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1. Do teens need a coach? 

Not every teen needs a coach. Some teens have personality traits that allow them to be assertive and take action. Others have acquired these skills through different experiences. Some teens have these traits but don’t know how to tap into them or see their potential. Having said that, teens respond differently to someone who is not part of the family circle. This philosophy falls under the “it takes a village” notion of thinking and supporting youth. We are meant to connect and belong to a wider circle. Unlike our lifestyles dictate today, we are not meant to grow in isolation. Needing a coach is not a reflection on any shortcomings at home or school. Hiring a coach for a teen is equivalent to adults seeking advice and mentorship from someone who has some expertise and can become a catalyst in their success. As adults seek support from someone when they are seeking to change careers, before entering a new business venture, or planning for going back to school, the same goes for teens. There is little to no focus on transitioning for students during the most fundamental years of their lives. The majority of their relationships are other teens and most teens don’t necessarily seek mentorship from their teachers. Although some teens might appear as they are surviving, they might not be thriving. 

2. How long before my teen will see results? 

As I mentioned on my site, my method will not fix your teen because your teen isn’t broken. Every teen is different; therefore, every coaching approach is different. I evaluate the parents’ needs, I then evaluate the teens’ needs and integrate ways that will serve for a healthy approach to their goals. Remember, coaching is not therapy nor counselling. It’s also not a behavioral correction system. I have a set program that includes 12 sessions over the course of 6, 4, 3, 2, or 1 month, depending on the vision, needs, and teens’ schedules. This 12-session program allows time for building trust, reflection, and the skills that lead to action. Every teen engages on a different level and will get out what they put into the sessions. Your role, as a parent and partner, is imperative. I support this journey with my home coaching reflections after each session.

3. What if I don’t want to commit my teen to 12 sessions?

You can begin with 1 session and go from there. Sometimes, the coach does not resonate with the teen, and that is a legitimate reason to seek a different coach or different inspiration and support. It is important to acknowledge that teens also need to feel like they are a good match with their coach. It might take 1 or 2 sessions to discover that, or that might be all they need to get them thinking and on the right path of their journey. 

4. How is coaching different from therapy or counselling and how do I know what is best for my teen?

Therapy investigates and analyzes past history, trauma, cognitive therapy and even further, diagnosis of mental and cognitive disorders. Coaching does none of that. Coaching focuses on the present and the future. It works alongside the client in scaffolding positive and healthy ways of thinking and exploring opportunities that will create a sense of empowerment and growth. Counselling, on the other hand, wraps around the family system, school system, and in some cases, focuses on ADHD, executive functioning, addictions, and trauma. Coaching does not include the family system, although it communicates how they can support this exciting journey with their teens. As a parent or guardian, you know what is best for your teen. The school system is highly Intune with support networks that would serve teens and families needing special attention.  

5. How do I know if my teen would benefit from a teen coach?

Your teen does not need therapy or counselling, if your teen does not need support from student services or support networks at school, is not displaying any issues at school, has no addictions, and yet, you feel like they are not always reaching their full potential, then your teen could benefit by a teen coach. Most teens will ‘coast’ or ‘fly under the radar’ or be hesitant to advocate for their needs or get involved in activities because something is holding them back. A teen coach can assist in this process. 

6. How do I decide on a teen coach? 

Every teen is different and every coach is different. The initial meeting is a good way to discover if this is a good match. It is a complimentary session and gives you an idea of how the program will work and if this is a good fit. Not all teen coaches have an educational background, like myself, therefore they might have a different approach to coaching. My approach is a culmination of my educational background, my teaching experience, and personal and professional development.

7. Can I place my teen in a group session or two siblings in the same group or is one on one better?

This depends on the situation. I do offer group leadership sessions and they follow a very different approach. They focus on communication skills, reflection, relationship-networking skills, and observation skills. Group sessions work best for teens who are willing to challenge themselves on how they approach new situations, transitioning from one grade to another, problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership opportunities. One on one sessions work best for teens who need to build on personal skills and need more time with one on one support. Ultimately, you know your teen the best. I advise parents and guardians to give both a try.

8. Do I need to disclose any learning disabilities or mental health illness that my teen may have before the sessions?

It is important to be as transparent as possible. Being aware that coaching is different from therapy or counselling, and understanding that coaching will not serve in the domain of overcoming a learning disability, I work with the teen’s capacity at the present moment. It requires a teen who is willing to engage in exploring the facets of their abilities. I have extensive experience in having taught over 4000 teens; I have an acute awareness of their abilities and possibilities. The conversations between teen and coach are confidential and I will communicate to the family ways they can support the teen in their goals or any serious concerns. Teens and parents are encouraged to be open with their coach. This is a partnership all three parties embark on together. 

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