Young Adult (Teenager) Support

As a father of five (5), I understand that living with teenagers can be one of the most exciting periods in a parent’s life. It is exciting to watch our children grow into young adults with different/separate views, hopes and ambitions from ours. I personally find it fascinating and interesting when I meet their friends, observe and get challenged by their ideas and thought process. Their vitality and energy is infectious and many parents enjoy the stimulation of living with teenagers. We sometimes (although with a level of difficultly), accept the moods swings and angry outbursts as part of the whole mixed ‘growing up’ package and more often than not, forget that we have lived through it ourselves.

Balancing the need to be able to support our children constructively and imaginatively, without being sucked into their problems is a challenge. However, for many parents it’s a much rougher ride when our young adults make us feel that we’ve ‘got it all wrong’, and don’t understand…….it can be hurtful and undermining. The most conscientious of parents can lose sight of the good feelings they once had about themselves as parents as some parents get so frightened and overwhelmed by the difficulties of adolescence that they miss out on the good times.

Does your young adult seem completely unmotivated? For parents of young adults, the refrains of, “Whatever,” and “I don’t care,” can become all too familiar. Some of the issues we as parents face include:

  • Lack of direction and self-positioning
  • Confusion – what do I want to do with my life?; what next steps should I take?
  • Lack of motivation
  • Isolation
  • Reliance on the virtual world ‘Video gaming etc’
  • Falling behind at school
  • Learning challenges
  • Lack of concentration and procrastination
  • Substance abuse
  • Anger issues
  • Sloth and self-entitlement
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullying

Although good parenting is central and key to a young adult feeling connected and safe, let’s not make this just about the parents! This is certainly a mistake I have made as a parent! While today’s teenagers and young adults are more scheduled and pressured than ever, they are also coming of age in a world where setting aside time to teach and foster healthy human connections, creativity and self-knowledge is low on the priority list.

I sometimes wish someone had sat me down and helped me through challenging teenage times. Seeking answers to questions such as:

  • ‘What do I want to do with my life?’
  • How do I stand out or even just position myself?
  • How do I navigate through the education system to understand what works for me
  • How do I fit in?

It’s not about giving them the answers but more about helping them discover the answers.   Coaching is not meant to be an alternative to parenting; Young adults are developmentally wired to pull away from their parents and it is healthy for them to do so. Where, then, can they go to learn strategies that work for them if they are not talking to their parents? Finding themselves when it’s time to make the transition from secondary school; introduction into the work environment, starting and maintaining relationships – these are all milestones and activities to juggle without a real understanding of how to self-regulate, plan or problem-solve. Coaching provides an opportunity to rebuild this resilience — or grow it from scratch if needed.

Whether a teen / young adult is gifted, an underachiever or someone who is learning challenged, filled with anxiety or anger or just simply trying to find their way, we can help. If they lack motivation, or are simply stuck in a pattern that does not lead to success, we can help. Then there is the question of the young adult who does well at school but are in danger of ending up in a job that does not match their potential upon leaving school or graduating from University.

It is important to empower young adults to:

  1. Find their personal power,
  2. gain the confidence to grow on a day-to-day basis,
  3. learn to achieve their greatest successes by thinking outside of the box and
  4. reduce anxiety that can sometimes lead to addiction in teenagers and/or depression in young adults.

Many teenagers or young adults are suffering from teen depression and/or teen anxiety, and these challenges can lead to depression and anxiety into young adulthood.

It is important to empower our young people to create small daily successes in their lives that encourage them to embrace success from a new perspective. This is all done through a simple daily schedule system that builds on success that may help decrease depression, anxiety and addiction.

What should we as parents do when our teenager/ young adult lacks motivation?

There has to be something within your teenagers and young adults that pushes them past the inconveniences, the shortcomings, and the hiccups that will, without question, arise when they undertake something that’s challenging. So it’s important for them to understand why they want to do something, not just that they have to do it.

If you’re the parent of a teen/ young adult, you know how much they like to debate and question things. Sometimes that’s a pain, but I think it’s actually okay to a point. Here’s something I’ve come to understand from personal experience as a teen: ‘When they finally understand how something benefits them, they will do it long term’. If the reason your teenager/ young adult does something is only because it’s important to you, that is short term motivation and will end. The reason also needs to be important to your teenager/ young adult, not just important to you. If your teenager is doing well at school because they want to make you happy, eventually that’s probably going to stop. They need to have a personal reason ‘WHY’.

