In some cases, managing these expectations can lead to stressed-out children and teens, confused family dynamics and aggravated behaviour. But, with the help of a youth coach, young people can gain confidence, learn healthy self-expression skills and effective emotional coping mechanisms.
Youth coaching often comes across as quite an ambiguous term, due to lack of clarity of what it actually entails. Far from being limited to sports activities, youth coaching can encompass many personal development opportunities for young people.
Life Coach Directory writer Katie chatted to Julian Brunt, Life, Youth And Educational Coach, whose expertise lies within coaching for young people and educators. Not only does youth coaching provide valuable benefits for the individual receiving the coaching, but it can also hugely impact family life, in a positive way. As Julian notes, “Youth coaching has a strong collaboration focus. Family roles and dynamics might need to change and coaching can mediate and support more appropriate relationships.”
At times, parents can unknowingly blur the lines between parent and child relationship towards friendship and this, in turn, can cause responsibility stress and role confusion for the young person. Understanding your relationships and relationship boundaries is key to developing healthy connections with people later in life.
Julian reflects on a past client coaching situation when he worked with a boy of 13. “I was able to support him in developing his own independent learning strategies whilst supporting his mother to let go of some of her previous roles. This accepting or handing over of responsibilities can be experienced as a team building and trust exercise for families.”
Not only did the young person benefit from clarification on the relationship between mother and son, but he was also able to develop strategies that supported his own individual method of learning and shaped the way he will grow into an adult.
Specialising in mentoring young people towards success and personal development, Julian uses a cognitive approach to youth coaching. A teen, whose behaviour could be construed as destructive in a family dynamic, can benefit from coaching as a form of expression and internal reflection.
Julian says, “Reactionary aspects of teenage behaviour can bring confusion and emotional suffering on all sides. In a household with a strong patriarchal dynamic, the oldest daughter of 15 was struggling, the whole family at a loss. Being able to understand how her father’s expectations were being misunderstood brought them closer which allowed her to enjoy some of her roles with her siblings.”
“Effective communication is the key to maintaining a happy family dynamic – the coaching process models the listening skills and respectful approach to others and situations that may be out of habit in the home.”
Whilst every young person may respond to certain life situations differently, youth coaching can tailor key personal growth journeys for each individual, enabling them to gain essential life skills to tackle the stressors that come their way and move forward.