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Understanding your teen: Parenting in a fast-changing world

Navigating an ever-changing world can put strain on both parents and children alike

“You just don’t get it, mom and dad! Life is different now. How can you possibly understand what kids my age are going through?”

Sound familiar?

If you are a parent of a teenager, you have heard these words, along with some more “colourful” language and opinions.

There is an element of truth to this. Kids these days don’t know a life before the internet. They have to contend with cyber bullies that can reach them on every social platform, with Instagram influencers telling them they need products to be beautiful, with pressure to succeed in a world where affordability makes the future feel scary and with big worlds like “climate change” dominating the news.

Yet, the more things change the more they stay the same. We had bullies that followed us around school, the rise of the supermodels and the products they assured we could not live without, acid rain and the “save the rainforest” movement, rising tuition costs…yeah we get it kids, we really do.

Understanding our teens is not the issue. It is parenting them in a world that is changing so fast that we are just as scared and unsettled as our teens.

We have our own influencers showing “perfect” moms and dads as we struggle to remember to put bread in our kids’ sandwiches. We pay the mortgage while wondering if our kids can ever afford to move out. We remember sneaking a joint while today’s kids have to contend with the opioid crisis – that leaves no safe room for experimentation. Kids have their challenges but as parents, so do we. We are scared for our kids and their future.

Thankfully our kids have a myriad of supports. Mental health awareness, GSAs, mentors – in addition to our love and support, teens have many places to turn.

But, what about you?

Never underestimate the strength and resilience it takes to be a parent. It is all-consuming, and exhausting. Rewarding? Of course. We love our kids. But sometimes we need help too.

Consider life coaching.

Life coaching provides fast and practical steps to help you reach your goals and organize your life. It can also help you identify triggers that derail your parenting.

For example, you may want to work on being less reactive to your son’s silences or your daughter’s outbursts. You may need help organizing finances so you can start a college fund. You might want help finding your voice to encourage boundaries and respect in the home. There are many, many ways that life coaching can benefit the parents of teens.

We often think of life coaching as something to do when we feel lost, but it’s just as important for when we feel frustrated, disrespected, overwhelmed, need help with goals, need to get organized or just need an impartial third party to listen and offer support.

If this sounds like you, check out Anita Bergsma, the local life coach that empowers you to take control of your life. Click here to learn more.