Launch your life, Teen Success Coaching
Launch your life, Teen Success Coaching
10.04.2018
Steve Simons
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“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” was the intro Mr. (Fred) Rogers [on Public Broadcasting] always used.  He lied!!  It’s actually true when you’re 4, 5, 6 years old, but by the time we get to 12 years old and beyond, life begins to present challenges, problems, crises!   Your teen WILL Face CRISES!? Are you prepared?  Are they prepared? Every teen faces crises – ·        what they think of themselves, ·        what their peers think of them, ·        what to wear today, ·        what to say today, ·        what to do when they’re offered drugs or other ‘bad choices’ ·        whether they prioritize and plan – time for homework, ·        ‘wrenching’ themselves away from a video game or Snapchat/ Twitter, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew and had strategies to deal with your teen BEFORE they were forced to face them? And what about: ·        forgotten homework, ·        poor study habits, ·        disrespect, ·        weak and poor motivation, ·        lack of focus, ·        poor self-discipline, ·        UNDER-performing vs. their real potential? Launch-Your-Life is a teen success coaching program which can provide the decision-making skills for all these issues. And if you choose to enroll your teen, that’s great!  BUT FOR NOW, our staff can also provide YOU strategies and approaches FOR YOU to guide your teen or young adult in facing these INEVITABLE crises. Please reply here – let us know which area(s) are most challenging RIGHT NOW – and we will address them with next week’s post!
22.03.2018
Steve Simons
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I GUARANTEE that your teen is easily capable of improving their gpa by 10 points!  GUARANTEE it!!  As a former school psychologist and special ed director, I’ve seen, known and worked with kids – a lot like yours.  I’ve never met your son or daughter – but I stand by those words.  Did you know that 86% of people are committed to being average? It’s true!  Those figures are derived from the numbers of people who QUIT on their goals, as well as job performance and salary increments NOT earned.  From one angle, that’s to be expected – 90-95% of what we do is habit, coupled with that other strangling, restricting, paralyzing human tendency to RATIONALIZE – to explain away why we didn’t do what we said we would.  But the worst part?  In very large measure, our kids will achieve very close to the level we did - that same AVERAGE level!! NO ONE WANTS TO BE AVERAGE – but most people are.  Know why?  They set goals, fail after the first or second obstacle, lose motivation or faith in themselves – and go back to “sit on the bench.”  Recall all the empty explanations you’ve heard around people giving up on setting New Years’ resolutions. If you could find a way or system or approach to EASILY overcome AVERAGENESS, would you use it?  Or allow it to motivate and re-motivate your teen – daily, gently, tactfully, supportively? Our approach WORKS, based on 35-plus years of coaching success and 150 years of advisory board input at Launch-Your-Life! The approach is: Dreams – brainstorm, set them, the filter down to: Goals – 1, 2 or 3, for now A plan – long-term, monthly, daily, weekly [5-8 minutes/day] Implementation, follow-up – NEED a 3rd party, such as parent or coach. It sounds simple – and it is – yet 86% of people – teens or their parents – will drop the ball – for the exact reasons listed above.  In the last 25 years, one of the fastest growing professions is business coaching.  Know why?  Because it helps people with lofty aspirations but who succumb to those human foibles… - to move dramatically toward their beautiful, big goals.  We adapted what we’d learned and known from working with many, many clients across the US and Europe – to teen success.  And after 5-plus years, it WORKS!  Investing just 8 minutes a day in our process and program can elevate your student’s grade point average and life success by at least 10%! If you’d like to discuss and learn more about our process – YES, you can borrow it – and easily accelerate your student’s performance, happiness and reduced stress – please email us at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com for a free, no commitment consult to identify and advance yours and your teen’s goals and dreams.
