In this article on practical parenting, I want to share with you four key ideas about teenagers and behaviour. In my experience as a life coach for kids, I have found either one or more issues at the root cause of unruly behaviour in young people.
The first thing I’d like to share with you is that their behaviour is only an outcome; a result, a consequence of something else. When a teenager, or any child, let loose their bad behaviour, what they are really telling us is, “I am hurting so much and feel so angry and afraid I don’t have any other way of telling you”. I found this out through hundreds of kids coaching interactions.
If we judge the young person on this behaviour, we are missing THE POINT, big time! As parents and educators, we want to see beyond the NEGATIVE behaviour and aim to connect with the feeling that is creating that behaviour.
Listen rather than talk. I know that I talk about effective listening a lot, so let me quote a dear friend instead. “We have two ears and one mouth, we have to use them in this proportion”. At least, I know that this is a golden rule for those who aspire to succeed in providing life coaching for children. Don’t aim to fix your child, solve their problem, impart judgment or police them. They don’t need any of those roles from you—or at least not just yet.
Be ready to listen. The most important part of practical parenting is communication, and a large part of that is listening. The more you truly listen to your child, the more your child will listen to you. Make a conscious decision to fully listen to them without judgment, blame or regrets. Silence can be a great help for them and for you. If you are finding this difficult, maybe you need to enroll in parenting classes.
Be ready to ask open questions that allow them to explain themselves and most importantly, will enable you to create a connection with them. By using open questions, I mean questions that encourage proper answers rather than yes/no or any other single word reply.
If you ask: how are you feeling? Do you know the answer? 9 out of 10 times they will say “OK” as a way to avoid any further questioning. They probably don’t feel great talking about whatever is happening. However, we can help them slowly open up by asking the right questions. Successful kids coaching is usually about asking the right questions. Here are some examples:
- How do you feel after doing that?
- How does that make you feel?
- I imagine that feels pretty bad, how is it for you?
- What DO you feel(or think) you can do about it?
- How can I help you?
Be ready for rejection, challenges, and frustration. This approach might be new to them. Thus, they probably won’t feel comfortable at the beginning. Keep going, adapt these ideas and questions, keep being there for them. At one point, they will accept your time and presence. Then the real conversation starts.
As a professional life coach for kids and a parent, I am aware it can feel a bit overwhelming to take on this approach. Make sure you are in the right place to follow through. Also, you can enroll in my parenting classes for further help.
These tips are what I use at work to provide life coaching for children every day. Also, I use them when talking with my daughters. I don’t want to promise they will work all the time or immediately. However, I can promise you it will change the dynamics in you and in your son or daughter. Over time, these four tips have the potential to change your relationship for the better.
Here are the four life coaching teenagers’ tips again:
- Ignore the behaviour, connect with the emotion that is driving it
- We have two ears and one mouth. Listen more to them.
- Use open questions to help them express themselves.
- As I say in many videos, keep going. Consistency, especially in the face of rejection is fundamental.
There are many articles on practical parenting and effective listening here on my blog. However, if you wish to ask any questions, get in touch with me. It feels fulfilling to spread the word and support other parents.
HAVE A GREAT DAY. REMEMBER, KEEP YOURSELF HAPPY AND KEEP YOUR KIDS HAPPY BY HELPING YOURSELF AND HELPING YOUR KIDS