I attended the free talk given by my Global Coach Connect partner, Dolly Yeo on “Stop Parenting, Start Coaching”. I thought it was wonderful and very timely as many parents today are at sea in how to deal with their teens. In this new digital environment and the wide, seemingly out-of-control exposure we are dealing in, managing our kids calls for a much different parenting skill than those employed by our parents. The world is different. I am sure you notice.
The old school of thought in managing children and in particular teens is outdated. Parenting is tough, parenting teens is even tougher. Hormonal changes around this period make it more challenging and most parents are at a loss. It is not aided by the generation gap, especially now that couples are marrying and having children at a later age. Conflicts begin almost overnight leaving parents to wonder where and what they have done wrong.
One thing they have done right is loving their children; what they have probably done wrong is how to communicate with their children. There is always a tendency for parents to compare those days when you were teens to what their own teens are today and obviously there is a big divide.
There is this in-built inclination toward telling our children what to do, have and want all in the name of love. Well and good but teens needed to be heard and respected as adults too because that is where they are heading towards and they need their parents’ understanding and support to become one. Parents and their teens need to learn how to tango to establish certain level of trust in order for them to grow into responsible, well-adjusted and happy young adults.
Dolly shared her own experience – the pains, anxiety, frustration – in managing her three teenagers; the ups-and-downs she has gone through and how she managed to triumph and conquer the situation. It was a very inspiring talk.
She told of the hours and courses she spent to learn to become a better parent and primarily to manage first herself as a person – learning to love herself and removing her baggages. In her journey of self-discovery, she stumbled on coaching and began practising her coaching skills on her children. It drew fantastic results (not overnight but with lots of patience and perseverance), leading her to understand that it is time to let go and stop parenting.
It was a very lively interactive talk. Participants were open in sharing their teenagers’ problems and view points. The one thing that sticks out is that parents tend to insist that the problem lies with their children because they believe they are absolutely right and by refusing to reflect on their contribution to the problem – checkmate, nothing changes and there is no winner in this tuck-of-war. What is right and wrong is very subjective. As long as we maintain we are right, we leave nothing for negotiation and it is then impossible to find a solution.
Parents need to stay flexible and the first order of things is to see how we, as parents, can change in order to incite the change we would like to see in our children. Getting parents to change and see things differently and to stop parenting is difficult but until they see that this is where they have to start, we will end up with losers in the battle of wills. The ending can be disastrous if we are not careful.
If you have “problem” teenagers, you may want to join Dolly’s group parenting sessions to get some insights on how you may want to change in order to save your children’s future. Their future happiness is dependent on you and your behaviour. If you love your children and want to do something about it, act now and make the call. This may be your best investment yet.
To find out more about Dolly and the event, go to: www.mindset-coaching.com .