Coaching Children or Youth

What does a coaching relationship with a child or youth focus on?  The answers are as varied as those receiving and doing the coaching.  For some youth, a coach empowers them to proactively strategize how to function with ADD, Autism, Asperger’s, ODD, OCD, or other challenges.  For others the focus of coaching is on balancing extracurricular activities with school and chores.  Some coaches work with high school students to prepare for college – either gaining admission or the transition.  In some situations the coach works with the whole family on their interpersonal relationships and communication.

When a coach is working with a child or youth, how is confidentiality handled?  Consider the parents as the sponsor (much like a company hiring a coach for their employee) and the child or youth is the coaching client.  Follow the ICF Code of Ethics on confidentiality.  Determine in advance what gets disclosed and how it is disclosed.  Involve the child or youth in this process for the greatest benefit to the coaching relationship.

How does the child or youth benefit from a coach?  A coach empowers their client and puts the client in charge of their thinking, choices, and actions.  For a child or youth, this creates an awareness of their opportunities and their responsibilities.  Additionally, coaching builds confidence.  An effective coaching relationship equips the child or youth with understanding, decision making, a focus on goals, and ownership of their life.

Do you think it would benefit parents to learn coaching skills?

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