31.03.2020
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What if you could effortlessly focus your teenager on their own future and well-being, AND take advantage of this pandemic time gap forced on you?? During these seemingly LONG times - - - why not turn them into huge growth opportunities?  Take advantage of this time to build, strengthen and accelerate your teenager’s future success – and decrease your own stress – FOR FREE!! In our teen success coaching program, we start our students on their own Master Dream List.   We’ve found that when students (1) begin to identify and then (2) work on and toward their OWN dreams, their focus, motivation, self-discipline – and even happiness – INCREASES!! And now, you can have that Master Dream List FOR FREE – with our compliments – no charge – to help build and energize your teenager’s life! Clearly, this is only a starting point – but it’s a meaningful and powerful one – which a huge percentage of teenagers DON’T HAVE!! Simply email us at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com and we will immediately forward the List and instructions to you!       
23.03.2020
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You are probably now in the midst of the toughest, weirdest, most problematic time of your and your teenagers life! Here's a strategy to occupy and build your teen’s future during these challenging or possibly boring days – to STRENGTHEN your teen’s future!! The two most crucial life traits your teen SHOULD possess are Resilience and Resourcefulness. Take advantage of this OPPORTUNE time [yes, it is!] to build on their existing resourcefulness by encouraging their creativity!!! That creativity will be their ticket to great success in life!!!  Any employer, any business owner or manager is ALWAYS looking for people with new and different ways to do anything at/ on their job or business. If your teen has that capacity, that will lead to raises and promotions. Getting your student redirected and focused on something more positive and constructive [NOW!] can only be a good thing for your time together as well as their thinking skills. Use this possible array of questions and any others you like to guide, enhance and evoke their thinking:   ·     What do you think really created this pandemic? ·       What could have been done to prevent it? ·       What should we do to prevent its ever occurring again? ·       What inventions do we need, to prevent the future need for o   social distancing and sheltering in place and o   cancelling school and ·        creating, finding, optimizing alternative learning modes? ·         What other or different changes to society or school – or anything – do you think we need? Then, use second- and even third-level follow-up questions leading to exploration and wondering, even pilot-testing their ideas and replies.    Always have "Why...?" as your fallback or further question: "I wonder WHY that didn't work" - or "I wonder WHY that will work?" - or "HOW we can make sure that works [or sells, on Shark Tank]?" – “What if this approach fails – HOW ELSE might we overcome it?” It is TRULY these 2nd and 3rd level questions which will lead to ‘the gold’ – much like 10,000 attempts by Thomas Edison, to find a light bulb filament that worked! Accept almost anything they say, even rejection and hostility. Allow that, [remain calm] and ask a follow-up question such as... “Tell me more – I’m not sure I follow that yet…” The goal is Resilience and Resourcefulness – to build a winning and successful teen AND ADULT!! Soldier on, powerful and nurturing parent!! 
18.03.2020
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This nationwide ‘shutdown’ has some pretty wide-ranging impact on families!!  One thought you might consider: much like a corporate retreat, why not take this time to ‘step back’- survey the horizon of your family, ask their input – REGARDLESS of age.  I LOVE the idea of asking a 2-year-old these questions. You will probably get some great laughs AND some wonderful insights. Be sincere and as basic as needed – but draw out their thoughts of ‘How are we doing as a family and as your parent?’   And LISTEN! PREDICTABLY, some will think you’re wacky, or you’re ‘up to something.’  Weather the storm, assure them of your sincerity – and maybe ask some leading questions – maybe about meals or bedtime or school or [my favorite] – ‘how could I do better as your parent?’  and, if you haven’t said it before – how much you love them but “boy, this parenting is hard work – “I get so tired” – and pause – and wait for their reply  Let them say anything – and listen. I GUARANTEE you will learn things you’d never expected. Some of your kids – maybe even your partner – will think this is a silly waste of time.  [IT’S NOT].  I sit here and ponder what any downsides of a family retreat might be – I can’t see any.  Even if it erupts with anger, that’s mostly venting – which you may or may not have heard before – but again – great information!! You may want to open with some ground rules – like – “no personal attacks,” or – “If you leave the room in anger, you must come back w/in 5 minutes”  and others you might consider.   BTW, remind yourself that any parent who is unwilling to acknowledge to their kids that they may have made a mistake is a setup for failure. Be willing and open to that but mostly be willing and open to improve as one-on-one parents and as a family unit. Maybe this is one outgrowth of this pandemic that will be a positive!  Who knows? Go for it, valiant parent!
