I’ve probably had one of my best mornings of the year today. I’m currently sat having a cuppa in one of my favourite cafes and you can’t wipe the smile off my face. I feel totally fulfilled right now, as if I’m doing the right thing at the right time.
Why? You might wonder. Has Michelle landed a fab job, secured a holiday, lost a stone (if only)? No, nothing quite so dramatic, nor so self-focused. What I’ve done this morning is have my regular one hour appointment with a child that I am coaching through TLG. I won’t tell you any specifics about the little boy I meet as that’s not appropriate but basically he is someone who is struggling at school.
I’ve been meeting my little mate (that’s what I call him) since September last year. We have just one hour each week in school that is time for him. TLG have set up their coaching resources perfectly and I have a whole host of tools I can use to fill 20 minutes with meaningful conversation – exploring actions, consequences and choices and the other 40 minutes is about fun, bonding and being together. Many coaches craft with their pupil and before Christmas we did this, making gifts for his family but now we have settled into a routine of game playing. He loves Uno, cards, Monopoly, Connect 4 – you name it, we’ve played them all.
The value of this game playing can’t be underestimated as I’ve seen him grow in fairness, integrity and honesty over the last five months and I pray those good choices he makes when he is with me start to feed through to the rest of his life. Today, for the first time we played the Anger Solution Game and it is an excellent resource to help your child explore their own feelings, hear your model answers and keep the child focused on gaining their counters and winning ultimately, so they don’t really realise how deeply they are opening up.
Today my little mate honestly talked about both the good and the bad of his week and he felt confident and comfortable to do so. He has worked hard against his target the last few weeks and as such we've agreed that next week during half term he can come out with my girls and I to our local seaside and the kids will all scoot the prom, play in the park and have fish and chips. Or if the weather isn’t so great then maybe they’ll swim but I hope this helps him to believe that kids who try hard are a pleasure to be with.
This post was originally published on Michelle's own blog 'Progress not Perfection' notperfection.co.uk
Michelle is a TLG Early Intervention coach with our team at King's Church in Hastings. She is also a successful blogger writing about parenting, family life and Christianity.