Changing dynamics within the home
With many students now heading home for the holidays, it’s important to understand how the dynamics within the home have changed in 2020. Especially as we reflect on this year and how well we all coped with the changes this global pandemic brought to our lives.
Many young people were finally able to return to school and spend time with their friends. They were also able to spend time away from parents who may have struggled to fully support home learning or navigate the changes taking place.
Returning to school did bring a welcome routine to their day, but some young people were worried about the ongoing restrictions and new way of learning. So, as a result, we saw an increase in parents seeking support from a specialist coach or therapist.
The need for support does not necessarily mean the parent feels the child is not coping well, but they may themselves want support to understand the impact social distancing and different types of lockdown had on the family.
Many parents have recognized that this year has been a difficult time, especially if they have any children navigating adolescence. So many will want to fully support their family through covid and may fear they will overlook an underlying problem.
Some questions parents often ask:
- How can I support my family?
- How do I avoid a crisis?
- Can I stay connected with my child?
- How can I make positive changes to our relationship?
- When will my child know themselves and what they are interested in?
- Will my child become a balanced adult?
- How can we tell if my child is really doing well or having difficulty?
- When should I be worried?
Check who needs the most help?
If approached by a parent or guardian looking for support because of the changing dynamics within the home, it is important to first clarify if the focus of the coaching will be towards the young person or the parent. Parents and guardians can often seek professional help for themselves if they are questioning their parenting style. Or if they are starting to experience conflict within the home.
They may also seek help for a child if they are finding it difficult to talk and communicate. However if there is violence or ongoing conflict within the home, you will need to ensure you have the tools or experience needed to coach in this type of environment, or if you need to redirect the adult and child to a specialized therapist.
We therefore always recommend an initial 60-90-minute consultation with the parent, parents or guardian. This helps them fully understand the family dynamics and environment in which the young person lives. Then clarify goals and advise on the stance to be held during the time support is provided to their child.
It is not necessary for you to have your own children to coach young people. You may be a professional coach trained in many different coaching techniques. However, it can be helpful if you have a background in education or psychology. Always discuss your approach with the parents or guardian and explore a range of different tools and techniques to see what delivers the best results.
Benefits of coaching young people
Many young people are perceived by adults as being rebellious and sometimes a little lost. But working with a coach to explore ways to defend their values with conviction or question rules can be rewarding.
If they are offered an attentive and non-judgmental ear, they will normally react positively to coaching because they appreciate:
- A clear framework and its boundaries
- Ability to define their needs and learn to express them
- Assert themselves as an individual
- Learn to make decisions and difficult choices
- Feel rewarded for setting goals and achieving them
- Time to take a step back from situations or problems they face
Supporting a young person to navigate the changing dynamics within the home, really starts by helping them to understand what they can (and want to) achieve in as they go through adolescence. This can be achieved by focusing on the current situation and moving towards a specific goal, built jointly with the coach and parents or guardian if appropriate.
The need for more support, fewer ultimatums
In adolescence, the young person becomes able to understand that their parent has emotions, fears and hopes. They note the latter is not reduced to the status of parent. The parent understands they are no longer a child, but becoming a person building a world of their own. For that, they need more support than instructions, orders or ultimatums.
The power of communication
This new understanding between the two generations is rooted in good communication. The quality of family relationships is a driving force in the socialization process of all young people.
It is fundamental for them to feel a sense of belonging within the family and mutual respect. Warmth and affection within their interpersonal relationships will also have a positive effect when dynamics within the home are changing. All of this contributes to a positive self-esteem and positive attitude towards the future.
If you would like to learn how to support families as they navigate the changing dynamics within the home, check out our Coaching Young People ebook in the online shop:
- Coaching Young People – This 12 page ebook was designed to help when you coach young people or support parents to understand the changes taking place during adolescence.
We have published a full range of resources specifically aimed at supporting you as a professional coach:
We constantly add content to the site, so please check our on-line shop and look at the full range of games, ebooks and kits. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.
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