Family and School Stress © Martyn Carruthers
We help people manage parent-teen relationships,
including school grades and college anxieties.
We help young adults untangle their lives.
Teenagers are no longer children … nor yet independent adults. They may be traveling a rocky road to adulthood – with the added burdens of family problems such as conflicts, immature parents or divorce. We coach people to deal with these sensitive, complicated years and to minimize the risks that can hurt young adults.
Many symptoms of mental, emotional and relationship problems are latent until puberty. Some children begin to show these symptoms during adolescence – especially during and following any family crisis (which can range from moving home to the death of a parent, although parental conflicts or separation may be the most common).
Then, latent emotional symptoms and relationship challenges become increasingly obvious. Symptoms appear as the child becomes adult. Many children feel motivated to explore partnership and sexuality – but if they suffered significant relationship stress, they may remain emotionally immature or become dissociated and withdrawn.
|Emotional Maturity||Emotional Immaturity|
|Love||Love is sharing. Fosters a sense of security which allows vulnerability, honesty and strength. Can express and accept love.||Love is need. Demands affection but avoids showing weakness except as a ploy. Has difficulty sharing and accepting love.|
|Emotions||Emotions provide motivation. When frustrated, they define goals and seek solutions.||Often jealous and moody. Cannot handle frustration or criticism. May have temper tantrums and fear any change.|
|Reality||Confronts and analyzes problems promptly. Seeks many solutions and chooses the best. Accepts responsibility.||Avoids and denies money and relationship problems which require integrity. Seeks people to accuse and blame.|
|Give & Take||Increases the quality of life of loved people. Accepts appropriate help with gratitude.||May be willing to give, but not take; or willing to take, but not give.|
|Feedback||Accepts responsibility and learns from feedback. Looks for opportunities to grow, to love and to share. Moves on.||Does not learn from experience. Pleasant or unpleasant experiences are called luck or fate. Little personal responsibility.|
|Stress||Relaxed and confident in their ability to solve problems and achieve their goals.||Avoids reality. Pessimistic & angry. Attacks when frustrated. Often anxious.|
|Relating||Independent, team-worker or manager as required. Cooperative. Experiences empathy, and compassion. A good friend, colleague, partner and parent.||Dependent, easily influenced and impulsive. Avoids responsibility for actions or deficiencies. Sensitive to criticism, but often insensitive to others’ feelings.|
Maturity is not a high school graduation gift – not is it taught in university. Maturity is a benefit of modeling mature behavior. Symptoms of immaturity are unlikely to go away. All too often, immaturity is stabilized in dysfunctional adult relationships.
Coaching Young Adults
If young adults want to mature – some useful points are:
- Learn from mistakes
- Develop some overall future plan
- Be reliable and finish tasks on time
- Practice self-control and end childish behaviors
- Make the best of necessary or inevitable changes
- Assess challenges – avoid quitting on good decisions
- Take responsibility for your laundry, commitments and bills
- If in trouble – find helpful adults who can advise constructive steps
When adults prefer to remain immature – we often ask what type of futures they are likely to create if they continue their behavior.
Solutions for Immaturity
There are windows of opportunity to detect and remedy these problems. However, few parents, teachers or therapists can recognize and change systemic relationship and emotional problems. Instead, these teenagers are more likely to be labeled problem kids, learning disabled or juvenile delinquents.
Who has time for extended psychological or psychiatric testing? We offer a faster diagnostic system. Our systemic diagnosis can predict which children are more likely to show symptoms of mental illnesses later in life, using information gained during interviews with the parents.
A simple-sounding solution is for those teenagers to spend time with emotionally mature teenagers and young adults, to observe how they behave and how they handle difficult situations. But such teenagers often feel more motivated to find and spend time with other immature or damaged people.
Coaching & Counseling Teenagers
‘We may not be able to choose the situation in which we find ourselves,
but we can always, always, choose how we will respond‘. Viktor Frankl
Coaching can be great for teenagers, especially if parents are involved. As coaching is usually requested by a parent; a coach, teen and parent can probably find ways to work together that work for everyone.
Some common teen problems are related to chaotic family backgrounds, covert emotional incest (e.g. mother-bonded boys and father-bonded girls) or school stress. This can show up in teenager’s lives as inappropriate emotions and problematic behaviors, especially in their relationships.
Common Teenage Issues
Coaching can help teenagers understand rewards and consequences. If a person can understand that completing a task has benefits, we can start coaching. Children who cannot verbalize their problems often need quality role models for social skills.
Parents can coach young children, especially if supported by a competent family coach. For students age 12 and over, an outsider may be a better coach. It is not easy to be a parent and to coach a teenager.
Often trust is a very sensitive area. Discuss this at the initial meeting. Earn trust – don’t demand it! Gain a clear understanding of what information is confidential and what information can be shared and with whom. Regular meetings with parents and teens together can be very beneficial.
Coaching teens is often most successful when parents and/or teachers are also involved. A coach can works with a “team” to provide effective online help. Also, many schools offer programs for struggling teens. Wilderness therapy programs, emotional growth classes, residential treatment centers, mentoring programs, and character-building boarding schools are examples.
Contact us to manage emotional problems and resistance to success