Surviving Teenagehood: Leanna’s Story
For me, being a teenager was a stage in my life to survive. I struggled in my relationships at home, from painful arguments with my dad and mom, having trouble connecting with my sister, and painfully losing friendships. All the while, I worked hard to achieve everything I could while still feeling down deep that nothing was really proving that I was good enough. Under my smile – or sometimes my hidden anger – hid confusion, fear, and loneliness that I didn’t know how to express.
As a parent I recall my own moment of anger swelling inside of me as I thought about how my daughter had just behaved, the secrets and lies. My body tightened and my jaw clenched. Inside I was panicking as I fearfully wondered, “Who is this child? How will I ever learn to trust her again? How could the gap between us get so big?”
Less Struggle, More Thriving: My Healing Lessons
I didn’t want to continue living out these same painful patterns for myself or for my children. My healing involved giving a voice to that teenage part of myself that never got to express herself. I began bringing awareness to the beliefs and values that held me back from stepping closer to my daughter. These shifts began by being right where I was, exactly who I was, with my struggles and imperfections. With guidance and support and my own willingness I was able to get to know myself better and learn how to share myself more with the people I love. Most importantly, I learned that my struggles don’t have to continue. There are options available in every moment. I just needed to learn the tools, strategies, and possibilities.
Importance of the Now: Helping Parents and Teens Transform Crisis
During this stage of life, youth and young adults make major decisions that are based on how they understand themselves and the world. These decisions can affect the rest of their lives. If their unhealthy perspectives and understandings are left unaddressed, these beliefs and values can leave a profound impact on their lives and generations to come. As parents we might be tempted to close our eyes and hope these upsets and choices go away with time. However, I can’t stress how critical it is for youth and families to address these issues today.
Teenagehood is not a crisis with irreparable consequences. It is instead a time of opportunity, for teens and parents to get to know themselves better and gain more confidence, trust, and closeness. Parents and teens have huge potential and invaluable gifts within themselves. This includes the inner resources to know themselves deeply, consider new possibilities, and make choices that will lead them to enjoy a purposeful life, and engage in meaningful relationships. This path can begin now.
Always Learning and Growing: Leanna’s Background
I am a Registered Professional Counsellor with the Canadian Professional Counsellor’s Association (RPC #3618). I draw on my background of high school teaching and coaching, my PhD in Education, and the transpersonal, experiential counsellor training from Clearmind International. As a mother of teens and a wife, I continue to nurture my own family relationships with the same pivotal work that I share with individuals and families. I have also assisted International Leadership Workshops, and have mentored pre-service counsellors. I continue to stay current with the latest cutting edge counselling practices by teaching for Clearmind International’s Counsellor Program.
Identifying and standing in values that support the life you want is an important practice; take the first step towards creating and living by your values and book a free 20 min consultation with one of Life Dances’ Counsellors
– Parent, Portland, USA