Book Excerpt: Building the confidence through boundary-setting

A parent’s ability to trust and recognize that a child is now a young adult is vital to the self-confidence and self-esteem of the young person. Coaches may invite parents to consider coaching to be an opportunity for growth and change on everyone’s part. The confidentiality boundary is also important from the young person’s perspective, as it helps to lay the groundwork for the trusting, positive relationship that needs to be developed between the coach and the young person for coaching to be effective. When clients learn that their parents will not be privy to the content of coaching, they often show visible signs of relief—a sigh, a shift in posture, or a smile. There is an expectation on the part of some parents that the coach will do what the parent wants instead of focusing on the needs and wishes of the young person. In such situations, the coach will attempt to set boundaries and determine what is appropriate for coaching and what might be considered a directive from the parents. The coach has an opportunity during the intake to help the family set reasonable expectations for coaching and discourage parents from overstepping their bounds. The coach will build the confidence level with the family and will consider providing resources for the parents to help them manage change. When the parents are comfortable about the coach’s knowledge and professionalism, they will trust the coach to coordinate the coaching process and work with the young person.