Teen Coaching Tips
How to Help Your Teen!
Teenagers worry a lot about acceptance and fitting in. Help your teenager to manage anxiety can be achieved in several ways. Here is one useful process to try:
Ask you teenager to identify what they are thinking, write it down, read it back to themselves, and then ask: ‘Is this actually what is happening, or just a possible outcome?’
You can ask them about the outcome they want to happen and the positive potential that could happen? Let them find their own answers to this, and listen, feedback what they are telling you, rather than offering your point of view (unless asked).
Then, ask your teenager what could they do to help focus on what they want, instead of what they fear? Let them voice their ideas, and just listen, let them know you are listening and encourage them to think of more ideas. You can ask if they mind if you offer a suggestion.
This communication style builds trust, because they know they will be heard, they will have space to explore their own solutions, and they will feel you are supporting them in finding their way, rather than telling them what to do, which can create defences.
Social Confidence Boosters
Be Prepared: Ask your teen to list 10 conversation starters that they could imagine using in their daily life.
Put Yourself in the Shoes of another: Ask your teen to consider the social confidence levels of their peers, how they measure this, and what this means to them in relation to their own social confidence.
Identify Strengths: Help your teenager to identify their strengths and where they feel confident. Ask them how they became confident (time, practice, effort, natural skill, support etc), and then invite them to consider how they could draw on this area of confidence to boost their social confidence.
3 STEPS to Help Your Teenager find Meaningful Purpose
Identify Values: Write a list of values and ask your teenager to identify their top 10. (For example: love, kindness, acceptance, success, friendship, trust, loyalty, freedom, independence, safety, opportunity, support, fun, integrity etc). Now ask them the same question again, but this time, ask them to close their eyes, put their hand on their heart and ask: what really matters to my heart now, and repeat the values choice exercise.
Creative Thinking: Ask questions that challenge beliefs and possibilities such as: ´If you were 100% confident in yourself, what would you aim for?’ If you had everything you wanted, what would you do with your time? ‘, and ´If you have the power to create anything in the world, where would you begin? ´ Creative thinking challenges individuals to think outside the box, beyond fear and limitation and to open up to new ideas about what can be.
Vision Board: Encourage your teenager to create a board of images and words that reflect what they want in their life now, based on heart-centred values and the biggest and most exciting dreams they can imagine. Consider words that reflect values and personal qualities, and the ingredients in their vision. For example, if they want new friends, what type of values will these friends share? If they want more money, what do they want to purchase (is it the money they want, the item, or a feeling of more security and acceptance). When you talk with your teenager about their vision board and why they want what they want, you can gain a better insight into their true needs and wants, and help them to create these.
f you are interested in heart-centred living, I have created ‘heARTwisdom’: a personal coaching programme for adults and older teenagers that helps you to identify what your heart really wants for your life and how to start integrating this into your life today.
You can learn about it here: www.antoniabehan.com
Antonia Behan (BSc Psy (Hons) MBPsS. Cert Coach), partners with adults and teenagers to empower and support you in discovering meaningful purpose, and building the courage and confidence to realise your greatest potential for happiness and success.
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