Setting Coaching Boundaries with Parents of Young Clients with ADHD

I have received a number of inquiries this week about setting boundaries with parents in order to effectively coach young people. As parents, we know that it is difficult to let go and as coaches, we know the value of putting some space between the parent and adolescent child to allow the coaching process to be effective. If a parent is struggling to let go and give the young person the space needed to start advocating for and managing one’s own life, it can be helpful for the parent to remember that his or her role in the young person’s life isn’t becoming less important nor is it disappearing. The parent’s role is simply changing—from being a hands-on “do-er” to being someone who deliberate gives the young person space and then offers support and structure as needed. In the context of parenting, support refers to the trusting, nonjudgmental relationship that the parent offers the young person to help foster self-confidence and achievement of goals. Structure refers to both the practical tools the parent offers the young person to help the young person stay on track—or get back on track—on the journey to meeting his or her goals and the daily routines and patterns that the parent supports the young person in creating, allowing for freedom, with clear guidelines and reasonable boundaries. Parents are encouraged to share their concerns about letting go and, if deemed necessary, get some coaching around the issues.  Boundaries in coaching are truly for the benefit of all parties. I look forward to your comments and questions on this “hot topic”.