Helping Parents & Teens Communicate Free of Fighting

As someone who trains Boomers and Gen X’ers to life coach teens and young adults, I often find that the best examples to explain my work to those wanting to know the secrets of working with Millennials, comes from my own personal practice life coaching teens and young adults. Today’s topic is: Parents and Millennials -from Miscommunication to Co-creation or How to I Learned to Stop Screaming.

Although most people seeking help in life coaching for troubled teens and young adults are usually dealing with school failures, social anxiety, depression, pot or video game addiction (or both), it doesn’t take long until the other shoe drops. Parents and young adults with an equal and well earned disdain for each other. Its not that they don’t love each other, there are just too many war wounds to be ignored. What do we end up with? Each side shouting their “truths” across the room while neither side truly hears the other.

Want to get your child to not do something?
Tell them you think it’s important!
Want to get a parent to nix an idea?
Have their child tell them that they think it’s a great idea!

How did it come to this?
How do we change it?
(You know what I am going to say… don’t you?)
Change comes from outside the family unit… through a professional Mentor/Life Coach.

Here are the tried and true steps I use on a regular basis and that the Mentors I train find immensely helpful (as do the families).

The 7 Steps to Transforming Miscommunication into Co-creation.

Step 1: Parent identifies issues: school issues, home issues, personal mental health issues (anxiety included). This is our first consultation either by phone or Skype.

Step 2: Mentor meets with client (the client is the young adult) and establishes goals, the challenges to those goals and the first sign-posts of success. This usually occurs in the first one hour Skype session, the only time it doesn’t is when clients come to me as the sky is falling (read that as massive school failures that can no longer be ignored). We deal with putting out fires first and the on to the Goals; Challenges and Sign-Posts of Success. Skype is the best way to reach Millennials (vs in person therapy) as you are doing positive, healthy work with them in the place they tend to get messed up the most; their internet portal.

Step 3: Parents are freed from having to play “cop”. You get to let go of the head-butting, enjoy each other and email your Mentor the “issues” that keep coming up. Mentor and client look at each issue, and learn how to put them in perspective, how to communicate and advocate for themselves and how to understand the “other’s” perspective.

Step 4: Poop hits the fan. Both sides knew the calm would be short-lived. Something happens. The parents blame their child. The client isn’t responding to what they are saying but just yells back at the same decibel level: “Call Ken! Call Ken!” That p**ses off the parent even more (really not how I suggested to use the Mentor-in-the-middle get-out-of-jail-free card at all). The Mentor gets the client to hear the parents. The parents get to not want everything that has never been done to be done RIGHT NOW!!!! We all agree on a reasonable incremental way forward that makes sure everyone is heard. Fan de-pooped.

Step 5: The parent confession: This is where I usually get a call or email from one parent thanking me and then calling themselves an awful parent. This is where I tell them the real truth: “You are a great parent! An awful parent gives up, doesn’t care or doesn’t notice. You are a parent who needs support from a Mentor to help you with a child who doesn’t respond to whatever worked when you were parented by your parent. That to me is not only a good parent but a wise parent.

Step 6: The client confession: The Mentors that are now working with clients through us are always amazed that our clients often share their truths about their short-comings and their frustrations in now knowing how to get out of those problems. That is why the system is based on empowering young people and not focusing on the failures. Next.. Client and Mentor go back to work. Parents send emails and the Client/Mentor team incorporate their home issues with the goals the client wanted to focus on. It works. Things get better. The client starts to succeed at school, at their personal issues, and at communicating.

Step 7: A new way of communication is created for clients and parents. “Open Listening”. First the Mentor trains the client in the system. We practice on friends or family members willing to try new things. Finally we show the family how to use it during confrontations. Would you like to know how open listening works? Stay tuned or put a comment here and Ken will answer.

What is co-creation? It’s where both sides share their concerns, each side listens with an open heart to the other and together the create a new way forward. As missteps happen, both sides communicate, evaluate and recalibrate.

Interested in mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Know a Millennial in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Finding Meaningful Work After University

You studied hard, you learned so much, you earned your degree – and now what? In years past, a B.A. was the key to finding a good job. However, in today’s complex job market, your hard-earned degree may not open many doors. In fact, many university graduates find themselves serving coffee at Starbucks or working at other jobs with little scope just to survive. Finding meaningful work after your university graduation can seem nearly impossible, particularly if your degree is in one of the liberal arts such as psychology, English, history or philosophy. But recent university grads are particularly suited to the field of life coaching for teens and young adults – and helping young people find their way to success is a significant way to contribute to your community, to Canadian society and to the world.

Why Be a Life Coach?
A life coach for young people helps clients change undesirable behaviours and get on the right track for success. As a recent university graduate, you are acutely aware of the types of stresses that young people are facing today. As someone who has faced obstacles and overcome them, you are uniquely qualified to help another young person who may have lost his or her way.

Many teens, when faced with obstacles such as learning problems, bullying or social anxiety, choose the wrong way to cope with them. They may become disengaged from the world, adopting a “why bother?” attitude. They may become dependent on marijuana or obsessed with video games. They may suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety and lose hope. They may develop anger issues or refuse to talk about their problems with the adults in their lives.

A life coach can often get through to a young person when their parents and others cannot. Because certified life coaches are trained to help others discover their strengths, they can guide clients toward finding their own strategies for success.

Training Certification
Do your friends often come to you for advice? Do you enjoy helping people solve problems? You may be a natural! Being a life coach or mentor pays well and the training process can be both exciting and rewarding. The best type of training follows the established medical model: Learn one, do one, teach one.

Ken Rabow, a well-known mentor to teens and young adults who need help getting back on track, runs Real Life Coaching, a resource for young people and their parents. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Rabow also trains people like yourself to become a professional certified life coache for troubled teens and young adults.
Real Life Coaching’s program progresses through three separate levels, which range from working with clients facing mild challenges to working with those who may be dealing with mental illness or addictions. You can earn from $35/hour to $100/hour, depending on the level of service required. One of the hallmarks of Rabow’s program is its emphasis on a 12-week hands-on practicum. Combined with intensive training, these practicums help to fully prepare you to become a professional life coach/mentor.

If you want to make your work count, become an agent of change in the life of a young person. Become a Real Life Coaching life coach!

Skype – The Best Place for Life Coaching Young Adults

The best place for life coaching young adults is the same place they spend most of their time watching videos, playing games, facebooking,and sometimes for a few moments studying. Yes. Their computer screens in their special lair; their bedrooms.

The advantage is that once they start their life coaching sessions, they will have two hours a week where the same place that is the cause of their running away from life becomes the place they go to to be heard by someone who connects with them and gives them a place to do personal reflection, free of judgment.

That is what Skype sessions have done for Ken Rabow with his clients all over North America for the past 8 years. Before that, it was done primarily in Ken’s Toronto studio and the difference was so pronounced that now, his Toronto clients prefer to Skype, as does Ken.