Eight reasons why every teenager needs a life coach

Is your teenager finding times tough, overwhelmed with too much choice or struggling with everyday challenges and motivation? Here’s how a life coach can help.

It might not literally happen overnight but it sure feels like it!  That sweet, enthusiastic, up for anything, cute child turns into a sullen, zombie-like creature who grunts three times a day and only leaves their bedroom to raid the fridge.

Then along comes the daily battle over homework and household chores, the upset of regular friendship dramas and let’s not even discuss the hormones.

But let’s give them a break! After all, we still remember those years with mixed memories. There are the regrets about opportunities not taken and also regrets about certain choices we did make. I’ve lost count of the articles I’ve seen where we’re asked “What would you tell your 17 year old self knowing what you know now?”.

The teenage years are supposed to be a time of adventure, experimentation, fun, excitement, failures (lots of them), exploring friendships and finding independence before hitting the world of work, university or travel. The reality is often something very different.

Self-doubt, fear of failure, overwhelm, lack of confidence, rebellion, poor time-management, anxiety and loneliness can all kick in big time. Social media and continuously comparing ourselves against others further exacerbates these feelings every day.

Eight reasons why coaching helps teenagers

So why should your teenager work with a life coach? Here are eight areas of their life which coaching can improve and, as a result, make life more enjoyable and less stressful for everyone.

1) Self-motivation

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your teenager did what they needed to do, when they needed to do it? Yes, it would make our parenting less stressful, but more importantly, this is an important life skill to learn for those adult years too.

A coach can help your teen develop strategies to fire up their motivation and also deal with barriers such as perfectionism, procrastination and fear of failure which stop even the most self-motivated people from reaching their potential. The teenage years are too good to waste!

2) Overwhelm 

Teenagers have so much choice now and information overload comes from all directions. This all adds to overwhelm and is one of the biggest challenges that they face today. And when we’re overwhelmed, we can become anxious, lonely and even physically ill.

Overwhelm may also prevent us from performing daily tasks. A coach can help teens to recognise the signs of overwhelm, demonstrate how it’s a normal reaction and discuss how to deal with overwhelm in a positive and productive manner.

3) Goal-setting

We all need goals and the teenage years have many milestones and key decisions that need to be met. GCSE options in year 9, exams in years 11 and 13, college choices, job applications, CV writing, university research and travel possibilities are just a few of the big areas that need considering.

A life coach can help teenagers break these topics down into manageable chunks, assist with decision-making and guide the teen to design their own achievable action plan.

Teenagers are easily distracted, prefer to live in the day and only look short term, so having goals can be empowering, really help with focus and move the teen towards reaching their potential.

4) Different perspective

Teenagers are under pressure from parents and teachers to perform in most areas of their daily lives and family life can sometimes be so busy, parents don’t have the time (or knowledge) to guide their teen through difficult issues.

Coaching provides a safe space for teens to discuss their challenges and fears, without conflict or being judged. How often do teens have the undivided attention of an adult who is listening with the sole aim of helping them? For many teens, it is the first time they have addressed these thoughts or said them out loud.

Quite often, sharing thoughts and experiences with someone neutral, prompts the teen to talk more openly at home. As a result, everyone is happier!

5) Communication skills

Teenagers are not known for communicating their emotions and expressing themselves in a healthy and constructive manner. This is a time when relationships at home, and with friends, can breakdown easily.

Teens can also become frustrated at their inability to express themselves or be heard. Coaching can give your teen the tools they need to understand what they want to say and how best to communicate it in a productive way for all parties involved.

6) Accountability

Teenagers learn the importance of responsibility and taking ownership of their problems very quickly. Parents are not by their side to fight the battles for them and blaming others is not an option any more.

Coaching is all about holding people accountable! During each session, a life coach will set goals with your teen and discuss why the goals previously set were or were not achieved.

Explanations are discussed, lessons learnt and worked on and excuses are never supported. Once again, integrity, accountability and responsibility are all great assets to develop and hold moving into adult life.  

7) Confidence and self-esteem

For numerous reasons, confidence is particularly fragile during the teenage years. Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can seriously hamper a teen’s emotional development, reduce the opportunities they volunteer for and restrict their involvement in social, educational, sporting and cultural experiences.

A life coach works with teens to highlight their strengths and unique qualities, teaches them how to develop their confidence in a variety of scenarios within school and friendship groups, builds up a healthy self-image and learn how to set boundaries. 

8) Form good habits

The independence gained through the teenage years can lead to bad habits and behaviours forming. Think of the trips to the sweet shop after school, late night distractions with social media, poor time management, energy drinks, smoking and drug use.

Coaching can explore these behaviours/bad habits, the reasons behind self-sabotage and challenge the teen’s thinking and motivation. A life coach can help educate, set and implement positive habits such as healthy eating, physical exercise, personal style and time management.

If these positive habits can be formed during the confusing teenage years then it creates a great foundation for their adult lives.

Be positive, non-judgemental and have the tissues and praise ready

It’s hard to stand on the sidelines and watch your teenager fail their exams, not get that job they were desperate for or have to pick up the pieces after the latest relationship/friendship has broken down but remember they have to learn how to navigate these challenging times themselves and this will only benefit them in the long run.

The best we can do for them is to be there when they do want to talk, be a supportive role model and steer them in the right direction. They’ll appreciate, and thank us for it, in the future. Good luck and see you on the other side!

Would your teenager benefit from working with a life coach? Would you like your teen to start 2021 with focus and motivation? You can take advantage of a 50% special offer to TLC readers on the “Build your teenage confidence in 6 weeks” online course here. Use the code tlcteenxmas at checkout .

Caroline Would is a RAF veteran and founder of AD ASTRA Coaching Mentoring Training, which “unlocks the confidence, happiness and potential of young people”.

She provides confidence-building 1:1 programmes, workshops and online training courses for schools and organisations in the UK and across South East Asia and her clients include Hollywood actors, TV presenters, senior corporate leaders, artists, graduates, stressed-out parents and young people aged 8 – 18.

Caroline also runs a free mentoring and confidence-building programme for year 11 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, funded by local businesses and organisations.

Photo by Jake Oates