“I’m learning to enter the situation as a coach.”

A Connected Families story

Brendon and Naomi are parents to three kids; ages 6, 4, and 2. After completing the Sibling Conflict online course Brendon reported, “This course has had a profound impact on our parenting!” He told us the following story about one example of change:

My first priority in parenting used to be to get kids to do the right thing! This led to frustration and impatience for all of us. Now,  I am learning to take a step back, think clearly about my son or daughter and what they’ve gotten themselves into, and enter the situation as a coach rather than as an impatient, exasperated father.

A few days ago I looked out the window into the backyard and saw Luke (6) and Silas (4) getting into a fight over a toy. My old self would have run outside to play the role of judge: find out whose fault it was and administer punishment.

Applying what I learned from Connected Families,  I played the role of a coach. I took a few deep breaths and called the boys onto the porch. I said, “Wow, you guys are really upset! What’s going on?” This started a torrent of accusations. Then I asked if anyone could remember what we can do if we’re angry at a sibling. One option is to fight, but what is another option? Neither one could remember, of course, even though we’ve gone through this a million times.

I told them we’d just wait there, in our chairs on the porch, until they could remember. Immediately Luke said, “We can use our words!” Then we did two do-overs, first acting out the disagreement in a bad way and then solving it for real in a good way. They loved role playing the two alternative solutions to sibling conflict, and I left them laughing and playing on the porch.

I feel so much more confident and in control when I embrace my role as a coach in discipline situations. Thanks to Connected Families I am much more equipped  to work through parenting challenges.

Brendon and Naomi Yoder serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Indonesia. Along with our Sibling Conflict online course, they have also taken our Discipline that Connects online course and gone through Parent Coaching with Connected Families.  These resources wouldn’t be possible without donations like yours.

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