The Making of a Teen Life Coach
Be the Best Parent You Can Be
Susan P. Epstein, LCSW, Teen and Parent Coach
I was beginning to think more like a teen life coach. My teens were 13 and 17 years old. I had always used my own life experience as a training ground for life coaching and therapy. Meanwhile, my teenage children were doing that teenage thing that teenagers do. Avoiding their parents at all costs. It was becoming increasingly difficult to make family time and when we did get together it was usually very stressful.
Life was zooming by way too fast and I was afraid that I was losing my children. I missed the laughter and the teasing. I wondered why the teenage years had to be such a challenge. What could I do to bring us together? After all, I was the resident teen life coach! Surely, I could come up with something! Then, I made a decision. The following is a description of what transpired.
We adopted two kittens, a black one and a white one.
We haven’t turned on the T.V. in weeks
The kittens are our focus and entertainment. They perform gymnastics; extreme stunts, and hurdles for hours and then they sleep for just as long. We find ourselves admiring them, commenting on how cute they sleep with their legs wrapped around each other and their bodies one big snuggle. My husband loves the word “anthropomorphic”. We assign human emotions and intentions to our new babies. “Look, they are kissing!”
The black and white kittens have been with us now for four weeks. We have yet to assign them permanent names. While referring to them these days, they are the “white one and the black one”. My daughter would like the names to go together like, “Yin and Yang” or “Lewis and Clark”. My son likes awesome names like “Black and Cody”. My husband likes unusual and sophisticated names such as “Igby and Jazz”. And me? Well, I’m just going with the obvious, B. C. and W. C.
Just Like the Typical Benefits of Teen Life Coaching!
We have slowed down. Life now holds a joy and laughter that had been lost in a mountain of chores, responsibilities and my longing for connection. My teenage children are hanging out with us. These days, kittens get mixed up in the laundry, in bed making and yes, in scrubbing the toilets. We look upon these babies as a gift which touches our nurturing hearts and bonds us once again as a family. My job as the teen life coach has paved the way for more creative and positive ideas while working with teens and their families.
I don’t know if we’ll ever agree on the naming of our kittens. What I do know is that my teen life coach intervention has launched this household of parents and teens into agreement that we love spending time together. And the added bonus…sometimes there is a secondary gain from making a change. When I say, “It’s time to fold the laundry”, teens and kittens alike are the first ones to show up for the job.
Susan P, Epstein, LCSW, parent coach and family coach, works with parents and families looking for satisfaction, balance and growth. Susan is an expert in the areas of family dynamics, parenting and child development and her unique blend of therapy and coaching combine to make her a powerful catalyst for change.
She practiced psychotherapy for 23 years before becoming a coach, writer and speaker. Susan graduated from University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Susan also completed training with the Coaches Training Institute, an internationally accredited coach training organization.
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