Panic, anxiety, lack of confidence and low self-esteem in teenagers is certainly becoming more common and a cause for concern amongst parents and teachers. The education curriculum places greater demands on teachers year by year which means they have less or even no time to focus on all-round individual welfare. Even daily routines at home are busy and demanding with constant use of Mum and Dad’s taxi to get young people from A to B regarding social and after school activities and parents struggling with stressful jobs and an acceptable work life balance.
How can we as parents prevent these essential skills from falling by the wayside? A good starting point could be:
• Getting them to socialise and move away from their screen or Xbox
• Consideration of new hobbies/sports
• Meeting new people whilst developing new interests and skills
• Involvement in peer mentoring/buddy programs
• Parental involvement in their interests
• Showing support
• Making them feel a valued member of the family
• Rewarding achievement (does not have to be financial could be their favourite supper etc)
• Encouraging them to identify all accomplishments no matter how big or small
• Giving them the opportunity to reflect on progress and discuss what they have learnt, good or bad
• Communicating with them and discussing plans for achievements over the coming year
So what about education establishments and what can they do to improve the development of non-academic skills? Some forward thinking schools are now starting to use coaching to build confidence, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem in their students. I work with a school in the Berkshire area that not only offers counselling to the students but offers life coaching to enable students to remove obstacles and achieve their goals/success. Life coaching is a holistic approach to life and looks at all areas from health, wealth, career, relationships, fun, contribution and then takes each area in turn and evaluates the current situation and where they would like to go and then through discussion, a way forward is decided.
The excellent thing about coaching is that the way forward comes from the student rather than a plan of action passed down from an adult. How many young people feel they have no control or say regarding what they do? Using effective questioning and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, the coach can extract information from young people which then forms the foundation for their strategic plan forward to achieving their goal. The use of modern themes for discussion and a non judgmental approach gives a familiar and comfortable environment which young people can appreciate and open up to.
Combining parental support and coaching in the school education system has to be a recipe for success and a route away from anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. If you would like any further details or have any queries regarding group or individual coaching please go to www.simplypositive.co.uk or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org