How Group Coaching Works for Parents of Teens with Anxiety and Depression

How Group Coaching Works for Parents of Teens with Anxiety and Depression

How is group coaching beneficial to me?

Parenting teens is hard at the best of times. And part of the hard is the uncertainty. Parents know teenagers are still growing their brains and developing that crucial decision making part that lets them consider their choices and make well thought out decisions instead of impulsive calls that are instigated by outside influences. Those choices that have them in wheelie bins racing down steep hills at 3am because it seemed like a good idea … yes, parenting teenagers is hard work.

And for lots of us, parenting teenagers arrives as we’re back at work. Our teens don’t physically need us to be so available anymore and often we’re aware of the rising costs of living and the need to save for our retirement … full time work and a career become more important to us. We figure we’ve done the hard work when they were little and they can manage by themselves now. Parenting changes a bit. The problems are more complex and yet so many things are easier as our teenagers are now able to cope with sharing the responsibilities of day to day life and are happy to operate as more autonomous and independent beings. 

Of course we still love and care for our kids. It’s just a bit different now they’re teens. Their bodies are different for sure. And that’s just the beginning of a long list of changes they go through as they move from child to young adult. 

When You Can’t ‘Fix’ Problems For Them

And parenting, that seems to be needing a few tweaks. The biggest change was getting my head around the idea that my teenagers no longer needed to hear my answers. They were in the process of becoming their own people and I could no longer ‘fix’ things for them. My role had subtly shifted and I had to find a new approach. This was the time when I stopped being the parent who had all the answers to being the parent who helped them find their own answers. I was no longer the boss. I was now the guide. 

Interestingly, my new role was more complex and far more important. What I did and said mattered to my teenagers. Yes, I was still in charge of the boundaries. However, I could no longer fix the problems for my teenagers. Instead I was required to teach them how to fix them themselves. At times the responsibility felt overwhelming. How were other parents coping? How were their kids coping? Was I doing my best? What else could I do better? Like every good parent I read books, I attended talks at our local school and I juggled my time between parenting, work and self care as I tried to figure out answers. 

The Support of Other Parents

And suddenly I had time to work it out. Depression and anxiety changed my eldest daughter. And they changed the way I parented her. I needed strategies that worked. And I needed them fast. I found those easily enough. What I couldn’t find though, and this would have been enormously helpful, were other parents who were going through the same battles as me. Other parents who were wondering if what they were doing was the right thing, and who also felt alone, isolated and frightened for their teenager. Other parents who could empathise and would treat my worries with compassion. Instead of telling me, “She’ll be okay” or “She just needs to cheer up.” 

When my children were born we had access to antenatal groups and they were fabulous. They helped enormously simply because all us new parents were in the same place in our parenting journey, and none of us had a clue. We laughed together and cried together as we swapped tips and shared our insights and learning. 

Benefits of Group Coaching

And that’s what you get when you become part of a group coaching course. You get information from someone who’s been there and understands. And you get to learn with other parents who are just as overwhelmed as you. Who are also working with their teenagers to get them through this time in their lives that feels so enormously overwhelming. Group coaching helps. It gives you time to share your worries and your fears in a confidential and sharing space. It teaches you the parenting skills you need AND you get to practice with each other so you are confident having those crucial conversations with your teens. 

Parenting is a chameleon. The times we’re parenting in have changed enormously from our own teenage years yet the ability to guide our teens into young adulthood is not only more difficult, it is also more important. Learning these crucial parenting skills with other parents cheering us on and encouraging us is simply an easier and practical way to do this. 

 

Bit by Bit

 

Joining Bit-by-Bit will give you the chance to upskill your parenting tool kit, be supported AND fast track your teen’s learning.

 

Sign up for First Steps

It's free!

A series of four completely free lessons that cover:

  • Panic Attacks:  How to help if your teen is having panic attacks
  • Safety at home:  Steps to take to keep your teen safe in their own home if they are suicidal
  • Self harm:  What to do if you find out your teen has been self harming
  • Building bridges:  Keeping your teen in contact with the rest of the world

The lessons are delivered daily with a free workbook



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