Talk Together – Walking the Journey with Our Adolescent

Working through teenage struggles

When I was young my mother told me I had only three choices in life: to be a wife and mother, to be a secretary or, to be a nurse. I chose all three. Feeling unfulfilled, I decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Through these experiences I began to realise that subtle messages that we impart have long-lasting imprint in a young person who is, at this stage, finding where they belong, who they are and where their direction in life will be. It was through these realisations that inspired me to explore a different way of relating as our young person meander through life’s challenges.

These challenges include self-worth, bullying and harassment, drugs and alcohol, teenage defiance, peer group pressure, family discord and disconnection, self-image, teenage anger, sibling rivalry, social media and psychological vulnerabilities.

Through the lens of a Family Therapist, I discuss the many generic themes that arise in the interaction of family dynamics. Messages that carers and parents impart in their children can either open and expand self-growth or, closedown and stifle the expression of self. Through this lens I encourage a different way of relating that helps parents deal more effectively with the challenges that arise in their child.

I am interested in how people communicate and the underlying messages expressed, often below our level of awareness. I employ the concept of influence rather than control, purposeful direction rather than restriction, and understanding rather than discord. The book discards the concept of self-worth as a means to encourage. Rather, a different dialogue is cultivated that promotes meaningful connections, family harmony, healthy boundaries, and individuality and autonomy.

My aim here is to harness a young person’s innate gifts and to promote personal qualities. As parents reflect in the change of dialogue, what transpires is a more meaningful and purposeful direction. Self-fulfilment arises from the presence of awareness. As self-transformation begins to take place there is a movement towards being real, being authentic and being true to their inner self.

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