Parents! What keeps you up at night?
Well if you have small kids, then the answer may be – night feeds, teething, monsters under the bed, ‘Can I sleep with you mum?’, but what about your big kids, your teens (assuming they have made it through the above!)? Do they still keep you up at night? Most parents of teens will say yes, that the physical demands may be less, but the mental challenge is far bigger. The stuff that may be plaguing you now will be very different from ten years ago, but equally as important. As a parent of a teen or young adult your job has changed, you are no longer the operational manager, but more of a mentor or a guide. This can be a tricky transition, and at the same time lots of fun too.
Teens and young adults have lots going on, their world is changing at a fast pace and they are trying to make sense of it all. As a parent you are trying to keep up too, and can start to wonder if you really know the 15 year-old that is now towering over you. When they come home and you ask ‘How was your day?’ and they say ‘fine’ and rush upstairs to their room, the cogs start turning and all sorts of stories come flooding to mind. We know that it’s normal for teenagers to distance themselves from their parents as they become more involved with their peers, but as parents you just want that reassurance that they are happy, healthy and their future is bright.
Coaching for young people can bring a fresh perspective for them and the whole family. It can help them understand themselves and why they do the things they do, and can also help them understand other people, so they get along better with others. When they get this, then the ups and downs of teenage life becomes more manageable, which allows them to feel happier and more in control. When young people work with a coach, they have somebody neutral who is right behind them and is not afraid to tell them the truth, someone outside the family who can offer them new ways of looking at things. It can be hard as a parent to see your child unhappy, struggling with school work, having to make decisions about their future, dealing with changes in their body, or falling out with friends, and the natural instinct is to want to fix it and make it all ok, but sometimes our love for them can get in the way.
Coaches who work with young people, have a specific understanding of young people’s needs and the issues they face today. They are not therapists or agony aunts who give advice and tell you how to solve your problems. They act as a guide, a role model, a teacher with wisdom and a set of skills that challenges young people to be the best version of themselves. Parents tell me that when their child is happy, everything else in their life seems easier, and they are happier too. Oh, and they also sleep better!
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