Helping teens discover the confidence to be themselves!

If you’re anything like me, you love Brene Browne and everything she stands for. Raising a child that is as comfortable in her own skin as Brene is, epitomises the dream of every parent. For your teen to have the courage and confidence to say NO when peers pressure them to engage in sexting, vaping, chroming… For your teen to be courageous and stand up for themselves and others when they see wrong doing… For your teen to unshame themselves by feeling loved enough to share their deepest, darkest secret in order to let it go before it eats them away… To confidently explore their emerging identity as a young adult through the way the speak, move and dress through to the subjects and extracurricular activities they partake in… To have a massive dream and work out how to turn it into reality…

When coaching whether it be teens or adults, I endeavour to instil Brene’s concept of BRAVING:

Boundaries – Adolescence is renowned for peer group pressure. By focusing teens on their values and dreams, we are able to determine what important and what’s not. Once a teen understands that saying ‘yes’ to others, means saying no to themselves, to their dreams, we are able to practice assertive ways of saying no and breaking the people pleasing cycle.

Reliability – includes honouring your word, doing what you say you will do, when you say you will, without endless reminders. Here teens learn that before they say yes to something, they need to consider ‘where’ they can schedule this in. With this is mind we begin to explore Covey’s urgent, important matrix so they don’t become overwhelmed trying to honour their word. (Prioritising!)

Accountability – Owning your mistakes is hard! The teens I work with are celebrated for their mistakes, because mistakes mean they took a risk, they tried something now! Awesome. FAIL stands for First Attempt in Learning! Michael Jordan has missed 9000 shots, lost almost 300 games. He’s failed over and over and that’s why he succeeds. He takes 100% ownership and works out how to tweak his performance, to do slightly better. Progress in 2mm shifts!

Vault – Gossip no more! It destroys relationships, the likelihood of becoming a team captain, a leader, getting a promotion or ever being trusted. We explore the pain and embarrassment caused when someone shares your secret with someone else to truly appreciate the vault. What I share with you in private stays between us, in the vault. If I share what someone else placed in the vault with me, chances are you can’t trust me and visa versa! Not the ideal basis for  your relationship with your mum, your bestie or your boyfriend!

Integrity – When growing up and in life, it’s hard to take steps towards our dreams because doing new things generally causes discomfort initially. It’s not easy to choose what’s right over what’s fun, easy or popular amongst your peers. It’s not easy to say no to the party of the year to stay on track with actions that lead to achieving your goals. In our sessions, my teens can explore their discomfort and fears as well as their stuff ups, the moments that fill them with shame. In doing so they learn of the power of connection that comes from courageously being vulnerable. They also learn resilience, the art of getting back up, again and again and again.

Nonjudgement –  Comparisonitus was hard when I was a teen. It hasn’t got easier with the advent of social media and filters. Teens need to learn that asking for help is the ultimate strength knowing that if they ask for help, they know they won’t be judged for it… That asking for help and vulnerable shares deepen relationships and build the strong bonds needed for their careers and their spouse to be so they don’t end up divorced!!! That expressing ALL emotions is healthy given emotions are neither good nor bad. Admittedly some are lighter and more pleasurable that others but they are merely indicators that something has changed and therefore deserve to be noticed and perhaps acted upon! The courage to express the full range of emotions that arise is VITAL for a mentally healthy passage through adolescence. Suppression leads to substance abuse, risky behaviour, mental health issues, self-harm and suicidal ideations. Teens need a nonjudgmental space where they can discuss ANYTHING. (ThInk back to when you were a teen. I know there wasn’t much I could actually talk to my parents about other than academic stuff.)

Generosity – Finally, when words have been exchanged, that didn’t land well, I encourage my teens to extend a generous interpretation of what they probably meant. What did you make it mean? What else could it have meant? Is it worth bringing up with the person or can we let it go? If it does need to be bought up, shall we practice?

So whether I’m working with a teen to transition through a big change in their family (divorce, a terminal illness, an unexpected death) or a natural transition in life (entering high school, uni or the workforce) or self-esteem/confidence issues,  BRAVING is always an undercurrent as my teens verbalise their dream goals and we set out on our journey to turn them into reality. What we are really doing is building confidence and the resilience to get through life’s challenges with a sherpa that’s done the journey with many travellers!

Imagine what the world would become if this generation of teens all had their own sherpa as they live a life of BRAVING and their parents were too!

Hope you enjoyed this insight into what teen coaching involves. I am privileged to be helping the current generation of teens on the journey of B.R.A.V.I.N.G! Will your teen and you be joining me?

Julia Williams

Partnering with Parents to raise happy, confident, resilient t(w)eens

Graduate Diploma in Counselling,

Trauma Informed Life Coach

Diplomas in Early Childhood and Primary Education, Bachelor in Education

Current Blue Card

Phone: (+61) 0450 001 486

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