity where they can give you feedback on how you made them feel and about what is or isn’t working for them. Make sure that you establish before hand that while you may not be able to stop practice to deal with something they’re upset about, there’s always time to talk after and that you’ll make that time a priority.