“Teens today have an easy life” is a very common phrase. I tend to think that grownups say it because they have forgotten what it means to be a teenager. They say that teens need more discipline, more structure, more rules, more determination and more motivation. I say they need to be more resilient, because teens today have it tough and need to be able to bounce back quickly and very often. They need to bend, so they do not break.
Fall seven time, stand up eight
It is easy to look at your own teenage years in retrospect, with the “creative dementia” that comes with age, and say that they were fun. People forget. We are programmed to forget the tough things in order to survive, but expecting our kids to perform where we have failed ourselves is a double standard. The reason I have not forgotten my teenage experiences was that I have been working with so many teens since then. Even if I would have forgotten naturally, they have reminded me that this period brings with it many challenges. The physical-hormonal part of adolescence is a myth that grownups have created to help them forget that the social-emotional side is where they failed.
My life as a teen was divided into two part: before and after I woke up. It was in the last months of 10th Grade. After the summer break, I was in a very different place. I did not have fewer difficulties. I just had better tools to handle them.
Think of teens as trees. They need a good environment, strong roots and the flexibility to withstand strong winds. Flexibility is a very important aspect of emotional intelligence. Flexibility is an important aspect of resilience and resilient teens will bend, not break, in the face of a challenge.
Sadly, kids today are under enormous pressure to succeed academically and socially and they need more resilience than ever before. Education systems all around the world have increase their demands and cut self expression from the curriculum (with zero attention to emotional intelligence), focusing instead on literacy and numeracy.
The intense exposure to social media gives a whole new meaning to “social challenges” for today’s teens. We grownups find it hard to balance keeping them up to date with technology with keeping them safe. Some mistakes on social media can be devastating.
Are you wondering how much freedom you can give your teens? How to keep the communication with your teen open? How to give your teen more responsibility over time without losing control? How to prepare your teen for adult life?
You are not alone.
Resilient Teens Conference
Recently, I teamed up with Deanne Barrett for a FREE online conference called Resilient Teen: Supporting independence, confidence and resourcefulness in teens.
In this conference, parents can find answers to many questions and teens can find solutions for many of their challenges. There are 21 inspiring speakers, who are experts in their respective areas, and you can find many practical tools to develop resilience in teens.
I am happy to say this is a free event and it is for teens who want to know how to overcome the tough times, and for parents who want to understand how to set their teens up for success at school and in life. If you visit this blog regularly, you know by now that my talk is more about success in life.
When you register, you can watch each 30-minute video from your laptop or mobile device, so you will have strategies and inspiration at your fingertips.
Some of the topics covered in the conference are:
- Developing a positive mindset to learn from past mistakes
- How to walk through teen depression with renewed purpose
- Connecting with their school community to help youth develop resilience
- How teens can thrive even when they do not complete high school
- The key skills of resilience and how to teach them to your teen
- How parents can be a supportive resource to their teens
Once you register, you will also get free gifts from many of the experts. To register, just click here.
Again, this is a free event, so send this email to your friends, your teens and your school, help us change the way everyone sees teens and learn great ways to develop their resilience and make them happy, healthy and successful.