When we coach, we change the lives of our children

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For the past six months, I’ve spent my free time becoming a certified life coach. I’m a hospitalist, but a little more than a year ago, I was introduced to life coaching. I love the changes it has produced in my life – particularly how it’s changed me as a mother. Coaching helps me to be more present for my family and more emotionally available for my kids. It’s changed the way I approach life, and it’s changed what I teach my children.

One of my friends recently asked how coaching has changed my parenting. This was my response:

My daughter told me this week that she thinks I’m beautiful.️

When I think about it, she tells me quite often that she thinks I’m beautiful, I’m pretty, she likes my hair, or she likes my dress. It’s so very sweet.

But you know what my brain often does when she gives me a compliment? It whispers to me that it’s not true. When my daughter tells me I’m beautiful, my brain whispers, “You’d be prettier if …” When my daughter tells me she likes my dress, my brain whispers, “it would look better on you if …”

My brain is an asshole sometimes.

I’ve made a vow to never “correct” my daughter by telling her I’m not pretty, and I make sure to never complain about my appearance in front of her.

If you were to ask me, I could think of 10 things off the top of my head that I don’t like about my appearance.

But my daughter sees me as beautiful, and that’s how I want her to grow up seeing herself, too. I tell her all the time how beautiful and smart she is. I tell her all the time how much I love her and how proud of her I am.

I want to do everything I can to make sure that one day, if she happens to meet someone who tries to tell her the opposite, that she won’t believe it. She’ll understand that although that person is entitled to their thoughts, she doesn’t have to believe them. She’ll know who she is, and if her brain ever tries to tell her otherwise, she won’t believe it.

As you can see, coaching changes everything. It’s changed me, and it’s changing my daughter’s future. As parents, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can be better role models for our children. My suggestion is to start with coaching. Start by coaching yourself, and if you are like me and find that you love it, consider becoming a life coach. When we coach, we don’t only change our lives, but we change the lives of our children, too.

Trina E. Dorrah is an internal medicine physician and the author of Physician’s Guide to Surviving CGCAHPS & HCAHPS. She can be reached at Dr Trina Dorrah Life Coaching.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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