by Vonetta Wade
Conflict between a parent and child is common. It makes sense given that conflict is a sign of disagreement, difference, or struggle. Parents want their children to be happy, safe, and successful. Children, especially teens, want to find their independence, explore the world around them, and make their own decisions and mistakes. Some parents struggle with giving their children the freedom to do so. I was one of those parents.
This caused continuously painful conflict between my daughter and I the same way it did for my mom and I, mainly due to both my mom and I having experienced trauma. We were not aware that we were still operating in the aftereffects of the trauma and we were passing the toxic coping behavior to our children. The difference is that my daughter and I had the opportunity to benefit from counseling and therapy.
My client had a similar experience with her daughter, and my daughter and I worked together as coach and therapist to help them get through it. I am a life coach, and my daughter is a mental health therapist. We knew from experience that it is possible to overcome the challenges they were facing.
There are similarities between the roles of a coach and therapist. The major difference is that the therapist has been trained for recognizing and diagnosing behavioral obstacles, which is what we discovered to be the cause of the conflict between my client and her daughter. The mother had experienced trauma and was not aware of the impact it was having on their relationship.
I invite you to read more about how my daughter and I overcame our conflict and ineffective communication, and how we have helped others do the same in the chapter on “Enhance Parent-Child Relationships” in Coaching Perspectives X.