16.03.2020
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We have seen so many unimaginable events in our lifetime: attack on our shores from afar [Sept 11], extreme security precautions – seeming constant fear of terrorism everywhere,   massive weather-caused devastation - tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, – and now, a world pandemic. UNBELIEVABLE!!  - I mean, beyond anything we could even imagine! And yet, despite all that, our kids, our teens, continue to evolve toward becoming an adult.  [we can’t stop them!]   And here’s the issue: as you well know, YOU are their predominant role model.  You always have been, you always will be. So how YOU react to the coronavirus pandemic is IMPORTANT!! Two things to keep in mind ·        How you react [how they see you react]  ·        What can we LEARN from this?   1.     How you react [how they see you react] ·                 Extreme? ·                 Frustration?  ·                 Pointing blame? ·                 No clue what to do? ·                Blame gov’t, ·               It’s someone else’s fault, ·              “why don’t ‘they’ do something,”   ·               __________ [fill in your own_]. 2.     What can we LEARN from this?   It’s not my intent to suggest what that might be – that’s your turf, your area.  But if your kids are the future, encouraging them to THINK, wonder, discuss, brainstorm, - will be very important – for them – now, next year, next decade, etc.                             Probably equally as valuable: DISCUSS it w/ them: how you feel, how you react, how THEY feel, what you say to others, what you don’t or won’t say to others… Again, your teen will model you in the future…!! Soldier on, valiant, unflappable, indomitable parent!!!
03.03.2020
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1.      Success is intricately intertwined with happiness 2.      Pursuing happiness by pursuing SUCCESS works best 3.      As others have said – EVERY TEEN has some great talent 4.      EVERY teen has MUCH untapped capacity and talent 5.      Conditioning works CONSTANTLY – be conscious and aware of what YOU are conditioning 6.      All kids/ teens are fundamentally GOOD! 7.      Our role is to find and/or build that goodness. 8.      Negativity only breeds negativity – reflect on that, please 9.      It’s up to all of US – to build, strengthen, educate AND continually support teenager’s success and happiness – EVERY SINGLE DAY. 10. We never quit – WILL YOU? Related/ Supporting Our only goal is building success into teenagers Success is NOT monetary nor materialistic We’ve been misled – or misled ourselves – that “everything will be OK – schools or society will take care of everything.”  - NOT TRUE!!!  If a teen isn't GOOD, they were conditioned to that – WE MUST search for the cause Failure [?] – only means they haven’t arrived yet  We live, pursue and activate these tenets with every element of Launch-Your-Life   
24.02.2020
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What if your teen is only average?  Shocking?  Depressing?   Fact is, most of them are! [by definition, 84% of all of us are ‘average’] But who BECOME the real stars?? - the real champions in almost any field? Research data collected in a wide array of fields - from sports to academics to professions, business achievements, etc. - ALL point to the fact that it's NOT innate talent but instead targeted, directed effort toward a goal – AND the ability to focus, change, improve, grow and become better – making small micro-changes over time – that’s what makes top performers!!! There's been much research in recent years by Angela Duckworth at Penn in the field of GRIT – and that’s exactly what she’s found!! Her research, including a fair amount with cadets at West Point (US Military Academy] shows that those top, TOP performers in virtually every field did so through a long-term commitment - usually over a period of years, toward their goal. So how can you help your teen to accomplish ‘great things’ – maybe not world-changing – but still pretty darned good?   Start from a basic premise: we're all driven by habit.  So our habits are going to define, even decide what we do on a daily basis.  Second, any new habits will only occur over a period of time in small micro- bites. Please erase the idea that it takes 21 days to change a habit! It is simply not true.  The most current research indicates that it takes about 66 consistent days to change - or instill a new habit [even that varies based on a number of other elements and factors.] So as you guide or coach your teenager toward new success habits, here’s a 3-step process: 1.      Develop or identify a specific idea of the new, desired goal – [NOT the goal you’re trying to shed] 2.      The next time you see your teen come close to or APPROXIMATE that action or behavior you'd like to see, compliment him/her – specifically – “that was really good – the way you ___________! J] * 3.   [next time] Catch him or her “being good” or executing that behavior – and compliment again * Remember – 66 days, approx. to instill a new habit.  You probably won’t or can’t maintain that – but keep at it * This reinforcing process requires varying and different compliments or wording over time – the same words over and over become lost or invisible. If I can be of assistance in any teen development area, just PM me or email at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com
03.02.2020
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Of the abundance of gifts you can offer your teenager - the absolute number 1, first, above-all-else is the two-part gift of (1) empathizing and (2) teaching - when they make a mistake or ‘fail.’.    By taking the time to empathize, you share and convey that feelings of anger or frustration – or defeat - are perfectly fine to express or experience.   And also – by taking the time to teach, to guide, to coach, to reveal new learnings conveys multiple messages - (o) you care, (o) you want them to perform better and (o) you empathize with them as fallible human beings. Far too often - when a teenager fails, they feel as if they’ve let us down – and believe they are diminished IN OUR EYES!  At that moment, we need to intervene and interject that (o) we don’t love them any less and (o) failure is OKAY – that’s how we learn.  But also, too often, we don't take the time to guide them to improve. We either (o) malign them - inferring that they are “dumb” or (o) we don't take the time to guide them in learning what they obviously didn't know!    I find it painful and aggravating to see a sports coach degrade an athlete who just made a mistake – when that athlete KNOWS they ‘did it wrong’– already feels bad.  That’s the most fertile time to TEACH, not malign or degrade.  Same thing with your teen!!   Beyond that, into ‘life’ - other than school and teachers, too often, no one gives our teens constructive feedback regarding their performance or efforts – other than to say “you didn’t try hard enough.”  In almost all cases, THEY DON’T KNOW what to do differently or better – it’s just too global and thence, meaningless.  This presents a great opportunity to walk them through – or talk them through – the specifics of how to do it better the next time. As I learned from my son when he was three, it’s very easy to say “Yes, Daddy” – and have NO CLUE what I said – it’s just easier to agree… Be patient, be sure your voice conveys support and understanding – NOT frustration And remember to enjoy them – even when they fail! Give them – YOUR GREATEST GIFT!!
