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  • Lori K Walters

Meet Some of My Clients: Real People Parenting Teens as best they can

Prow of a wooden boat a calm lake

Once upon a time there was a place, an island, let’s say, where many parents lived. They were kind, loving people doing their best to be parenting their teens and young adults consciously.

But things from their past and unexpected events in their lives diverted them from their intentions and had them doing things they didn't want to be doing. They didn’t feel good about their parenting deep down in their bones. They worried because their relationship with their kid just wasn’t working.

Here are some of the inhabitants of this island that I’ve had the honour to work with. They’re people like you - real parents coming up against their challenges and trying to figure it all out as they go.

  • The Conscientious Zamboni Driver was always smoothing things over for the almost-grown kids but resenting their dependence and entitlement and wishing they’d solve some of their own problems.


  • The Reliable Air Traffic Controller was keeping the house running perfectly on time but doing it all quite coolly and rigidly, and no one wanted to hang out with her.


  • The Sensitive Turtle was freaking out (her words) every time her kids got emotional (which, let’s face it, teens do regularly). She ended up shrinking back into her shell when she wanted to be there for them.


  • The Conscientious UN Mission Expediter was operating under the assumption that it was their job to anticipate every possibility and have plans for every contingency. And that made them unable to relax and enjoy the moments of real life with the kids.


  • The Uncomplaining Sherpa. Need I say more?


  • The Agreeable Acrobat was contorting herself to accommodate her teen’s ever-changing needs. Which gave her a sore back and a lot of resentment.


  • The Worried Sheepdog was putting all her energy into herding her kids toward what she thought was best for them and constantly disappointed as they chose different directions.


Then these parents got on a boat with me. They weren’t sure what the trip would be like, but they knew in their hearts that there was a better way to live, a new land where they would feel calm, confident and proud of how they were parenting. And, more than anything, they would feel connected with their children.

What happened for them in the boat, their coaching program, was as unique as the individual. They saw the way they were parenting in a new light. They finally understood what had them doing things that kept making things worse in their relationships with their kid. They learned how to break the habit.

As we rowed, week by week, they started feeling a new way of parenting emerging in them, a new way of being with their big kids. It was something they always hoped was there inside them – a steadiness and confidence that felt true to themselves and gave them a new way of connecting with their young adult.

Here’s who arrived at the new island:

  • The Curious Kayaker has developed the ability to be ok in the unknowns of parenting. She stretches and breathes and opens to what may be around the next bend. She trusts that, if she  paddles forward, she’ll know what to do.


  • The Composed Brigantine Captain feels the strength of their sea legs on the deck. They know how to access their own wisdom and instincts and guide the ship with confidence.


  • The Authentic Architect is creating a new relationship with her son. She has let go of preconceived notions of what it ‘should’ look like and focuses on being true to herself and encouraging him to do the same, day by day, learning about each other as their relationship evolves.


  • The Self-reliant Badger honours his needs and retreats to his den to center and replenish himself. Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it improves his capacity to be present to his teenage children and their complex lives.


  • The Respectful Magnolia is developing deep respect for herself and devoting time and attention to her self-development. The more she respects herself, the more she respects her kids and their paths.


  • Meet the Self-directed Land Steward, who is consciously setting boundaries and choosing if, where and to what extent they meet their young adult children’s requests.


  • The Wholehearted Compass cultivates her calm and sense of direction. This way, she can create an environment for her kids to rest, emote, wonder and find their own sense of direction.

I'm curious, what would you be doing if you were on the New Island? What skill would you develop or what outlook would you shift? What old pattern would you break free from? 

My work in the world is piloting parents to a new place where there’s more alignment, connection and peace. If you're feeling like you're stuck on an island in your parenting, I'm here, oars and all.  



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