What would be missing from ______ project, event, or relationship had you not been a part of it?
• What do you like best about you?
• If there were 3 rules EVERYONE had to follow, what would they be?
• What do you stand for?
• What does it mean to you to have a full and fulfilling life?
• What do you long to do?

As I type these simple and curious questions, I can’t help but feel excitement for students who have access to people in their lives who will take time to discover who they really are, as well as a passion to reach those students who don’t have anyone. It’s an amazing adventure for youth to get to a place where they can answer for themselves, “This is who I am, this is what I stand for, and this is what I’m capable of.”

Often as adults, parents, educators, or even youth advocates, we feel a need to help shape teens into who we think they are, or who we hope they will become. We have set ideas of what the process leading toward success and stability looks like, and we proceed to steer youth in the direction we want them to go. While we mean well, there is nothing that saps motivation quite like having someone define for you who they think you are, and what they think you are capable of. The box is always too small!

Instead, we can choose to empower students by trusting they are the expert on the things that matter to them; trust that they know deep down who they are and who they want to become. When youth know we care enough to put aside what we want for them, and instead explore with them what is important to them, crazy amounts of trust can be built. Students are set free to truly be all they can be.

This is what I LOVE about life coaching, and why I chose this field of work. Through simple and curious questions, we can learn who our kids are, and what is important to them from their perspectives. We can then offer tools to help them accomplish more than any of us could ever imagine!

Thanks for checking out my blog! I am an ICF certified Academic Life Coach and train youth advocates in the Academic Life Coaching 1.0 coach training program. I’m also an adoptive mom, youth advocate and a licensed therapeutic foster parent. For more information about this program or on how to train as a coach, please contact me here.