Learning How to Transition from Your Child's Adolescence Into Adulthood
Friday, August 23, 2013 • 1:03am
WEST ORANGE, NJ - As a new school year quickly approaches, several hundred 8th graders are about to shift from the friendly confines of the incubator- like setting of their respective Liberty and Roosevelt Middle Schools to the overwhelming environment of West Orange High School. No longer will they be the top dogs, but the small fish to be scrutinized, analyzed and even marginalized.
The first few months can be a huge transition for the incoming freshmen. Parents also go through a transition of their own. Parents can get overwhelmed as their sphere of influence diminishes as their child is exposed to older students and even teacher’s that may not always have their best interests at heart. It can be so overwhelming to parents that they resort to helicopter parenting as way to maintain some control mostly to the detriment of their child’s development.
So what can parents do to maintain achieve a closer connection with your teen, while allowing them to grow as an individual? I propose shifting to more of a coach approach as an ideal way for your child gain the independence they desire, while maintaining that bond you crave as a parent.
Why is this approach necessary? As a teen-development coach for over 10 years, I have seen how this approach serves as a win-win for parent-teen relationships and serves as a model to help teens transition to adulthood. In this 5 part series, we will cover why there is a need to shift to the coach approach in the first place, how to shift to this type of approach, what are the ingredients to an excellent parent-teen coaching relationship and some exercises to jump-start this relationship.
Why do Parents have conflict in the first place?
Can you remember the first time your teenager talked back to you, or even worse, cursed you out? It either took every fiber of your being not to knock them out, or you cowered in the corner thinking about how your parents beat you down with their verbal tirades, and you never wanted to do that to your child - so you said nothing. On the flip side, do we ever think about the type of language we use and the damage it may inflict upon them? Some of the ways we address our kids can be the cause of how conflict begins.
During conflict the parent-teen coach approach can help shift the way we speak to our kids in these ways:
Reduce humiliation. When we don’t agree with our teens choices, we try and use humiliation in front of family and friends to invoke change. Being “judged” is a teen’s biggest pet peeve with parents.
Help value your child’s feelings. Many times we view our child’s issues through our own lens. Since we are older and wiser, we will dismiss their issues as trivial and dismissive. The teen-coach approach will help teen feel their fears and concerns have value.
Show interest. By focusing on something positive it helps your teen channel their energies in a more positive fashion.
Explore options. We live in an age where critical thinking is essential to growth. Having the ability to discuss alternatives in a positive way helps your teen think about options when you aren’t around and their choices could be costly.
Allows for dialogue. – It’s inevitable that you will always agree with the decisions your teen makes, but this approach will allow you to voice your feelings without contention.
Question for Discussion: What are some of the issues of conflict that is affecting your relationship with your teen? How do you feel this approach will help create a better positive dialogue?
About Coach Keith Dent
Keith 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 over seven years Keith has developed specific programs to help teens and their families achieve success in all facets of their lives that may have eluded them in the past. Academics, relationships, athletics, college preparation and applications, goal setting and developing specific plans and areas where working with Keith as a Coach can help young people set the patterns that promise a brilliant future.
Having a 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.
For an inquiry of his services, contact Keith Dent on Facebook or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call 201-486-4467.
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