It is both bittersweet and beautiful to have finished revisiting my Interview Series in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Can you believe it?!
Each one of these conversations was a blessing and privilege, and I am so full of gratitude that each individual spoke to me with such honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity.
I rounded off this series by speaking to one of my beloved clients and a true force of change, Pei-I Yang.
The founder of Rainbow Parenting Consulting, Pei-I is a parenting consultant with a difference.
She has over 25 years of experience working with children, teenagers, and families with a wide variety of needs. With a background in clinical, management, training, and therapeutic settings, Pei-I works with every family individually to find strategies that will fix even the most broken of families who are raising challenging teenagers.
She has a depth of skills, knowledge and experience that I have never seen anywhere else, and she can work with families that most parenting consultants wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. The ones who believe they are beyond repair and have nowhere left to go.
This is an incredible turnaround for Pei-I, which shows her strength and dedication to her work. When she moved to Scotland, Pei-I struggled to get a job. It was thanks to the mentorship of two incredible women that she was able to get her first opportunity and begin building the life and business she loves today.
She is also working on her FOURTH Masters. What a bloody incredible woman!
One of the reasons that Pei-I and I bonded so quickly and deeply is that we were troubled teenagers. We were both super rebellious, dealt with huge mood swings, and constantly worried our parents.
This was especially challenging for Pei-I. She felt a lot of pressure because she was never the skinniest, or the smartest girl in school - both considered markers of success that she could never achieve. She never felt good enough in any aspect of her life.
The main issues Pei-I works with families to overcome are mental health problems, friendship conflicts, drinking, and drug use.
I’m going to be super vulnerable with you all here - as Pei-i was listing off the issues she works with, I was mentally ticking every single one of them. I was so loved as a teenager, but I was profoundly unhappy.
My heart breaks for our younger selves, those poor lost souls. Even though we both have big and beautiful lives that make a real impact on the world, there was so much struggle before we got there.
It’s not enough to get a diagnosis. Parents need to go a step further and understand what that will mean in their teenager’s life, and what they can do to make things easier.
Because let’s be honest ladies - it’s harder being a teenager right now than it ever was for us.
Social media has a huge part to play. The unattainable standards we see plastered across the media impact all teenagers, but have a particularly profound impact on girls, and how boys treat them.
This means being a parent is another minefield altogether.
Being a parent is the most important job we can ever do. It is an incredible privilege. But there is no manual to tell you how not to ‘F’ it up!
That’s why working with someone like Pei-I is so important to maintain harmony in your home.
It is natural for teenagers to act out - they are in the process of asking themselves huge questions about who they are.
As parents, we need to navigate this with so much sensitivity and love. If we do it wrong once, it’s hard for our children to believe they can come and speak to us about an issue they are facing again.
Anyone with responsibilities over children has a duty to teach them that they are perfect, beautiful, and whole, just the way they are.
Research shows that parents have the largest influence over their teenager’s behaviour. If the communication gap becomes too wide, it’s very hard to get back on track.
Even though our parents loved us so deeply, neither myself nor Pei-I realised how incredible we are until we were in our 30s. Imagine the impact if that had happened sooner.
The real key to raising challenging teenagers is having an open heart and honest communication. As parents, we need to be willing to change too and accept our own mistakes.
Tell your children when you don’t understand what they are going through, but let them know how much you love them and that you are there for them.
Be curious. Ask questions and genuinely open your heart and mind to hear the answer. We have the power to define our relationship with our children.
Women typically bear most of the caring load in the family. As a result, Pei-I usually hears from mums who are desperate to fix their relationship with their teenagers.
But men need to get on board too. The heart of the problem only becomes clear when the whole family are willing to communicate in vulnerability and honesty.
Pei-I is an incredible woman, who has used all of her struggle and pain to create a thriving business that is transforming families across the world.
Hope is never lost. Even if you feel like your family has hit rock bottom, the only place to go is up.
This was such a beautiful conversation, and Pei-I was so gracious to take this time and be so honest with me. If you are struggling as a parent in this modern world, I promise watching this talk will fill you full of new hope and optimism.
You can check out the whole video here.