Coaching families to navigate adolescence

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Coaching families to navigate adolescence 

The global pandemic has put a real strain on many relationships and we have seen a steady increase in enquiries from parents and guardians who need some kind of professional help to get things back on track within the home.

For many, this was as a result of homeschooling and lack of personal space or just having less time to focus on all the things they were being asked to manage. But for some, they have the added dimension of a child trying to navigate adolescence who just finds it difficult to explain what has changed or feels different in their world.

As a professional coach, you may touch on this with one of your clients and it could develop into a more detailed discussion, or you may be asked by somebody if you can provide help or support during what can be a very difficult time for many young people. However, it is important to clarify if the focus of any coaching will be towards the young person or the parent / guardian.

Parents and guardians can often seek professional help for themselves if they are questioning their parenting style or if they are looking for a fresh approach and some simple tools and techniques that can help them work through any changes taking place within the home.

They may also be looking for some professional help for a child who could be finding the transition from childhood to adulthood challenging. Especially as some people genuinely believe that somebody cannot be a fulfilled, accomplished or totally complete adult without going through some sort of teenage crisis.


The Teenage Crisis

When we look at who the media value or celebrate, it will normally be the artist who appears rebellious and experimental or the visionary business leaders who challenge the norm and take risks by breaking out in a totally new direction.

Social media and reality TV also encourage the most outrageous and uninhibited self-expression, so if a teenager doesn’t sometimes shout or swear, their parents may worry that they are hiding their true self, or they will grow up to become timid, soft or conformist adult.

Any teenage crisis (if it does happen) can be a period of varying duration and severity based on many different factors. It can be an explosive time or completely peaceful and totally depends on the individual and the environment they are living in.

Most young children will genuinely feel the world revolves around them because they are constantly being looked after, cared for and given everything they need. However, it can be a real shock when they first step into the real world and this narcissistic view of reality is challenged.

They must now learn to adapt their impulses and thoughts to better fit with the real world outside of their family circle and build their own view of the world and their place in it. Parents or guardians can play a vital role in this changing vision of the world and can really help make it either a smooth or difficult transition.

During adolescence, young people can sometimes feel alone and without a vision of the future, so this can be the perfect time for a professional coach to help them review their view of the world, their values, needs and natural talents.

We know that some children may have very hectic adolescence, while their brother or sister may by contrast have a very peaceful time. So if parents and guardians can learn to provide young people in their care with a balanced and supportive environment, where they have space to experiment and explore, there should be no reason for any teenage crisis to have a disruptive dimension.


Positive parenting

Many parents or professionals working with children are constantly looking for theories, tools, techniques, insights and information that can help them support the development of children and young people. This kind of positive support will hopefully enable the children to grow into adults who reach their full potential and learn how to establish long term relationships and an independent future.

However, this more positive approach to parenting is a relatively recent idea and considers parents and guardians to be co-therapists in resolving any difficulties they have spotted with their children or within the home. If they also have the added dimension of a child trying to navigate adolescence, this approach offers them the possibility of becoming agents of change for them and the wider family, by allowing them to regain confidence in their parenting skills and abilities.

Positive parenting is seen as parental behavior that respects children’s best interests and their rights, as set forth in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – a convention that also takes into account parents’ needs and resources.

The positive parent nurtures, empowers, guides and recognizes children as individuals in their own right. This approach is not permissive parenting, because it sets the boundaries that children need to help them develop their potential to the fullest. Positive parenting respects children’s rights and raises children in a nonviolent environment.

Any parents or guardians must be present and actively involved if they want to develop a deeper richer relationship with a child or any young people within the family. This can be through asking questions, playing or exploring, but a positive lasting relationship starts with sharing experiences together and talking openly about how things make us feel.

But children do not come with a step by step guide or manual, so the growth of coaching for parents and guardians, or coaching young people as they navigate adolescence shows the importance parents are giving to building their families in a way that supports their hopes and parenting goals.


Further reading:

If you would like to learn how to coach Parents and Guardians or support somebody trying to navigate adolescence, check out these exclusive ebooks that includes a range of different coaching tools:

  • Coaching Parents and Guardians – Coach parents and guardians to help them improve communication and understanding within the family home.
  • Coaching Young People – Support parents to understand the changes taking place during adolescence with this ebook designed to help when you coach young people.


We have also published a range of virtual games and kits you can use in your coaching sessions with Parents and Guardians, or when working with young people:


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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