Youth Coaching And Parents Involvement
Parenting is hard as it is, coupled with navigating issues that adolescents might face? It is a very tough job. Some parents blame themselves and the whole experience can be mentally and physically taxing.
Before we go on, I’d like to remind parents that it takes a lot of time, effort and patience to form and improve parent-youth relationships, so if you feel like you’re struggling, you are not alone.
What is Youth Coaching?
Sometimes young people can feel stuck, lost and confused. The expectations they have for themselves, as well as the pressures of fitting in, growing up and planning a future, makes it hard to cope. However, with the proper guidance, younger folk can develop life skills and learn how to manage some of the stresses that come along the way.
A Youth Coach can help adolescents:
● Build confidence
● Setting and achieving goals
● Managing stress
● Discussing difficult issues
How Can Parents Support Youths?
Navigating the transition phase of childhood to adolescence is hard for the youth, and parents play a crucial support role. However, it is not intuitive because sometimes it feels like you are communicating with a mini adult. You cannot talk to them the way you would a child, and you cannot expect them to comprehend things the way an adult would. Finding that middle ground takes patience, empathy and a lot of communication. This may not come naturally so having a youth coach to support this transition can be very helpful to improve the family dynamics.
Generally, actively encouraging them to do their best with school, their hobbies and interests are key, but listening without judgment and seeking to understand their concerns and challenges is what can really make a difference. In acknowledging their achievements and supporting them through mistakes and challenges, a bond is formed and trust is built.
What to Look For in a Professional Youth Coach
- Certification & Experience
The first thing to look for would be professional certification. A great place to start would be the International Coaching Federation. There are many coaches out there that are not certified, while that is your prerogative, some might feel better about engaging someone with the proper certification and training.
Additionally, they would probably have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to education, psychology, social work, counseling, or educational theory. Finally, they should have obtained a considerable amount of working experience with young people by enrolling or volunteering at public or private agencies.
It’s important to find a coach that you feel comfortable talking to about various parenting issues. Having an open and honest relationship is the first step to finding someone who can help you reach your goals.
Whether you prefer face-to-face meetings or you’re looking for someone to speak with over the phone, there are coaches out there with the ability to meet your needs. Many offer a free initial consultation and a quick conversation may help you decide if that coach is a good match for your needs.
Helping parents support their teenagers
As a Youth Coach, my job includes ensuring that parents and young person are on the same page. In order to make the family work as a unit, they must have the same goal.
My Theory of Change with Clients (adapted from Steve De Shazer):
This approach I use is largely influenced by the Solution Focused Coaching Approach where I start with assessing where the client is by listening in a very intentional manner for specific areas which can be useful to zoom in on further.
After picking up different ideas and processing them, there will be a focus on crafting shared goals to get the client and family working towards.
Next, solutions and actionable steps are formed together with the client. Here is where it is unique. My job is to facilitate, guide and work with parents to craft an actionable solution, but actions and solutions will not be directly prescribed. This ensures ownership and accountability.
Through my years of working with different youths and parents, I realised that this method of working is enjoyable for everyone because it’s respectful and it also acknowledges the client as the true expert of their situations and life.
Here are some milestones we will be charting:
1) Understanding the concerns and what needs to be changed
2) Assessing where they are at today (Halfway mark? Nearing the end?)
3) How to build on what they are doing well
4) Crafting solutions together that work in their situations
5) Next small steps to progress further
6) Create solutions in the context of their environment (Iterative process)
I believe in working together with the family as a team to strengthen bonds and build relationships. If you feel unsure and would prefer to have a discussion with me about your unique situation, I am offering a FREE 30-minute consultation.
Remember that the road to progress will not be easy. However, with the right attitude and proper guidance, you can achieve greater clarity and emerge with stronger bonds with your child.
Journeying with you every step of the way.
Coach Joe Chan