Even a healthy and well-adjusted young person will have their fair share mood swings, moments of pushing back, impulsive decisions, and overall lapses in judgement. This is why parenting a young person consistently takes the top spot in The New York Times’ list of “Top 10 Easiest Professions”… yeaaaa right.

Whether the young person is in high-school or college it can sometimes be quite challenging to distinguish between “normal” and “could use some help”. So let’s clear a couple things up first regarding “help”.

Stigma.

Yes, unfortunately “getting help” still carries a substantially heavy stigma with it. For instance, it is very easy to assume that when you seek out professional help that something is broken and needs to be fixed. The young person is not broken, and neither are you. Here are a few other stigmas that may keep you and the young person from benefiting from additional support.

Misconceptions about getting help for a high-school/college age young person:

  • If I get help, I am weak.
  • This means I am crazy.
  • (Typically parents) This is a waste of money.
  • All you do is talk about my feelings.
  • I will get medicated.
  • Other people will think it’s (I’m) weird.

Stigmas have the power to not only prevent a young person from getting more specialized support but in many cases can create pretty harmful negative beliefs about who they are, how they are doing, and what their options are to start feeling better.

From the very beginning of the process, YouTime Coaching implements many strategies to combat some of these misconceptions. Here are a couple:

Trust Trust Trust:

With young people, trust is huge. That is why YouTime Coaching focuses right away on building a safe, secure, and trusting relationship between the young person and their coach. We believe that the young person’s relationship with their coach within the first month will determine much of their success in their work together. The coaches use strategic communication styles, in-between session check-ins, and work hard to create an relaxed judgment free zone.

Breaking the “Parent-Young person” Dynamic:

Sometimes simply being a parent makes it challenging to talk about the “tough things” with your young person. They see you through the “parent filter”, while you see them through the “young person filter”. YouTime’s Coaches are young, genuinely compassionate, and have the natural ability to connect with young people where it may otherwise be challenging for a parent to break through.

Take a look at www.YouTimeCoach.com to learn more about the process of coaching with young person, parents, and families.

 

When to get specialized help for your young person?

With the exception of when the young person asks for it, knowing when to seek out help can be challenging. Having some insight to what your young person’s baseline behaviors are can be helpful in assessing their/your need for some extra support. Here are a few things to keep on your radar but keep in mind that simply because you may see a change in these areas does not not necessarily mean your young person is struggling. It just means, keep communicating with them and finding ways to meaningfully connect, all while keeping your finger on the pulse to see if more evidence points to a “would it help it get some support?” talk.

  1. Their social life.

Questions to think about:

Has their friend group noticeably changed?

Are they spending a lot more time on their own?

Are they now jumping pretty hard into the party scene?

Is the young person having noticeable challenges in balancing their social life with other areas?

  1. Communication.

Questions to think about:

Has the young person’s communication patterns (language used, frequency, depth) drastically changed?

Is the young person “asking for help” but not necessarily coming right out and saying it?

Do you notice a rapid shift in mood when communicating with the young person?

Are you lost on how to communicate with the young person?

Have others communicated their concerns with you? (friends, teachers, bosses, siblings..etc)

  1. Academics.

Questions to think about:

Is there a noticeable drop in grade?

Are you seeing frequent absences or tardiness at school/work?

Have you received concerned communication from teachers?

Is your young person having trouble concentrating/focusing?

*if any young person you’re with has shown open, serious, and/or committed signs of harming themselves or others, please do not hesitate, call 911 and get professional help right away.

Remember, these questions are good starting points to give you a better understanding of what conversations to have with the young person, a professional, or somebody already in their support circle.

At the end of the day, if you still feel like something may be “off” with your kid and need to further figure out a plan of action, reach out to YouTime Coaching at info@youtimecoach.com.

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