Research Paper By Monica Chiang
(Teen Coaching, CANADA)
In today’s society, youths face a number of issues. These issues consist of self-image, anger, gender equality, depression, lack of confidence, stress, alcohol, and drug abuse, just name a few. The list of problems that teenagers face today can take so many forms. Even teenagers in a stable and solid family unit face uncertainty and confusion within themselves and with life in general. The question is why? And what could be done to prevent this? The problems youths face today is at times considered normal. This is a part of life. Figuring out the root of the problem and how a parent can support their youth is crucial to their growth into adulthood. Seeking help from other sources such as a life coach may be beneficial. The benefits of hiring a life coach for your teen are endless.
What is life coaching
“Coaching is the art of helping people grow without telling them what to do. Coaches are change experts who help us take responsibility and act to maximize our potential” (Stoltzfus 2009, p.12). Life Coaching is positive, motivational, inspiring, action and strength based. Life coaching is about assisting a client in closing the gap between where they are & where they want to be. It’s about working with an individual who wants to achieve more in life. Life coaches are trained to work with a variety of clientele. Life coaches ask powerful questions, listen, reflect back what they hear and challenge their client’s way of thinking. A professional life coach can help guide the teen to think and behave in a self-serving manner. Through working with a Life coach, the client becomes aware of the issues surrounding them. Creating awareness is key to allow change to take place in ones life.
Creating self-awareness for the teen client
Awareness is the most important and first skill you must develop in order to achieve any lasting and significant growth. Awareness means, “having knowledge about something” (Hole, 2004 pg. 34). Self-awareness is a way for us to explore our individual personalities, value systems and beliefs. People are all different in the way of learning, acting, and processing. Self-awareness is important because awareness brings a better understanding of the self. Self-awareness allows the teen client to see what is going on with them and where it originates from. Once the client becomes aware, they can then shift their feelings, actions and perspectives into more positive ones. The more the teen client learns about themselves, the more comfortable they feel internally. Self-awareness during the adolescent years is designed to help young people figure out who they truly are. When a child or teen is unsure of whom they are, issues and problems arise. Acknowledging if and when your teen needs help is the key.
Struggles Teens face today
Society paints a picture of how things should look without realizing the affects it has on people. Starting at a young age little girls are taught what beauty looks like and how to act. The wrong message is given too often. At a young age boys are taught not to cry because it is a sign of weakness. As a result they grow into adulthood keeping everything bottled up inside. Society paints the wrong picture for individuals. Who is to say the information they share is wrong or right? The important thing is living a life that is going to best serve the people. Issues that arise within us start from the home. It starts from childhood. Faulting the parent, teachers, elders etc will only do harm than good if our peers do not know any better. Becoming aware of ones self will allow the individual to become responsible for their own life and will allow them to live life the way they choose to live it.
The parent & child Relationship
Life is not perfect. Life has its ups and downs. Some people are more fortunate than others. When two people have children, the parents bring up that child the best way they know how. Belief systems and values are put in place starting at a young age and the child grows into adulthood with the same belief systems and values. It is not the intention of the parent to cause hurt, pain, or harm to the child in anyway, verbally or physically. All parents have dreams and aspirations for their children and children will always want to make their parents happy. This can become over excessive and can become unhealthy. To some extent parents transmit these dreams in a form of expectation. Too much expectation can lead a child to become destructive and angry. These children will lack self-confidence and self-esteem. Creating an environment that will serve them in a positive way, focusing on the child’s strengths and not their weaknesses is ideal. All parents want their child to be confident, loved, balanced, healthy, smart and successful. Parents want their children to succeed in all aspects of their life. Children, in most cases will let their parents know when they are feeling overwhelmed or if an issue is arising. Becoming aware and knowing what to look for may be life saving to your child.
According to Carter, izumo & Martin (2004 pg xv), the biggest grievances teens have about their parents are:
- Parents try to make all decisions for them.
- Parents become too controlling.
- Parents become overly protective.
- Parents try to live vicariously through them.
Signs to look for in a troubled teen:
- If your child is being rebellious
- If your child is angry or showing aggression
- Signs of anxiety or shift in mood
- Lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
- Lying, hiding information & stealing
- Drug and alcohol abuse
Failing in school or not attending classes
Creating a strong bond and accepting your child for who they are is key. But a parent cannot accept who their child is becoming if they cannot accept themselves and others. Bein (2008 pg. 31) states “ parents scoff at their children’s sincere expression of emotional turmoil and pain and seek to make their children’s pain disappear through strategies of minimization, denial, accusation, and dismissal”. He also believes “parents become non accepting because they have been so burdened with their children’s pain that they are driven to not let their children’s pain penetrate them” (Bein 2008 pg. 32). Parents must take the time to create self-awareness for themselves so they can help create awareness for their child. Taking the time to get to know the child will allow the parent to understand them and will also allow the parent to know the best way to help their child. Engage in conversation with your child, ask questions and have fun doing it. The parent child relationship will create a strong foundation for that child. If the parent truly has a strong bond and friendship with the child, the tendency for that child to steer the other direction is much lower.
International Coach Federation (2011) ICF Core Competencies
Kimsey-House, H., Kimsey-House, K., Sandahl, P. (2011). Co-Active Coaching. Boston, London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Hole, G., & Hawker, S (Ed.), Oxford Dictionary (p. 34, 6th ed.). (2004). New York: Oxford Press.
Carter, C., Izumo, G., Martin, J. (2004). Stop Parenting & Start Coaching. Colorado: Life Bound Publishing.
Nichols, M. (2011). The Essentials of Family Therapy. Boston, Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon Publishing.
Bein, A. (2008). The Zen of Helping. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Publishing.
Stoltzfuz, T. (2009). Christian Life Coaching, Virginia Beach: Coach 22 publishing.