Someone recently asked the question: do teenagers these days need a life coach? Interesting question that is actually 3 questions rolled into one. Let’s explore them together.
Teenagers ‘these days‘ As many of you will know, if you use a phrase like ‘when I was your age…‘ it doesn’t matter what you say after that because your teen has already zoned out. They are firmly convinced that most adults have never ever been their age. I explain to them that even their parents were teenagers once – BUT – they weren’t teenagers in 2010. Young people are facing life issues that weren’t heard of when I was their age. Many more of them, for example, are growing up in blended families with one distant parent. Drugs are more available today than back in my time. Pressure to perform at school appears greater too as you almost need a college degree to get any job. There were no life coaches too – we just had parents and family and teachers I guess.
A Life Coach. [I didn’t actually say I was going to do them in order!] I see a major role of a life coach is to enable their customer to achieve the best life they could possibly have – sometimes that involves removing obstacles, sometimes helping to generate possibilities, sometimes to assist in organisation etc. Sometimes I coach young people through issues they have with their parents and family, sometimes helping them decide on their possible careers, sometimes giving them some information on establishing a business, selecting course, even relationships. I don’t think we are surrogate or replacement parents, rather I believe we have a skill set and knowledge that is current and relevant to today’s teens and that we are a great supplement and support to caring parents.
Need? The short answer to the original question would be ‘no’. A life coach isn’t a necessity, an essential, a must-have just like some students don’t have tutors or piano teachers or psychologists. Life can be great without any of these support people – but for some teens their life is greatly enhanced, improved by having those professionals on their team.
Our brains are highly specialised and they are wired to answer the questions we ask. What if the original question was ‘should teenagers these days need a life coach’ or even ‘should teenagers these days have a life coach’? I welcome your thoughts / comments and [if you are looking for a life coach for your teen or for you as a parent of a teen] then I welcome your emails!