Life is hard. Becoming a responsible young adult is one of the hardest stages of life. As parents, communicating that we are supportive and present to help can go a long way to co-create mutually beneficial solutions together and lay the foundation for happy relationships. Unfortunately, most of us didn’t grow up with consciously communicating parents.
We can know peace from meditation, our chakras can be aligned, or we can experience holy communion after prayer, but if we didn’t have good communication role models, we will have to learn how to communicate in the new parenting paradigm.
In my coaching practice, parents rank homework hassles and communication as the top two parental struggles with their school-age children and teens. In conscious parenting, we honor the autonomy of our children’s lives. Most parents applying the conscious parenting paradigm believe school performance is the responsibility of their children and the role of the parent is to support the growth of the child. Communicating about school grades may be particularly problematic because of the heightened emotions of both children and parents surrounding school performance.
I have the privilege of coaching parents of teens. I help parents and teens communicate heart to heart rather than defense mechanism to defense mechanism. When there is a struggle at school, I help parents communicate consciously with their teens.
One way to do this is to listen well and then ask your teen to share three possible solutions to the problem.
I recently helped a parent talk to their teen who had a failing algebra grade. The teen was overwhelmed and seemed frustrated by it. The parent said something like this.
Parent: I see you frustrated about your algebra grade. Would you like some help in thinking about some actions you can take? I want to help you if you do.
We can think of three possible solutions and choose one.
Some teens may not think of solutions because they feel stuck, angry or conflicted. Other teens may not have the language skills to articulate possible solutions. You can pause the conversation here and ask to revisit it later and set up a time to do so. Or you can make a few suggestions and ask them to choose the one they want to try.
The conversation might continue like this:
Teen: (Shrugs shoulders) Ok, I guess I could study harder, but I don’t know what else.
Parent: I know you are frustrated and studying harder is one possible solution. But there are other options and I want to help you. Maybe you could talk to the teacher and ask if there is a study group or maybe we could get you a tutor.
By stating those additional options. The teen said generally they could study harder as the first solution and the parent offered two other solutions. The parent can summarize the options again.
Parent: Ok, we have three possible options, 1) study harder; 2) ask the teacher if he has a study group; 3) get a tutor. Which one do you want to choose?
Note that the parent has communicated lovingly from the support role while the teen has the full responsibility to act and “solve the problem.”
Here are a few tips for using the three-choices support process:
• Be sure not to over talk the solutions
• Thank them for their willingness to try this.
• Keep the communication flowing by reminding your teen that they may come up with a better solution later and you want to support them in following through.
In this conscious approach, parents and teens co-create solutions together. Co-creation is simply a mindset and skillset that engages teens and parents to be fully responsible in equitable relationship building, communicating and problem-solving. Communicating this way also gives teens a model for problem-solving and communicating later in college and in the world of work. That’s a win-win for the present and the future, turning homework hassles into what teens need to grow. Consciously practicing co-creation communication skills may even help us enjoy our teens more and develop the deep meaningful bonds we seek.
Looking for more ways to get the conversation flowing with your teen? Check out Surprising Teen Conversation Starters.
It’s 2020 and everyone is talking about transformation. You are overwhelmed and maybe a little scared. You have a tween, teen or launching young adult!
- Perhaps you are tired of walking on eggshells around your tween, teen or launching young adult?
- Maybe it’s the disrespectful communication from your teen or teen drama, that triggers you?
- Or are you secretly afraid your child won’t make it as an adult?
I felt all of this and more until I awakened to a new mindset and practiced respectful communication skills. The more I tried to control my two young daughters when they first entered their tween years, the more friction and distance their was between us. When I learned to share vulnerably from my heart with them, they drew closer to me and sought my counsel and support naturally.
I learned to listen so my teen daughters would open up and I learned how to share my heart in an authentic way that made them want to listen to me.
In fact, those former triggers I had about sassiness and teen drama, became the things we used to connect deeply. I learned how to read the “disrespect” I perceived as their own fear, and we got to the root of it, together. I learned when to engage and when to let go. We grew closer as a result. I was able to support their launch into young adulthood.
It wasn’t always easy and it was sometimes messy. There was a divorce and family illness in the mix and the time I spent as a single parenthood was tough. But today we have honest, mutually respectful relationships. Even as young adults they seek my advice.
I want to support your parenting journey and offer you the mindset and skills that I learned to you, to help you grow the close relationship you long for with your child at every step of their development and I want to support you to learn how to grow your own rich relationship with yourself so you are ready when they launch to enjoy all life has to offer.
What is Relationship Coaching for Parents and Tweens, Teens or Launching Young Adults?
Coaching sessions occur online at a time convenient to you. You learn how apply the communication skills I teach to not only support your teen’s growth but grow ways to become your most authentic self.
I am passionate about helping parents and teens co-create the relationships they truly long to build together. That’s why I became a parent coach to help families (even those in difficult times of transition) to cultivate a more peaceful home by communicating heart to heart. The approach is called conscious co-creation. It focuses on growing the awareness and skills that parents and teens need to jointly build the relationship that work for both. I can help you get Back on Track with your tween or teen.
Recently, I’ve been helping teens launch to college or their next stage of life also. It includes making adjustments to college life.
What issues do you deal with?
Parent and Teen Relationship Coaching: I help establish respectful communication and overcome communication barriers and breakdown.
For Parents: I help parents in conflict, navigating divorce, co-parenting, single parenthood and how to embrace and enjoy your empty nests.
For Tweens, Teens and Young Adults: I help with parent problems, homework hassles, digital dangers, dating and substance abuse. I am also a chemical dependency counselor. I have even helped teens deal with the pressures of college life or a new job.
How Can I Help You?
I offer individual or group coaching packages. I have also written a book with sample conversations of conscious communication and exercises at the end of each chapter, titled How to Raise Respectful Parents: Better Communication for Teen and Parent Relationships
What can I expect?
No blame, just support, skills building and a few suggestions for a complicated world! I offer a free Back on Track Assessment Call. If we are a match, you can enter private coaching or online group coaching.
Contact me at 956-250-3689 or email, Laura@LauraLReagan.com. If time is of the essence, consider my course, Tune Into Your Teen by Tuning Into Yourself. You can find it in The Family Alchemists University.
What are other parents saying?
Laura has helped me tremendously as a parent coach! My teen son and I were estranged following difficulties with his father. And the counselor we were going to, was unable to coach me to be able to reach my teen, beyond the fences and hurt walls that he’d placed between us. Laura stepped in and with great kindness, understanding and wisdom, was able to get me to change my entire approach to parenting my teen son. Our relationship underwent a radical change as I started implementing her suggestions and advice, and he and I are now affectionate with each other, communicating about big and small matters, without any blocks, and building trust again, thanks to Laura’s knowledge and coaching, she has so professionally, kindly and generously shared with me. -Priya B., mother of teen son
Laura was a Godsend to me. With all I learned, I feel a sense of calm empowerment for the first time in YEARS! I even feel a sense of calm about my teens’ future. Before, I felt my life was flooded in chaos, but she helped me practice positive communication skills that conveyed my heart. I always looked forward to our next session. I highly recommend her! -Linda E., mother of twin teen daughters