09.01.2020
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That’s a funny line at first – but think about it – first, yourself, then – apply it to your teen…  And remember – your teenager is only JUST beginning to recognize and understand their own emotions… What can you do to help, to ease, to facilitate that fear or apprehension?? Start with patience, no anger, no intense reaction – follow that by a comforting phrase like – “I think I can understand how you feel, up to a point.”  [do NOT say “I know just how you feel” – they hate that!!  [then, pause…].  Then maybe a casual, conversational follow-up like – ‘what’s your day looking like?’ Just that simple, casual conversation can break the ice, even ignite their motivational fire… Give it time – and patience!  😄 
25.11.2019
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A WEEK AGO, we posted a blog about ‘reversing your paradigm:’ - that is, when your teen defies you, surprise them by using a different approach.  Today, we have some suggested replies.  Use them as YOU prefer, or adapt to your family’s culture. OF COURSE, these are based around the premise that you’ve already had heart-to-heart conversations and respected your teen’s time and issues – yet they still defy your requests.   “Please take the trash out” ·         NO REPLY or says “no.” 1.      OK, I’ll do it [take only your own, not theirs] 2.      Say nothing, do nothing. 3.      Next request or issue from them: SAY NOTHING, DO NOTHING, IGNORE. 4.      [you could always dump the trash in their room – but that would be tacky L ] “Please get up, to get to school on time” ·         NO REPLY or says “no.” 1.      OK, I’ll send a note to the principal explaining that you’re now on your own – I take no responsibility – nor will I feed you, you have no access to OUR food, you have no transportation – no rides, no allowance…” 2.      Do not reply at all – when they finally arise, no breakfast nor food available, no ride to school, etc. 3.      Say nothing, do nothing. “Please empty the dishwasher” ·         NO REPLY or says “no.” ·         Separate his/her dishes, leave – uncleaned –on counter or even back porch/ deck ·         [use, select any one of the replies above – or be even more creative!] “Please put the game controller away and start studying…”                  ·         NO REPLY or says “no.” 1.      Cut off all cable or WI-FI or electricity to the controller 2.      [use, select any one of the replies above – or be even more creative!] OF COURSE all of these rely on your strength and emotional capacity. Please don’t retreat to “I could never do that to my kid.” They respect strength – and if they continue to ‘walk all over you’ – it will only get worse. L Please feel free to add, insert or modify your own – and post here!
18.11.2019
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One thing learned over many years in business, education, learning and change: throwing out [or setting aside] your current way of thinking VERY often reveals whole new worlds of problem-solving possibilities.  Replacing your paradigm [the framework within which you interpret your world] can provide a totally new and very often much more effective solution to the problem at hand. On these blog pages are MANY instances of parents expressing frustration with their teen’s behavior.  Question to those parents: Did you NOT EXPECT your teen might act that way? Really?  It's reasonable to assume that a good many of those behaviors are consciously or unconsciously intended to arouse their parents’ anger, frustration or eyebrows, maliciously or innocently. Why not surprise ‘em completely? Imagine replacing your USUAL response – they knew you were gonna say that – with a complete reversal?  Your teen will then have a very different challenge as to what to say or do next!  This isn’t a WIN vs.  LOSE proposition, just a way to level the playing field.  What do you commonly face? “Please take the trash out -        NO REPLY or says “no.” “Please get up so you get to school on time” -NO REPLY/"No.” “Please empty the dishwasher”             - NO REPLY/ "No" “Put the controller away, start studying” - NO REPLY/ "No" How would you respond? _________________. Check back here tomorrow for suggested answers…
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