Thursday, August 4, 2011

Transformational vs Transactional Parenting

I heard a talk on relative radio this morning with a former sports coach (unfortunately I don't know who or even what sport he coached - if you know - please leave the info. in the comments :) )

He talked a little about tranformative vs transactional coaching.  It got me thinking.  Can't this same information be applied to life?  In particular, to parenting?

Much of our parenting is transactional.   It gets the job done so to speak.  It's quicker.  It's easier. 

But as they kids get older it needs to switch over to more and more transformational.

I'll use just one of my kids as an example.  My dh has taught our oldest son (and he's teaching the others too) to be able to think about things - not just do them.  I've seen it in action.  My son is a much better assistant when my dh is working on a project than I am.  He can anticipate what tool may be needed next, etc.  He has taught him skills for life (however, I do believe that this is partly due to that being my son's strength - but if it hadn't been brought to the surface with the help of my dh it wouldn't be what it is today).  I even see this when other people come to work for/with us.  My son, barely a teen, quickly earns their respect.  They will ask for his help and his opinion.  

Today we unpacked our schoolroom/office/etc area.  It took us all day.  (we just moved in a week ago and are still go back and forth between houses working on both)  While I was having kids put books on shelves, removing empty boxes, sort craft items, etc. it was pretty clear where their strengths lie.  They can all follow directions (transactional).  But they have their own skills for particular jobs that allow me to "let them loose" on them (they had been previously "transformed").   Someone mentioned that the screen door off that room didn't close right.  My oldest son then stopped what he was doing and took it upon himself to get the appropriate tools to fix the door.  Very likely whatever I had him doing before that was something anyone could step in to finish.  He was more of a help filling a need that only he (well my dh certainly could have done it but he was away at work) could do.

This is something I need to work on myself.  Transactional parenting comes easy.  I am good at dictating.  It's quicker.  I have 7 kids.  I have a lot to do.  But, although my dh is just as busy/busier he has slowed down over the years and become more transformational in his parenting.  My kids have benefited from this and so have I.  And....I am working on transformational parenting as well.  It not only helps get more done around here, they are becoming more and more interesting people to spend time with, and their abilities to think outside the box and be not only a follower (I do think everyone needs to know how to put their heads down and follow directions - so to speak) but a leader and a go getter as well. 

1 comment:

Crunchy Momma said...

Great post, Real! I have been thinking about something similar to this recently too.

And yes, your oldest son certainly is good at anticipating the needs of others and performing tasks that would not be expected at his age level. And he smiles a lot - I like that too.

Hope the move in is going well.