28.11.2017
Steve Simons
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EVERY teen has problems!  [you probably knew that!] Some of those problems will just go away, while some continue and grow.  If you’d like to discuss your teenager’s issues or challenges or problems, call Launch-Your-Life [(518) 475-1538 or CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com ].  Our team and advisory board has been in this field for a cumulative total of 150 years – WE CAN HELP.  The biggest issue is getting past the expectation that ‘it’ll just go away.’ Often times, no coaching is needed, just a little parental encouragement.  But sometimes, it WON’T! And too often, it’s been festering for a long time.  Sometimes, with a little well-directed coaching, your teenager will far exceed even what THEY thought they could do!  We’re in the happiness business – theirs and yours!  Call us!! Typical and common teen problems: Frequently, easily distracted Doesn’t care Rebellious Getting into Drugs and/or Alcohol and/or Sex Behaviors and reactions are Unpredictable Poor decision-making Loss of focus - academics/school Little or no desire FOR ANYTHING  Call or email: (518) 475-1538 or  CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com
27.09.2017
Steve Simons
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As the new school year gains speed, I’d encourage you to encourage your student(s) to KNOW what their grades are, often and NOW.  Once in a while, I have some great thoughts.  Here’s one: it is impossible to improve anything without a number - golf, bowling, weight loss, etc.   I am currently in the early stages of collaborating on an initiative called Grade$Count.  One of the foundational elements is encouraging kids – and working with their school – to have easy access and knowledge of their grades.  Far too often, I’ve been working with a teen – and ask him/her how their grades are – and a disturbingly high percentage of time, they don’t know. Set the stage now – work with their teachers to let them know you want your teen/ their student to know what their grades are, so that they can intervene as quickly as possible, if and when needed.  And frankly, ‘knowing the score’ almost always inspires anyone to want to do a little bit better!  So maybe, when you and they see those grades, take a minute or two to ask – “How do you feel about that?”  - PAUSE, WAIT FOR REPLY – then, as it may fit – say “is there anything I can help with to help you build it?”  It’s a subtle way to show that you’re paying attention, want to help, and encourage their focus and attention. Oh, one more thing – do this REGULARLY.  The more and earlier you know and can guide your student – the less harsh you will ever need to be. Keep score – and succeed! On another note: Harshness breeds the same There’s one on-line post I see frequently regarding dealing with teenagers in which the writer (“expert”) is constantly advising parents in applying harsh, overpowering techniques to address bad behaviors – refusal to do homework, disrespect, etc. – but his approach is ALWAYS very harsh.  While I can’t disagree with most of what he says, it just seems to me that most young people are inherently pretty good kids – they’re just searching and exploring alternate behavioral choices – and need just a little re-direction, guidance and reinforcement.
29.08.2017
Steve Simons
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“Most people lead lives of quiet desperation.” Henry David Thoreau To avoid a school year of quiet desperation, why not make this your student’s most successful year ever?  To accomplish that, some change – maybe a little, maybe a lot – is necessary:   ·        What will be different about school this year for your teenager? ·        Will they study more? ·        Will they manage their time better? ·        Does your student have a vision for success that motivates them every day? If you answered no to any of the above, there are several ways you can help your teenager make this year their best year.  Homework does not have to be a daily battle, but you should enforce a few rules. ·        Turn off the TV, but music is fine.  Background music may help keep your child more focused. ·        Texting and homework do not mix.  Push alerts on your child’s cell phone will pull their focus away, so have them put their phone out of ear shot during homework hours. ·        Define a study space that works for your child and the rest of the family.  Maybe it’s your teenagers’ room, or the kitchen table. Good study habits are created, not born. ·        Maintaining a regular schedule serves all family members best.   It helps to build good study and lifelong successful habits. ·        Study in intervals.  It’s hard to focus on any one thing for hours at a time.  Depending on your teen, a 5-minute break every half hour will increase performance. ·        Avoid cramming.  Most students know well in advance when tests are scheduled.  Reading chapters, taking notes, or rewriting notes taken during class, over a few days, will help with retention.  How do you handle a student who constantly avoids doing school work?  There’s a reason they avoid it –and it’s valuable for you to explore and discuss that with them.  Could be a bad past experience – either with the subject or a teacher. Could be that’s it just hard for them! Could be distraction by the need/desire to talk with friends, get on line, etc.  Address and resolve these issues, amicably and consensually.  A word of caution: DO NOT LECTURE or “TELL” them what to do or how they should see things.  Be assured – this will ‘shut them down’ attitudinally.  Discuss issues and help enlighten them.  Use QUESTIONS and questioning, and a few dramatic pauses.  [in other words, when you ask a question and receive a negative, even hostile response – or no response or “I don’t know” – sit quietly with no facial expression. One popular teen response is “I don’t know.”  Don’t let them get away with it.  Remain on the subject and or target.  Wait for an answer.  If none is coming, ask another question.  One of the best questions, asked in various forms, is “what did you learn from that?”  Every defeat or failure or setback has a learning lesson inside it.  Ask, explore and identify it!     While I’m not a huge fan of his, one of Dr. Phil’s best questions is “how’s that working for you?”  HOWEVER – that’s actually somewhat sarcastic – so AVOID it.  Ask gentler questions like “what results have you gotten in the past?” – or similar. Finally – maintain regular follow-up – weekly, may every other day – and strive to support and maintain that regular schedule referenced above. MAKE IT A GREAT YEAR! 