It’s very unlikely that you have a teenager that is 100% lazy and unmotivated. What’s more likely is that in a few areas that drive you crazy as a parent, they are lazy and unmotivated. This was true for me. As a teenager, in certain periods of my life, I wasn’t focused on my academics, but I was 100% committed to martial arts and would practice for hours. Clearly I had the ability to be disciplined and to work hard at something – so what I would say is, find an area where your teenager/ young adult is motivated: Where are they committed? Have a conversation with them about that.

It’s okay for your teenager to say, “I hate doing certain things, or I’m not good at this.” Those are fine things to express. And you don’t need to say, “No you don’t.” We all have subjects that we gravitate towards a little more. That’s not what needs to be focus on. What you do need to focus on is “I understand that you don’t like it, but how can you succeed at this?” Again, to them, it’s a valid feeling when they say, “I’m not good at this. This is hard. I hate it.” In my opinion, a good response is, “I have no problem with you hating it, but I do have a problem with you quitting.”

There’s a lot of pressure on a teenager, and many of them get anxious or feel overwhelmed with everything they have to do. To a certain degree, teenagers are not allowed to be teenagers these days. Sometimes they really are overscheduled hence it’s pretty realistic that they feel overwhelmed in some cases. It is important to help teenagers make positive goals and then make sure the things that they are saying yes or no to match up with that.

We are in an age of mass media, generated by marketing, advertising, and technology which means that many teenagers are raised with excessive electronics and lack of community. It’s important that we have a lot of compassion for the fast-paced environment that many of our teenagers/ young adults are growing up in, that is their generation afterall!

This means being very forgiving when our young adults feel that they want to advance and develop quicker than we think is appropriate.

At Lloyds Counselling service we provide teenage/young adult life coaching which provides an independent way for them to get in touch with what they are looking for such as:

  • what do I want?
  • how do I focus on getting things done
  • do I want to go to university?
  • what university should I go to?
  • interviews for jobs
  • CV’s

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential”. Bruce Lee

 

 

Leave a Comment on Young Adult (Teenager) Support

Why Seek Marriage Counselling

When divorce does happen, it results in difficulties for adults as well as children. For adults, divorce/separation can be one of life’s most stressful life events. The decision to divorce /separate often is met with ambivalence and uncertainty about the future. If children are involved, they may experience negative effects such as denial, feelings of abandonment, anger, blame, guilt, preoccupation with reconciliation, and acting out.

While divorce/separation may be necessary and the healthiest choice for some, others may wish to try to salvage whatever is left of the union. When couples encounter problems or issues, they may wonder when it is appropriate to seek marriage counselling. Here are seven good reasons.

  1. Communication has become negative. Once communication has deteriorated, often it is hard to get it going back in the right direction. Negative communication can include anything that leaves one partner feeling depressed, insecure, disregarded, or wanting to withdraw from the conversation. This can also include the tone of the conversation. It is important to remember that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.Negative communication can also include any communication that not only leads to hurt feelings, but emotional or physical abuse, as well as nonverbal communication.
  1. When one or both partners consider having an affair, or one partner has had an affair. Recovering from an affair is not impossible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward. There is no magic formula for recovering from an affair. But if both individuals are committed to the therapy process and are being honest, the marriage may be salvaged. At the very least, it may be determined that it is healthier for both individuals to move on.
  1. When the couple seems to be “just occupying the same space.” When couples become more like roommates than a married couple, this may indicate a need for counseling. This does not mean if the couple isn’t doing everything together they are in trouble. If there is a lack of communication, conversation and intimacy or any other elements the couple feels are important and they feel they just “co-exist,” this may be an indication that a skilled clinician can help sort out what is missing and how to get it back.
  1. When the partners do not know how to resolve their differences. Many times you hear couples say, “We know what’s wrong, but we just don’t know how to fix it.”. This is a perfect time to get a third party involved. If a couple is stuck,
  1. When one partner begins to act out on negative feelings. I believe what we feel on the inside shows on the outside. Even if we are able to mask these feelings for a while, they are bound to surface. Negative feelings such as resentment or disappointment can turn into hurtful, sometimes harmful behaviors. A skilled counselor can help the couple sort out negative feelings and find better ways to express them.
  1. When the only resolution appears to be separation. When a couple disagrees or argues, a break often is very helpful. However, when a timeout turns into an overnight stay away from home or eventually leads to a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for counseling. Spending time away from home does not usually resolve the situation. Instead, it reinforces the thought that time away is helpful, often leading to more absences. When the absent partner returns, the problem is still there, but often avoided because time has passed.
  1. When a couple is staying together for the sake of the children. If a couple feels it is wise to stay together for the sake of the children, it may help to involve an objective third party. Often couples believe that they are doing the right thing when staying together actually is detrimental to the children. On the contrary, if the couple is able to resolve issue and move toward a positive, healthy relationship, this may be the best decision for all involved.

