The Coaches Playbook

Like a championship coach, to win with your kids means knowing which play to call in the middle of the parenting game.

Here are a few of my favorites from my Parents Coach Playbook.

1. Have fun with your kids.

A child’s economy is play. Fun is their capital. The best treasure you can leave your child is a memory filled with laughs, smiles, tickles and funny stories. In case you forgot how to play; here are some tips from The Parents Coach:

  • Invest time, at least weekly, to play with your child. (It doesn’t have to be long – 15 minutes for a toddler is huge!)
  • Free play (without team organization, registration, etc.) is better than sports or activities
  • Get down to their level (physically, verbally and with child-like enthusiasm and imagination)
  • Be a little goofy (forget your real age and take your inner child out and PLAY!)
  • Don’t be competitive. The goal is not to win, or to teach, or to lecture. The goal is fun!
  • As you invest in your child’s economy you will experience returns of better behavior, closer relationships, enhanced trust and feelings of autonomy and capability. All because you played with your child.

2. Expect teamwork from your kids.

Do your kids ever complain about having to do chores around the house? What should you do?

  • Make a list of all the chores that need to be done, including the ones you do.
  • Record how much time each chore takes. The average American family has over 22 hours per week of household tasks. Why should you do 20 of it?
  • Include washing clothes, folding them, putting them away, and all the time that goes into menu planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up the kitchen.
  • Call a family meeting and go through the list.
  • Help your children see that you are being reasonable and that everyone needs to do his or her part; tell them, “Families have members, not guests.
  • Tell your kids,“This isn’t a country club where one person can lounge; we all have to contribute.”
  • Ask, “Which of these would you like to do this month?” Rotate chores monthly.
  • Affirm that each team member’s contribution is essential and appreciated. Thank them for being a part of Team Family.

3. Don’t crush team spirit

Ten Ways To Frustrate Your Child

  • Don’t bond with your young child by giving him physical affection, time and attention.
  • Believe that professional child-care providers are an adequate substitute for your relationship with your child.
  • Don’t cuddle, read, talk with or play with young children.
  • Ignore all the fuss and hassle about rules, routines and discipline.
  • Don’t bring your moral and spiritual values to your child. Let her discover them on her own.
  • Give your child plenty of freedom and control over his own life.
  • Live your life through your child. His success is yours; his failure is yours. His performance should help you feel secure.
  • Never allow your child to be held accountable by having to experience consequences for her behavior.
  • Expect the best even in areas where she isn’t particularly gifted.
  • Don’t waste your time talking about issues of importance.

4. You are what your child wants.

It’s easy to assume that our child wants stuff–toys, clothes, new technology, etc. But survey after survey indicate that we–the parent–is what our child wants. They want to spend time with us–play with us and connect. The other stuff is a substitute for what they really want.

This is especially true for dads.                   

Studies have consistently shown that the more actively involved a father is with the raising of his children, the more successful those children are likely to become–academically, emotionally and socially. Dads matter!

Even to older kids.

In spite of the common mis-perception, seven out of ten teens would like to spend more time with their fathers.

There is no time of a child’s development when dad is dispensable; but as they get bigger sometimes we dads back off our involvement and expressing affection. This is a mistake, because this is when your child needs it the most.

Your daughter needs to know that she is valuable in her daddy’s eyes.

Your son is desperate to know his father’s heart.
Whether you are a mom or a dad, remember–YOU are what your child wants.


If you would like more strategic plays from The Parents Coach