27.07.2017
Steve Simons
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Have you ever had a coach?  A life coach, an executive or leadership coach?  If you have, you know that the good ones can have a profound and positive impact on your life – business or personal.  Fact is, according to the people who track such figures, business and life coaching is one of the fastest growing professions throughout the US!  My expectation and belief is that’s because it works!  Bill Gates has said “everyone should have a coach.”  Ever seen any sports teams go onto the field without a coach? Actors have directors, singers have voice coaches, etc. Here’s the bad news: despite the best and most dedicated parenting, many (!) incoming college students, despite stellar academic performance, have weak self-management skills and habits.  And when the first big challenge hits them in college, they collapse ("mentally"/ behaviorally) ! As the fall school semester approaches, it might be worth your considering a success coach for your teen – not because s/he is failing or stumbling – but because you want the best for them – and a coach would accelerate and assure their success [and happiness!] – now, into college and into life! If you’d like to learn about success coaching for teens, contact us at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com – or visit our website, Launch-Your-Life.com , complete the Success Snapshot on the Teens Programs page – and decide for yourself.  
13.07.2017
Steve Simons
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High schoolers and young adults are maturing toward adulthood, no matter how you slice it.  Let’s make it easier for them by using a learning and growth process for something they like to do but wrapped or hidden inside a sports or leisure activity.  This will also increase and strengthen the bond between parent and teen – in a positive way, and embed an approach to improving AT ANYTHING – transferable to any area of life. Have you ever tried to sit still and do nothing for more than 20 minutes?  Not reading, sleeping, singing, writing, watching TV or surfing the ‘net.  Almost no one can, including your teen!  So the challenge becomes – how to gently guide your young person during these long leisurely summer days – and make it enjoyable and worth THEIR motivated action! There’s almost nothing we don’t want to improve at (even teenagers): golf, bowling, lacrosse, tennis, cross-country running, baseball, video games, gpa, body structure [weight loss, working out, getting in shape], etc., etc. Suggestions for Motivating Your Teen Gently inquire as to something they like to do or become better at.  [if you don’t know what they like to do, THAT’S your starting point!] Ask them what “level” or score they’d like to move up to or achieve. Key point: it’s impossible to become better at anything without a number – a score, a measurement of some kind.  If anyone you tells you “it can’t be measured” – don’t believe them.  They simply haven’t thought about it long enough.  And “I’ll just know” is similarly a hollow answer. Find a number – a score or measurement One gentle challenge you could use: “I’ll bet you can’t …” - [beat your last score…] Basic process for Motivating Your Teen ·         After finding that score or measurement, ask “HOW do you think can boost your score, or do better, or beat your best”, etc. ·         This is critical – because MOST people don’t really even know how to improve at anything- they just believe if they keep practicing, it’ll just happen. ·         Powerful insight: practice does not necessarily make perfect, it makes permanent.  This is where your guidance comes in. You may get a little push-back here – don’t let it dissuade you.  Go into the conversation with some possible actions or steps.  If they avoid or deny, offer your thoughts as possibilities.  Even if they reject yours, you’ve begun a dialog!    Avoid “WORK HARDER!” as a solution or strategy.  