Let’s face it! Parenting is one of the most challenging and unique roles we encounter as adults. It can be overwhelming, frustrating and often scary especially in the tween and teen years when biology steps in and physical, mental and emotional changes start to create havoc and relationships begin to change.
As parents, we all want the best for our kids. The best schools, the best friends, and the best opportunities. But we often forget what is in the middle of all our efforts- a young person trying to figure out who they are, how they’re going to fit in and what choices they should make.
Our teens are juggling endless priorities and distractions. Sports, academics, mobile phones, texts, emails and social networking all add to the stress of modern society, with the result that it has become an absolute necessity for us as parents to master how to communicate with our plugged-in kids.
A parent is the key player in guiding their own child to success and this is why we need to educate ourselves on teen’s brain development and functioning, as well as keep up to date on current research. This will enable us as parents, to cope with the typical biological responses and behaviour that is a normal part of the development of a teen and essential to the passage of growth into adulthood. Daniel Siegel, a renowned neuropsychiatrist, discusses how brain development affects teenager’s behaviour and relationships in his book “Brainstorm”. His research shows that if parents and teens work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the turbulence, they will be able to understand one another and turn conflict into connection.
The Parent as Coach Approach is a proven and practical model for providing insight and tools for improving communication and creating connection with teens. It is based on the book “The Parent As Coach Approach” written by Diana Sterling, who at the time was a single parent struggling to communicate with her son as he matured into a teen. After spending a whole year interviewing teens at a local High School, she found that the most effective way of parenting teens and maintaining a connection in the relationship was best fulfilled by adopting the skills and process used by professional coaches.
Developing the Parent as Coach Approach?
She developed The Parent As Coach Approach model to teach everyday parents the tools of communicating like a life coach and creating a foundation of enduring mutual respect and love, to transform parent- teen-relationships from conflict and chaos to encouragement and support.
The program focuses on “The Seven Ways to Coach Your Teen in the Game of Life” and is based on a poem created from the research conducted about what teens really want from the adults in their lives. The underlying message is that kids need to feel respected, understood, listened to and appreciated. When they receive these basic needs they feel worthy and empowered to become responsible, independent, functioning adults who are able to achieve their true potential and build a meaningful life of confidence, courage and compassion.
This program challenges the global perspective that teenage-hood is a time filled with conflict and opposition. It challenges the notion of the “dreaded teen years” and helps parents to examine their own beliefs and core values, and respect the beliefs of their “emerging adults”.
Parent As Coach does not teach how to ‘control’ your teenager, rather it teaches how to accept, respect, understand and support the unique individual growing up in front of you, and honour them for who and where they are right now. A parent coach guides their teen to their own solutions, hidden gifts, and unique talents rather than dictates and demands.
We owe it to our kids to teach and prepare them for adulthood and give them the support and understanding they need to grow into creative, resourceful, capable and compassionate people who are strong enough to reach their true potential and contribute to society.
Continuing with your old methods may mean you will be completely fired from your job as a parent, the result being no communication and no connection at all. With the right tools of communication and a large dose of compassion, parents can learn how to create and maintain connection forever. The Parent As Coach is the first step to learning how to build mutual respect trust and love in your families. Communication and compassion lead to connection and connection leads to transformation. The results are truly magical.
So are you ready for your new job as a Parent Coach?
Melissa Katz is a Certified Life and Family Coach, parent, teacher and solicitor. She specializes in helping people and families navigate the minefield of life today and assists people in reaching their true potential, developing self-awareness and living a balanced life.
For more information on Parent As Coach Workshops, Parent and Teen Coaching Programmes visit the transitions page.