Parent Coaching Role

Despite the title, this blog entry isn’t about parents acting as coaches for their kids’ sports teams. It’s about the role that parents play as coaches in their kids’ lives as discussed in The Total Transformation Program.

Parents need to teach kids to comply with authority. That is further broken down into two steps:

    Recognizing Legitimate Authority
    Responding Appropriately

Parent Coaching Role In Action

The example that James Lehman used in the parenting course materials was a child being told to sit down by a teacher during class time. The child has to recognize that the teacher has the authority to determine when a students should be sitting. Then the child has to respond appropriately by complying with the request without arguing, making excuses, etc.

This is pretty straightforward. I’m sure you can think of a million other examples. The important point here is thinking of the parent as a coach – here’s where the sports analogy comes in. A coach doesn’t just tell a team member to do something and expect it will be done perfectly every time.


Parent Coaching Role means setting behavior standards and encouraging them.

The first step in a parent coaching role is emulating the desired behavior.

First, the coach explains or models the behavior he or she wants the child to emulate. Then the coach provides numerous practice opportunities. He or she also offers encouragement along the way and consequences if a player willfully violates a rule or purposefully does something wrong.

Getting the individual players and team in shape to win a game and ultimately a championship definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long term effort needing continuous attention. Unfortunately, the trajectory will not be completely forward either. There will be setbacks and disappointments. The important thing to remember is keeping one’s eye on the ultimate prize.

When you frame it that way, it really illustrates why thinking about parents in a coaching role makes perfect sense.

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Should Kids Talk About Their Feelings

How does family therapist James Lehman feel about kids talking about their feelings? The answer may surprise you…

Today’s topic is about an interesting section of the third Total Transformation Program audio lesson. It is actually surprising (and refreshing, depending on your point of view) to hear a licensed family therapist with so many years of counseling experience say what James Lehman said on the CD about kids talking about their feelings. He was asked, “Should kids talk about their feelings?”

He stated that there was no reason for kids to talk about their feelings! Should I repeat that? Are you shocked to hear a behavioral therapist say that?

Angry parent needs help from The Total Transformation Program.

This mom is NOT in the mood to hear an excuse from her kids as to how to their feelings supposedly caused their bad behavior.

To be fair and accurate, Lehman is specifically referring to the connection between feelings and behavior. (Even more specifically, this topic deals with the connection between feelings and misbehavior.)

Kids, Feelings, and Behavior in Two Sentences:

I love the way James Lehman states the following:

You can’t feel your way to better behavior.

You can behave your way to better feelings.

This philosophy certainly makes sense, especially when you consider that the point and goals of this program are behavior outcome based.

Those two lines also make a great sound bite for a commercial as well as a a perfect caption for a motivational poster. That in no way makes them trite. In fact, this is a classic case of the brilliance being in the simplicity.

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Parenting Quote

Great Parenting Quote of the Day

OK, this is going to be a short entry today, but I just wanted to share a James Lehman quote from The Total Transformation Program. The topic was about what parents and kids should expect from each other from the parental point of view.

“I expect you to do the right thing and you can expect me to teach you how to do the right thing.”

Now that is a powerful parenting quote for all parents to think about because it applies to all aspects of parenthood.

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What Is Effective Parenting

The Definition of Effective Parenting

In The Total Transformation Program, James Lehman defines effective parenting as parenting that teaches skills and brings about change.

That’s a simple enough definition and it really does encompass what could be volumes of information to define effective parenting.


Effective Parenting Skills Total Transformation

Effective Parenting Skills help parents deal with situations that look like this.

As always, when it comes to this parenting course material, think more deeply about what Lehman is saying. He often talks about parenting itself as a set of skills. What I like about that is it means that, like all skills, it can be learned. You don’t have to throw up your hands in defeat if you don’t feel that you innately possess the right parenting abilities and instincts. Skills can be learned. That’s what “skill” means.

Effective Parenting – A Set Of Skills

Anyway, in this case, the founder of The Total Transformation Program is talking about teaching skills. He’s referring to the skills that kids needs to cope with their lives and society. The word “coping” has a connotation beyond the discussion here. When we say we have to “cope” with something, that usually implies there is something onerous or burdensome to be overcome. That’s now what Lehman means. He uses the word “coping” to more like a meaning of “how to successfully get along as a normal person in everyday life.”

The change he wants parents to bring about is in reference to kids behaving better or in ways that enhance their lives and those of the lives around them rather than behavior which has negative consequences.

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