Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Parent and Teen Coaching


Message to parents:

As your kids make the shift into the teen years everything changes. Their bodies and minds are changing, their school environment is changing, their relationships with their peers are changing, the way they view the world is changing, their needs are changing. And their relationship with you is changing. Many feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are constantly told not to do the very things they are daily being pressured to do.

As parents we expect them to stay away from drugs, sex, and alcohol, keep their rooms clean, excel in school and extra-curricular activities, make all the right decisions - all without acknowledging their daily challenges.

Many of the problems between parents and teens occur because of a lack of communication and a lack in parents having the tools they need to make the shift from parenting a child to parenting a teen. And there most definitely needs to be a shift.

Raising a child is one thing. Raising an adolescent is quite another. Children move through several stages from childhood through the teen years. We act as the managers in our children’s lives when they are young by scheduling appointments, providing transportation, and organizing events.

As they make the shift into adolescence our role as parents needs to change. Teens want and need to become the managers of their own lives. They desperately want to know their parents trust them to make this shift.

So, if you feel like your teen or pre-teen is a complete stranger, if the lines of communication have been severed, if your teen is making poor choices or is struggling in school, if you feel all hope is gone and that you are running out of options, we suggest you stop - take a breath - and reassess. There is hope ... coaching can help.

About coaching:

Family and parent and teen coaching is different from therapy in that therapy typically delves into the family's past to try and figure out how you got to where you are today. When parents are coping with immediate problems, they want and need immediate results. While therapy is great for many situations, we have found that for many families coaching works more quickly and yields more immediate results.

Why? Because coaching looks at where you are today and where you would like to see yourself, and your family, tomorrow. It is about figuring out what is going wrong and about paving the path to making things right again. It is about helping you feel grounded in yourself so that you will have the strength you need when faced with the many challenges of raising a pre-teen or teen.

It is about providing parents tools they can put to use immediately - tools that help them cope with the tough times so that they will occur less and less. It is about opening channels of communication with your teen so that you can, together, share a level of respect and understanding that will help bring peace back into your home.

A good coach will provide parents insights into their teen's world, and will explain the shift in parenting style that needs to occur as children move into the pre-teen and teen years.

It is important that the coach you work with is certified and qualified. Be sure he or she has been through a certification program that focuses on family issues.

Three Layers of Learning™

Positive Family Solutions™ has found a winning combination for parents ready to delve into becoming their teens’ coach, the Three Layers of learning™.

First, an interactive experience-based coaching relationship is developed between parent and coach. The coach asks the parent for his or her desired outcomes.

Next, throughout the coaching relationship your coach will provide you with learning and developmental tools, including Parent as Coach, written by Diana Sterling. You will then have the opportunity to read, reflect, and observe what you have learned.

And finally, through coaching, weekly reading, and practical homework assignments, you will have the opportunity to immediately put the skills into practice. These skills can then be applied to everyday life.

Benefits of coaching:

The benefits of coaching are ever-reaching. While working to become your teen's coach you will find that you too will benefit from the experience. One client recently said, “I’ve seen a positive change not only in my kids but in myself as well.”

The fact is … many of today’s parents were raised in homes where they felt silenced, like they didn’t measure up and that’s not what they wanted for their child. Yet they struggle to find ways to open the lines of communication with their teen. As a result many parents have lost hope.

With the support of a skilled coach parents and teens can coexist in an environment rooted in Trust, Support, Respect, and Understanding - an environment free of punishment and undeserved guilt.

Coaching creates Harmony when once there was Discord - Joy when once there was Despair - Peace of mind when once there was Confusion.

By making the shift to Appreciate, to Understand, to Support, and to Respect our children and our spouses, teens and pre-teens can experience healthy connections in the home with parents and outside the home with their peers.