Can We Ever Feel Connected to Our Teenagers?
Monday, September 9, 2013 • 11:17pm
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The “Coach Approach” will help reduce the fear about how we parent our teens.
As our teens bark out the last minute things they need for school, we long for the days when we could wait to pick up our children from school or at the bus stop. Why? Because we felt connected to our children.
The connections we are use to between us and our teens stop almost overnight. And that drives us crazy. One of the major reasons it bothers us is because of fear. We know teens have fears because it’s a natural and we had them. We, as parents have fear because we know our teens fear something, but we can’t fix them. Why can’t we fix them because won’t tell us what they are, so we fear about everything.
According to a report in the Chicago Magazine, what our teens fear is different from what we fear.
Teens are most concerned about:
· The Decision to try drugs/alcohol.
· The Decision to have sex.
· Body Image
· Lack of restrictions on access to technology.
Our fears are based on four energy blocks that we have about parenting, assumptions, interpretations, gremlins and limiting beliefs.
Assumptions are things we believe are true and factual and it is used as a starting point for a course of action or reasoning. For example, we will assume since all teens act a certain way, you assume your teen is going to do the same thing, so you interact with them accordingly.
Interpretation is based on what you actually see and that determines your action, but what lies underneath the may be the true reason for our teens actions.
A gremlin is based on feelings of inadequacy and it is often hidden. We have feel that our parent/teen relationship is great, but on the inside you feel just the opposite based on your not feeling good enough. During a crisis situation, these gremlins will bubble to the surface.
Limiting Beliefs are core underlying beliefs that are normally subconscious that represent our world view, our basic perspective on life. For example, deep down you may believe that teenagers just don’t make good decisions, so when your teen comes to you with an idea; you automatically shoot it down without listening.
If we carry one, or all of these energy blocks around when we interact daily with our teens, it can slowly impact our relationship with them because we will usually not want to appear vulnerable. It will impact how we talk to them, discipline them and advise them. In order bring your relationship more in line to where we want it to be, we will have to shift our mindset to a more “Coach Approach” to parenting our teens.
Remember earlier when I mentioned our need to hear stories from our young kids. That was a natural progression in the parent/child behavior. At that stage we are acting as their teacher and it’s our time to nurture. By the time our children reach their “tweens”, our parenting style shifts to a more administrative role. We manage their events and schedules in order to initiate activities and social interaction. By the teen years they are looking and even a role change that will allow them a little more autonomy. Instead of being anxious about your role change, embrace it.
Why is this shift essential?
It will help pave the way from successful teenager to adulthood.
It will give our teen a set of internalized rules to act as a guide when we aren’t around.
It will help foster a sense of responsibility.
It will help create a resilient mindset.
So parents, how can this shift in parenting, change your relationship with your teen?
Keith is the President of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services, and the Founder of the LOVESTRONG Couples Program. He has over a decade of experience in the field, counseling and coaching individuals, couples, teens and their parents to help them improve their relationships and their ability to achieve their personal goals.
For the past seven years Keith has developed specific programs and a blog around improving relationships which include workshops, conferences and one-on-one sessions.
He works with couples to help them achieve the kind of relationship they envisioned when they first made their commitment to each other. Strengthening communication and revitalizing their understanding and empathy for each other helps couples regain the romance and closeness they long for – even in their everyday “real” world.
Having a relationship coach is like having a GPS for life. Keith can help you get a realistic picture of where you are and focus on the best path forward toward your goals. Unlike counseling, coaching focuses on the future, not the past. Think you need a jumpstart and a plan to get back on track, call for an initial consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-486-4467.
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