Adolescent Parent Coaching
Do you feel like you’re at a dead-end with the teenager(s) in your house? Does it seem to you they don’t respect or listen to you? Maybe you’ve got the “dude with the ‘tude” (attitude) and you’re ready to pull your hair out. Or, sometimes it isn’t about how he/she behaves, and their grades are OK or even spectacular, but they just don’t talk to you anymore, and you are scared something is wrong.
Adolescence seems to trigger all sorts of feelings in both parents and teenagers. That often results in power struggles and conflicts that feel like warfare. Or the teens’ bedroom becomes a cave of refuge for the adolescent, guarded by an emotional hand grenade. And the trip-wire is invisible to the parental eye.
Bottom line is this: Everybody is stressed, and and feels stuck.
I’m here to say there is a way through this stuff, and it may not be as difficult as you think. That isn’t to say that some issues, such as drugs or alcohol, internet and gaming, and all that goes comes with those aren’t serious–they are. They add layers of complexity that sometimes require a guide for successful navigation. Conversely, adolescence sometimes makes small issues seem huge, and for some parents it’s really difficult to know when an issue might require professional assistance.
On top of whatever you are facing with your adolescent(s), there is also a negative cultural influence that inaccurately and unfairly judges teenagers. Too bad, because adolescents in many ways are the heart and soul of the community, and they possess a remarkable energy from which we can all benefit. All you need to do now is figure out how. Being judgmental or harsh toward them saps their energy, usually leaves a parent feeling guilty, and strains or damages the parent/teen relationship–everyone loses. That can be avoided.
Counseling For The Adolescent
In some cases, your teenager may want to talk to someone who is not their parent. They don’t always want to admit it or ask for it, but they might benefit from counseling. Sometimes they send to their parents encrypted signals about their distress that are easy to miss. If, as a parent, you are unsure about the situation don’t be afraid to come in, put your cards on the counseling table, and get some feedback on whether or not, and how to proceed with counseling.
ONE NOTE OF CAUTION: No one, especially teenagers, responds to coming in to counseling under duress–being forced to talk to another adult. So, if you seriously believe your son or daughter needs some help, here is one to way to approach it: Ask them if they think they are willing, desiring, to see a counselor. If they say “no,” drop it, do NOT push it, call me, and you and I can discuss over the phone, what to do next. Anything more than that will probably be ineffective, not to mention increase the stress between the two of you.
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Call or email me and we can decide together what, if anything, to do about your specific situation.