It means almost nothing. Try converting it to “practice longer” or “spend more time learning with my coach” or “spend more time throwing with my teammate” or “concentrate on hitting the upper right corner of the net”, or “hit 40 of 50 free throws” etc., etc. ·        Identify  and collaborate on steps/ actions your teenager can take to improve: planned time, go to gym, go to field, etc. ·        If you don’t know, and your teen doesn’t know – EXPLORE TOGETHER! ·         Think ‘finer and finer levels of detail’ ·         Compliment OFTEN, no matter how small the change ·         Make this a recurring event or occurrence without being intrusive or annoying The key points are (1) measuring and (2) small, sequential growth and progress steps.  AND reflecting on progress.  And if there was or is no progress, that’s further basis for growth – maybe finding someone who knows and can help.  In any field of endeavor – sports, academia, etc. – the secret is almost always breaking it down into finer and finer steps or actions [“finer levels of detail”]. And the MOST important point for Motivating Your Teen The LEARNING that occurs is easily and directly transferred to life and the pursuit of success.  Try a Sample CASUAL CONVERSATION: (1)                       “how’re you doing at _____?” [whatever they like to do] (2)                       “How much better do you want to be or get to? (3)                       “HOW do you improve at this?”  [“I don’t know” is often the easy/lazy answer – don’t allow it to drop there, or, if it’s your preference, come back later and re-start] (4)                       “When do you do that?  For how long, etc.” (5)                       Ask “When will you be going after that?”  “Can I watch?”  OR – “Can I check back afterward to see how you did?” (6)                       Expect that, if this a whole new approach for you, s/he may be suspicious: what’s Mom/ Dad up to now?  Did they read another ‘Grow Your Teen book’ or something?”  Weather the storm – persevere! (7)                       Maintain YOUR focus and attention on these steps – because far too many people – not just teens – drop the ball, lose focus, ‘forget,’ become distracted, etc. (8)                       Reap the rewards of a more success-powerful teen! And from a test I gave when I was a school psychologist: “Success makes people happy!”  
 We have BAD news and Good news - - - First, THE BAD ·         As we hear almost daily, there’s an ever-increasing number of teenage drug addiction cases, deaths, etc. ·         Addiction SUCCESS is VERY LOW – ·         90% (!!!) of drug rehab clients FAIL or FALL BACK ·         Success rate is approximately 10% - nationally! ·         The HUGE cost is not just $$$$ – it’s HUGE and long-term ·         Stress, family strife, aggravation and worry for the family as well as the teen ·         The effects are ALWAYS long-term – for life!! ·         Parents – it’s time to pay attention ·         Stop telling yourself – “maybe others, but not my kid” ·         PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pay attention ·         Please go to this link for signs and indicators:    http://drugfree.org/article/look-for-warning-signs/#.WRRZyjHQDr8.email But there’s GOOD NEWS!! A positive and preventative strategy! This is the process we use at Launch-Your-Life.com - you can use it too: Coach Steve’s Success Tips of the Week [follow these in sequence] 1.     Brainstorm Dreams 2.     Select 1 or 2 as Goals 3.     Work toward them DAILY 4.     Learn from setbacks 5.     Be Persistent– DON’T GIVE UP And if the goal changes, THAT’S OK! [it’s the goal-pursuit PROCESS that’s the power] And we are available to speak to parents and other groups – on this and other teenage success-related topics. 
15.05.2017
Steve Simons
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Addressing, PREVENTING teenage drug addiction - News Challenge 13, WNYT-TV.  PLEASE WATCH – IMPORTANT INFORMATION for parents of teens. //wnyt.com/news/addiction-awareness-launch-your-life/4482313/?cat=12168
12.05.2017
Steve Simons
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Tomorrow morning, May 13, at 8:15am, we will be discussing teenage drug addiction and recovery on News Challenge 13, WNYT-TV.  Please watch or record it – important information for parents of teens.
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