Let's face it we've all vented at some point in our lives. As parents our middle name is "Sounding Board". You may even find yourself getting drawn into the situation. Before you go down that road again, here are a few suggestions.
#1 Put your coach hat on and don't get drawn into the picture. Imagine there is a circle around the person you are talking with and you are standing just outside in a neutral space where you can see the situation from all view points.
#2 Listen intently, honor the other person with your full and undivided attention avoiding distractions from texts, emails, phone calls, etc.
#3 Avoid advice or taking over the challenge. You want to encourage growth, not add more monkeys on your back.
#4 Remember what you focus on you get more of. If you want a solution . . . change the focus towards what you want to accomplish. The best way to find a solution is to ask meaningful questions. Once you've listened and allowed the person to vent, ask questions like:
More than anything kids want to be heard more than they want you to solve their problems. They want to know you have their back and when you stop to listen and ask questions like the ones above you are providing encouragement and empowering them to find their own best solutions.
The more you wear your coaches hat the more comfortable it will become.
Hi I'm Karen, a certified life coach. I help busy moms develop effective strategies for calming the chaos so they can enjoy their kids & career.