THE BLOG
06/11/2013 04:48 pm ET | Updated Aug 11, 2013

The Ultimate Team for a Teen

Individuals of all ages have an innate need to expand and grow. Teens have a super dose of growth energy. Accessing the inner drive to direct that energy increases their capacity to manifest remarkable things when assisted by a supportive team. Conversely, when external pressures suppress the inner drive the teen can feel restless, angry and hopeless. Because young people are dependent on the adults around them, building a well-tailored support team will increase a child's triumph through the life transformational stage of the teen years.

We may believe that parents, teachers, neighbors and extended family members are sufficient adults to support a youth; yet adding an objective adult mentor can optimize success. A youth pastor, scout leader or athletic coach can support a youth step from total dependency on family towards having confidence in his/her self to relate to the larger world. Additionally, while many of us believe that life coaches are only for business leaders to reach higher goals, they can also help young people boost their ability to make greater accomplishments. Claudia Bayr-Nobel, International Coach Federation (ICF) NY Chapter Director from 2005-07, explains, "Coaching educates us to relate our goals back to our core values, our authentic strengths and talents, our purpose and mission in life." When a child reaches achievements in areas of their own interests, beyond expectations from school and society, usually all areas of their life improve. Inner motivation creates a stability according to Bayr-Nobel, "We begin living life more consciously, creating our vision from the inside out." Proven approaches centered on facilitating access to inner motivation bring success to teens as well as to adults.

Success is another expression of a psychological term called mastery. At the core of a person's health are their self-respect, self-identity and self-esteem, which correlate to his feeling of mastery, the ability to possess competency in one or more areas. Toddlers and teens seem most frustrated with the challenges of mastery as their awareness of new possibilities expands drastically. After Chrissy Carew, ICF Master Certified Coach, had coached hundreds of executives, managers, sales professionals, professional athletes, and coaches, she expanded her skills to support youth. Carew explains, "Mastery is a moving target." All through life we put new standards into place for ourselves so that we can grow in one area or the other. Children's eyes open dramatically in the toddler and teen years giving them an overwhelming feeling of wanting to master so much at once.

Comparative to the CEO that has vast responsibilities to organize and manage, the emerging child or young adult is challenged to the maximum of his capacity. Children can experience high stress when the gap between challenges and capabilities is too great. Thus parents can see temper tantrums in toddlers and teens. While parents, teachers and other close adults can help the child through some of the trials, their personal involvement in the daily life of the child may hinder optimal support. A coach can remain objective and create an emotionally neutral environment to help the youth access his or her inner vision. "Coaching helps people build a much broader perspective so they get to understand where someone else is coming from." Carew explains. Exposure to perspectives outside of the family or societal cultures strengthens their truthful core values and awakens their inner motivation. While adults are well meaning with their expectations, a child's desire to please a loved one can both drown out the child's personal passion and create guilt for falling short of expectations. The coach facilitates the individual's interior unique qualities to emerge without the extra stress of the emotionally charged familial relationship. Surprising abilities and wisdoms can come from facilitating innate interests to emerge in a neutral environment.

A child's curiosity can be stimulated in unique ways with coaching support. Anya Mann, editor of Life Coaching Magazine, sees that children have the capacity to tune in to different perspectives easily, and then make shifts. "When you can shift something from the inside to outside, then you are manifesting," Mann elaborates, "Coaching is the business of human development." A young person needs collaborative support to fashion him/her self into the person he/she wants to be, as we all need. Along the way of creating self, is a path of minor and major accomplishments coming from identifying goals, strategizing and investing. Each achievement produces joy and builds self-esteem. With a good self-identity, a child has the courage to explore and expand.

The inhibitor to the confident expanding youth may be societal attitudes that many adults share. Unfortunately, teens are often seen as lazy, argumentative and ill behaved. A coach is trained to keep an objective perspective to a person's behavior and access inner values. A coach can reflect core positive qualities back to a teens similar to a procrastinate, resistant and rebellious adult. " I believe that we are not fundamentally lazy," Bayer-Nobel clarifies, "however, unmet needs hold us back from putting our dreams into actions." Parents, teachers and family members are limited by their position to keep the ultimate objective reflective role in a child's life.

The Ultimate Teen's Team:

Parents are the most important persons in a child's life and are required to shift into new roles with each developmental stage for life. Your teen wants to learn more and more from experience as they grow. Give them room to take responsibility and make mistakes while you stand close by to help mop up messes and dry some tears.

Teachers are responsible to educate a child into society's standards. Yet, many teachers are invested in drawing forth the child's unique skills. The school's and state's regulations limit the teacher's ability to tailor their instruction to your child's needs.

Extended family members are excellent "bonus parents" who can take a step back into a slightly more objective perspective, yet remain a loyal ally.

Mentors such as youth leaders, pastors or extra curricular instructors help the child take a step further into the larger world through a specific interest. A lot of general life lessons are learned via mastering a skill such as a sport, talent or surviving in nature.

Professionals such as life coaches, counselors or life transitional facilitators are trained to provide a neutral ground for the youth to explore all aspects of themselves including those that may feel unacceptable to anyone else in their lives. Freedom to express, self observe, and then sort his realizations into goals empowers a youth to create success and prosperity. (Private tutors, therapists and medical professionals are also in this category.)