Parent Coaching for Parents of Troubled Teens
By Craig Rogers
Helping Fathers Do a Better Job Parenting
- Think back to your childhood. What was your relationship like with your father or father figure? How much do you want your relationship with your children to emulate that relationship? What can you do to foster closeness?
- Recognize that “providing for” your children has many meanings besides financial support. It’s also about supporting their interests, listening to their ideas and “showing up” whenever and however you can.
- Get to know the friends of your children. Learn their names. Tell them about yourself so they get to know you. Play with not only your own children but also your children and their friends.
- Take some time with each of your children on a regular basis. Each month, do something that you both enjoy, whether you go out for breakfast, take a bike ride or build a birdhouse.
- Talk and teach your positive values. Don’t assume your children will pick them up by the way you act. Let them hear your words about what you value while also acting on them. This can also take the form of a special card.
- Watch how much time you spend enforcing boundaries and giving support. Try to keep the two in balance. Kids need both.
- Stay involved in your kids’ lives through all stages of their development. Learn to enjoy new things about each stage of their lives. Even if their interests are very different than yours or seem like a waste of time to you, know that your support is what matters most. It’s what they’ll remember in the long run and what helps to build your lifelong bond.
- Focus attention on building or maintaining a strong relationship with your spouse/partner or your child’s mother. If you and your child’s other parent are not together, do your best to focus on what’s best for your child.
- Cut yourself some slack. You aren’t always going to be the perfect Dad. Just keep in mind that sometimes “good enough” is plenty.
Helping Mothers Do a Better Job Parenting
- Give lots of support and approval while also challenging children to take responsibility.
- Recognize the role of fathers and father figures. If you’re parenting alone, find male role models or mentors for your children. If you’re in a two-parent family, make sure that both partners share time with the children.
- Be intentional about building all the assets, not just the ones that seem to come naturally to you.
- Connect with other mothers who are interested in asset building. Form relationships in your neighborhood, on the job, at a congregation you attend or through an organization.
- Mothers can’t—and shouldn’t—build assets in their children alone. Not only do children benefit from having fathers and mothers, they need many, many adults. Get to know your children’s teachers, coaches, childcare providers, religious leaders, club leaders and neighbors. Let them know that you value what they do with your children.
- Go easy on yourself. Your kids are watching you and how you balance your own life. Show them that adulthood is about health, happiness, taking care of yourself and finding meaningful moments and experiences. If you’re working lots of hours, try not to feel guilty about doing something good for yourself, even if it means taking a little time away from your kids.