The Three (3) Hats of Parenting
As I was reading my 33rd book this year (yes, I’m a book worm for 2 years now.hehe), entitled “How to Deal with Horror Parents, Monster Kids and Freaky Siblings” by Bro. Bo Sanchez, I’ve come across with the topic on Parenting which I think all Parents can benefit from this simple concept. Here it is.
“Parenting is a journey of Letting Go”
Throughout our parenting journey, we wear three (3) hats namely:
- 1st The Controller’s Hat;
- 2nd The Coaching Hat;
- 3rd The Consultant Hat
As our child changes, we also need to change our hats. Every change in our child will continue to change our life as Parents.
The Controller’s Hat
You need a family culture where your child lives, breathes, talks, walks and eats the values you’re teaching him.
When your kids are small, you should wear the Controller’s Hat. You give instructions to your children consistently. For example, you need to tell them what to eat. You need to tell them to study. Or they may just play the whole day.
This is the stage where you apply Deuteronomy 6:7, which says, “ You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” We need to make our child go through immersive experience. In other words, we need a family culture where our child lives, breathes, talks, walks and eats the values we’re teaching them.
The Coaching Hat
A Coach gives you the basic strategy – and leaves you to fill in the details.
When your kids hit 10 to 13 years old, you need to switch hat. Take off your Controller’s Hat and wear your Coaching Hat.
The biggest difference between the Controller’s Hat and the Coach? The Coach stays on the bench outside the court. When you wear the Controller’s hat, you’re right there, playing side by side with your child. But the Coach doesn’t do that. He just coach his players and sends them to the court alone.
The main message of the Coach is “I trust you to make the right decisions.”
The main role of the Coach is not to instruct but to inspire.
A Controller will tell you what to do down to the nitty-gritty detail. But a Coach gives you the basic strategy and leaves you to fill in the details.
The Consultant’s Hat
A Consultant is there only when he’s asked to be there. If he isn’t asked, he doesn’t butt in.
When a child becomes an autonomous adult, the parent has to wear the Consultant’s Hat.
What’s the difference between a Coach and a Consultant? The Coach, at anytime he wishes, can pull out his player from the court, and gives him feedback. A Consultant can’t do that. A Consultant is there only when he’s asked to be there. If he isn’t asked, he doesn’t butt in. He doesn’t interfere. But if his helped is needed, he’ll be there.
When your kids already have their own family, your role is just to be there when they need you. That you’re just one phone call away and always available for help.
So, what will happen when we don’t change Hats?
- First, you’ll lose your child. Your child will rebel. Your relationship will be strained. Both of you will be filled with resentment. And Life will not be happy. The only way to hold on is to let go.
- Second, your child won’t mature. Your child will not learn to fly. One of your most important goals as a parent is to help your child grow two things: wings and roots. If you don’t change your hats from Controller to Coach to Consultant, your helping your child grows only on his roots but not grow on his wings. A child with roots only will always be stuck in life.
- Third, your grandchildren won’t mature either. Chances are high that your children will not be able to help their children develop their wings either. It will be a cycle.
- Fourth, you won’t mature. By changing hats, you force yourself to grow up. When your kids don’t need you as much anymore, let them go. God has many other people He wants you to serve.
I hope that this simple article would help you improve your relationship to your parents and children.