I don’t think that children should never be the deciding factor when couples are determining whether to stay together. Children are generally very intuitive and intelligent. No matter how couples may think they are able to fake their happiness, most children are able to tell.

All marriages are not salvageable. In the process of marriage counseling, some couples may discover it is healthier for them to be apart. However, for those relationships that can be salvaged, and for those couples willing to commit to the process, marriage counseling may be able to remind them why they fell in love and keep them that way.

Working with an effective counselling professional can often be If you would like to book an appointment, please email me at: davidlloydlcs@gmail.com to arrange a confidential chat.

Leave a Comment on Why Seek Marriage Counselling

Looking after your employees mental wellbeing adds real value

Frequently clients feel undervalued or unappreciated by their employer. It’s a worrying trend and one that has become worse during the current economic climate. It feels like we’re all trying to do more, with less staff and no pay rise in sight. This means that come Friday, the workforce is exhausted, frustrated and resentful.

Financial remuneration continues to be a prime motivator for workers but given the widely reported pay freezes, redundancies and lack of growth, this is not a realistic solution. In reality, we are living in a time of financial austerity, cost-cutting and budget-freezing.

People are worried about losing their jobs, so they come into work in an ‘underperforming’ state, i.e. suffering stress, anxiety, dealing with a physical injury, coping with personal problems or going through a life crisis issue such as loss or bereavement.

This is a worrying trend given that employees should be viewed and treated as an organisation’s greatest asset. They should be supported and encouraged to enable them to flourish and be at their most productive. This is not only best for them but also best for a company’s bottom line. So where are employers going wrong and how can we change this?

There is a potential solution and a low-cost, low-risk one at that. It centres on looking after the mental wellbeing of employees and putting supportive processes in place for those who need them. Looking after your staff in this way will enable them to engage more at work, take less time off and perform better.

A commitment to wellbeing needs to be established, demonstrated and championed at the top of the organisation. It can be delivered through three broad strands:

Policy: Policies need to demonstrate a ‘duty of care’ to all staff, to embrace opportunities within employment legislation to offer leverage for staff, to provide, where reasonable, flexible and adaptable working conditions;

 

As human beings, we grow and develop, learning from life experiences along the way, some positive, some less so. But, on top of the current economic struggle, we’re all going to face certain difficult life issues now and again. With one in four people likely to experience a mental health issue in their lives, there needs to be support and understanding for those of us who will. The GP is responsible for our primary care but organisations have a duty of care to employees too. At any given time, there will be employees trying to cope with bereavement, or family issues, stress, depression and anxiety, relationship problems and a host of life issues that can affect anyone.

Without adequate support, these people (you and me) might find themselves distracted at work, more irritable, unable to concentrate as they normally would and thereby edging closer to the unproductive presenteeism precipice.

Creating a cohesive wellbeing strategy allows organisations to put in place a series of early interventions that aim to resolve issues before they become problems.  Whatever option is offered to staff, you’ll find this not only provides a release-valve for employees but the positive wellbeing message the initiative communicates will help make all employees feel valued and appreciated.

Working with an effective counselling professional to put in place a counselling support strategy can reduce stress at work and help provide a stronger working environment. If you would like to book an appointment, please email me at: davidlloydlcs@gmail.com to arrange a confidential chat.

Leave a Comment on Looking after your employees mental wellbeing adds real value