June 23, 2010
Coaching lessons from my children
Today is exactly ten days since I returned from the Foundations/TAPOC Conference #2 in Singapore. During the Conference #2 weekend, as a dad, I was amazed at how much I was missing my wife and children. The part that intrigues me is that I travel a lot as my job takes me away from home much of the time, and normally it takes me four to five days before I start missing my family. However, now, it takes about four or five hours only to trigger emotions (of being with them) and what my kids have already taught me – being in the present, loving unconditionally and best of all they are my flexibility ‘wibble-wabble gurus’.
I remember clearly how my daughter, Sanjnah (she is turning four in July 2010) used to invite me to dance and I used to resist her invitation. Now, I am an ever willing partner in flexibility. My son, Keshava, who turned two in January 2010, is all play. He has taught me how learning can be playful, and how play can be learning. I relate these experiences in the context of the Newfield journey.
“There are infinite lessons that I am learning from my kids every day. There is no right time or place for showing love, care and just having fun. All the lessons I learn from my children just spring to mind when I am off-center. As Julio says, “It only gets better”.
I remember watching Sanjnah and Keshava just running around in circles in the garden chasing each other. In the past, I used just sit watch them in awe and wonder. But now I join in the excitement of just playing, dancing, hopping, skipping and running with them without any purpose or meaning. Just to play for the sake of playing! My children coach me on being present and being flexible. I am a child again!
At night, just before going to bed, Sanjnah now requests that she lays on my laps and that I sing or read to her. I am enjoying every moment of granting her request. I experience joy and a rewarding feeling daily. I tell my wife, how grateful I am as both my children enrich me.
In the past I used to judge my performance as a dad against “being the perfect dad” and that I will never match up to becoming one. Then it hit me, that my assessments of perfection were rooted in my emotions and moods when I was a little boy, having a difficult childhood with my dad.
For me, on a daily basis, I observe my kids play as a valuable lesson and unforgettable “coaching moment with my children”. When I see the Observer that I am now, freedom is just within my reach. Choices are there for me to choose from. My kids, like all children, are 100% in the present, in the NOW, constantly exploding in their experiences. I celebrated father’s day this time around just being in reflection on how the bond between my father and I have created a gift of me as a father. This is the gift that I now bring with me in my coaching work.
I say from experience that my children are my coaches. They create my results. I find meaning in this coaching journey that I am going through now. My children bring tremendous learning for me as I carry that experience to my work environment. My kids are a mirror of me and a reflection of how I am learning and growing in their space.
For me as a trainee coach, the gift of fatherhood means a seamless supply of stories, abundance of excitement, awe and wonder that I can bring into coaching. Children are able to find wonder in the simplest of things — an earthworm in the garden, an unusual bug on the sidewalk, an airplane in the sky and throwing pebbles into a puddle. As I reflect on the many ways of how fathers and kids learn from each other and grow in each others space, I leave you with a question to ponder: How have your children enriched your coaching? …. I am off to play with my children 🙂