"I watched as the parent's faces shifted to show pleasure, and even concern, with their child's answers". CF
Life has been a whirlwind. It has been crazy and many of us have been moving fast trying to find our place to land. We all have been doing what we can to survive day to day, often just checking things off the list and feeling successful when we wake up and our world is not crashing down around us. For many of us that “making it” mentality means we are putting aside important things, that at the time seem like they can wait.
In the firearms industry we work hard and do a really good job of sharing our message our impact, better human functionality, faster to the bang and the best gear. I love to shoot, I love helping people learn to be successful in the task of shooting, you know the reward of hitting the mark, but it has never fully satisfied me. I have always been one to encourage positive mindset and confidence and have connected that with my firearms instruction through the Situational Awareness message. Recently, I was able to fit into my busy schedule a weekend with Shelley and Brian Hill at The Complete Combatant and take their IBDD (Image Based Decisional Drills) Coaching Course. Every good Coach or Instructor has the innate ability to read into their students. By the second day of the course, I was all in and my energy was so high that I remember Brian looking at me and saying “Relax, Take a Breath”. This course changed everything about my plan and process as an adult for adults…and then Shelley showed me the Smart Choices Image Cards for Children.
Smart Choices Image Cards are created for children 4-13, but do not let this fool you. I recently worked with a family and everyone, young and old gained from the cards. On one side there is an image, on the other Helpful Hints to help guide the Coach or Parent on how to engage with the child on the subject. It is up the parents interpretation as to what the best answer, choice and reaction is for their family.
Let me share a little about my adventures with the Smith* family. We planned to meet up so that I could practice working with the cards and children, and that the parents could see and hear their children’s responses, but also to show them as parents how the Smart Choice cards are a great tool for the whole family. They have three boys 4,9 and 15. I choose 6 cards that I felt were important topics, including my favorite…. The telephone Image Card. Other cards we focused on included a firearm card, pill bottle card, swimming pool card, fireworks card, and the driver “drinking” card. With every answer and conversation, I was empowered. Just like in some other families, you could see that they had previously discussed some part of of these subjects. but there were pieces and subjects missing. I watched as the parents faces shifted to show pleasure, concern and sometimes pain in their children’s answers.
After we finished, I spent a little time with the parents. The first words out of their mouths were “We have some work to do”. They immediately recognized that over time and with additional children they had stopped having some of the “important” conversations. They could also see the areas and subjects they needed to revisit with the assistance of the Smart Choices Image Cards Helpful Hints on the back as a guide. We have since had discussed creating learning time with parent/teacher coach/guides for their homeschool group.
My outlook on how and what I teach has been impacted by IBDD and Smart Choice. I encourage you to investigate and invest, not only for your students, but for yourself and your family. We can train on all the tools around us, but if we don’t train the one tool that was given to us to help make the ONE BEST FIRST CHOICE, then we are truly failing ourselves and those around us.
Just as I stated in the beginning life is a whirlwind, lets don’t let our compliancy in guiding and coaching the next generations come back to haunt us. Its up to all of us to help them learn how to make the ONE BEST FIRST CHOICE.
Mom, Wife, Instructor, Guide and Student
*Name changed for anonymity and images approved by parents.
Shelley is the creator of Smart Choices, a public speaker, and a supporter of THINKING AHEAD. Smart Choices BLOG is a mixture of stories, Q & A interaction, new thought provoking ideas, guest BLOGS/videos, and MORE!