Appreciate the Good

When times feel strained and you feel stretched thin, it can be hard to see the good. Sometimes if we want our life to feel better, we have to really try.

Take the time to look for the good. What things are you thankful for?

As a parent, it’s especially important to take time to look for the things you are thankful for in your teen. Not just that you are thankful for them, but what about them do you appreciate.

I have a toddler, and saying “thank you” is a practice I am trying to do more intentially. When he is kind, thoughtful or helpful, I take the time to get down at his level, make eye-contact, smile and say “thank you.”

He smiles proudly and usually says “thank you, mommy” right back.

My gratitude feels like a reward to him.

Many things change from toddler age to teenage, but the desire to be appreciated does not.

If you feel disconnected from or frustrated with your teen, look for the moments that don’t feel hard (even if you have to look really hard), and express your appreciation genuinely. Suddenly, there is more to be thankful for than you realized.

Midterm Prep

Is your teen stressed about midterms or exams? Students often feel a lot of pressure as the semester comes to a close. They need to review and sometimes relearn everything from the past four and a half months.

Many pre-teens or teens have never been taught how to set goals, plan for them and execute them, even when it comes to their school work.

So, if your teen is stressed and open to your help, sit down with them to discuss a plan. Often times, their plan is just to “study” or “try hard”. Both of those are very vague, and therefore are hard to follow through on, even with the best intentions.

Instead, take about 10 minutes to plan for each class. Look at the days they have to study, spread the studying out, so they aren’t left cramming for hours the night before the exam. Help them decide the time of day or week they feel most productive.

Then discuss how they will study. Will they use a study guide? If so, how? Simply reading and highlighting is not the most effect way to study.

Maybe your child makes flashcards or uses a website like Quizlet (a great digital form of flashcards). One of the most effective ways to study is to take practice tests. These are sometimes provided by the teacher or can be found online. An even more powerful strategy is for your teen to make their own test, then take it a few days later, and finally grade it themselves.

Once they know when and how they will study, help them decide what environment will help them be the most successful. A desk is ideal, but any place other than their bed is best. Your brain associates your bed with sleep, so trying to work on your bed compromises your work and your sleep.

Finally, help make it fun. Offer some hot chocolate at a half-time study break or plan to watch a favorite show when they are done.

If you notice your teen struggles from anxiety around their school work, coaching can help manage their stress. Set up a free parent consultation today.

Let’s Talk

When talking to your teen, it’s important to remember that they are building skills for analyzing and judging. Don’t take it personally if they are more critical of you then they used to be.

They are also creating their own identity. Let them! Try to connect with your teen by intentionally talking to them without inserting your opinion or direction. Allow yourself to be curious and open to what is going on with your child, their school, their friends, their activities.

If your teen comes to you with something they’re upset about, give them space to vent. Instead of telling them how to handle the problem, empathize without fixing. This will help you see what your teen is really thinking and feeling. Then, ask how you can help them solve the problem.

Finally, if you want to know more about your child’s day than that it was “fine,” try asking more pointed questions:

  • What went well today at school?
  • What’s coming up that you’re excited about?
  • What made you laugh today?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch today? Who would you like to sit with?
  • What was a challenge for you today?
  • If you could teach one class, which one would it be? Why?
  • What was something that bothered you today?
  • How did you (or could you have) made someone’s day better?
  • Which one of your friends is most similar to you? Which one is most different?
  • What one rule do you wish you could change at school?

To strengthen your relationship with your teenager, it is most important that they are connected to themselves. That is what coaching can do.

Sign up for a free 30-minute parent consultation today.

What is Life Coaching?

The life coaching I provide is called causal coaching. I don’t simply treat the symptoms of my clients’ pain, but teach them to understand the thoughts that are creating it.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” -Eckhart Tolle

As a coach, I am not here to give your teen advice and direction. I am here to facilitate their growth in understanding themselves and their abilities. I provide my clients perspective on their situation. I help them recognize the power they have and focus on the progress they want to make. We will not simply stay and dwell in the problem. We will face reality, listen to and understand the emotions that are there, and then we will intentionally choose how to process and move forward.

Who is Coaching for?

As a life coach, I am not here to diagnose or medicate your child. Life coaching with me is intended for teenagers who are functional in their daily life, but showing signs that the changes in your family are wearing on them. This may include:

  • decrease in extra-curricular engagement
  • withdrawing from family or friends
  • increased anxiety
  • drop in school performance
  • increased attitude or anger
  • changes in eating patterns
  • expressed sadness or confusion

If your family is dealing with divorce/separation or a parent who has an addiction, support your teen with life coaching. I will provide a judgement-free space to unpack all the feelings that come with these challenges. Then, we move forward on purpose.