• What would be missing from ______ project, event, or relationship had you not been a part of it?
• What do you like best about you?
• If there were 3 rules EVERYONE had to follow, what would they be?
• What do you stand for?
• What does it mean to you to have a full and fulfilling life?
• What do you long to do?
As I type these simple and curious questions, I can’t help but feel excitement for students who have access to people in their lives who will take time to discover who they really are, as well as a passion to reach those students who don’t have anyone. It’s an amazing adventure for youth to get to a place where they can answer for themselves, “This is who I am, this is what I stand for, and this is what I’m capable of.”
Often as adults, parents, educators, or even youth advocates, we feel a need to help shape teens into who we think they are, or who we hope they will become. We have set ideas of what the process leading toward success and stability looks like, and we proceed to steer youth in the direction we want them to go. While we mean well, there is nothing that saps motivation quite like having someone define for you who they think you are, and what they think you are capable of. The box is always too small!
Instead, we can choose to empower students by trusting they are the expert on the things that matter to them; trust that they know deep down who they are and who they want to become. When youth know we care enough to put aside what we want for them, and instead explore with them what is important to them, crazy amounts of trust can be built. Students are set free to truly be all they can be.
This is what I LOVE about life coaching, and why I chose this field of work. Through simple and curious questions, we can learn who our kids are, and what is important to them from their perspectives. We can then offer tools to help them accomplish more than any of us could ever imagine!
Thanks for checking out my blog! I am an ICF certified Academic Life Coach and train youth advocates in the Academic Life Coaching 1.0 coach training program. I’m also an adoptive mom, youth advocate and a licensed therapeutic foster parent. For more information about this program or on how to train as a coach, please contact me here.
My oldest is 16 now, I see with her friends, the helicopter moms that drive all their childrens’ behavior. My view has always been to support and guide my daughters but the fire has to be lit from within them. I want them to develop self motivation and discipline. Children are smart, and the confidence they gain from getting to try and figure some things out and from failure does build their self assurance and presence in the world. I really enjoy your blog.
I love your insights and desires for your daughters! No doubt, they are full of confidence, motivated and are enjoying trying new things. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this important information!
Your welcome, Sheryl.
These are not just questions for our youth! So many adults suffer from the same lack of nurturing & encouragement. Bravo Brenda! Asking questions is the key to unlocking potential & desire.
Thank you, DeVerne – I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
This is a great information about building a trust relationship with your children. My daughter is only 2 but I’m going to have to bookmark this in my brain as she gets older!
I love that – your sweet baby girl has an awesome momma! 🙂
How great it would have been to have this type of support growing up! I’m just now figuring this out for myself and finding people to support me in this growth. Good for you for doing this for our youth!
Investing in yourself and finding others who will as well is a great space to be in. Good for you for going for it! 🙂
I loved going to summer camp because I always had counselors (they were college kids) who cared to learn about me. They encouraged me to stretch, be a leader, try and each one contributed to my growth & development.
Now I’m watching our 4-year-old granddaughter be curious, smart, confident & she is getting a lot of rules for conformity. I do my best when she is with us. After dinner, she wanted tv & I said, watch me- I can be better than tv. She looked at me quizically but I started singing funny songs with hand motions & soon she forgot all about TV.
You sound like a super fun grandma, Roslyn. I love what you are doing for your granddaughter!
Great advice for anyone, and not just for kids. Business people need to ask these same kinds of questions about the people they hope to do business with; find out what drives them and motivates them.
Absolutely, I totally agree, Jeanne. Thanks for reading my blog post!
Interesting.. I often wonder if I weren’t here would people miss me? However, I can say that I know what I contribute to group projects… a lot of humor, heart and great ideas. Thanks!
Yes, you would be missed! No doubt about it. 🙂 I have really enjoyed your humor, heart and ideas. Thanks for stopping by my site!
I’ve always been a curious person and was the person in the room to ask the questions. Not everyone feels comfortable doing so.
It’s a good habit, though. And people often steer away from introspection.
I love these questions.
Very true, Sharon. People do tend to steer away from introspection and not everyone feels comfortable asking questions. BUT we miss out on so much of life when those skills aren’t developed. I’m glad you enjoyed the questions.