30.06.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
Have you – as have I - grown weary of that expression? And yet - it may have a lot more immediate relevance and value than we thought. With no school for weeks/ months, and if the pandemic quarantine keeps them at home, these poor kids – and their parents – could benefit from a ‘new normal’ I see and read and note parent’s annoyance and aggravation by and from their teenagers constantly.  And what occurred to me after the first few hundred such readings was that, with a moderately simple “pivot” [there’s another new/ popular term] – any parent can change - AND IMPROVE! their teen paradox! 1.      CHANGE your expectations!  In far too many instances, parent’s expectations of behaviors and choices of their teens are simply not realistic in a world far different than when they were teens. Question your expectations – and even discuss them with your teen! 2.      ASK, DON’T TELL.  By this age, teenagers are SO TIRED of being TOLD what to do and when to do it. Why not reverse your paradigm – make it a dialogue – a two-way, mutually respectful communication.  Trust me – it works!  [LISTEN to them!] Next, try to get them involved in their own dream goal pursuit.  In our coaching of teenagers, we’ve found that as soon as their focus is NO LONGER what the teacher said, or what Mom or Dad want them to do – and is replaced by pursuit of their OWN personal dreams and goals, their self-motivation takes over – and their internal stress and outward hostility DECREASES!! So – what am I saying?  Invite or suggest that they brainstorm EVERYTHING they ever hope to achieve, possess become or experience – IN ANY AREA(S) of life. Then, be prepared with several suggested questions and actions they might pursue. As in all these suggestions – make it a fun project, NOT an assignment.  If done right, it’s ALL ABOUT THEM – and that motivates and inspires ALL OF US!! One other great exercise arising from their Dream list – truly for the whole family, if you’d like: create, develop a Visualization Board. I did my first one many year ago – at a sales meeting with more than 100 people in the room.  We had a great time, each doing his own – but contributing or making suggestions to others - as you should. If you’re interested, we have questions and a process we can recommend – for Questioning, for Dream List and for Visualization Board - just ask!  And of course, there’s no charge nor fee! 😎
26.06.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
HOW YA GONNA GET THERE? Absolute basic fact learned 25 years ago: the more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve – and the reverse: the more vague the goal, the harder it is to achieve. When we surveyed parents asking their goal(s) for their teenager, the most frequent reply was “to be happy.” With total respect and appreciation, that's not very helpful.  What IS happiness????? Happiness is achieving or fulfilling a goal. Happiness is not possessions.  Those are the rewards of success. But back to happiness: happiness requires (!!!) a goal! So if happiness for your teen is your goal, what's THEIR goal? Think about things like ·         career, ·         type of work, ·         indoors/ office or outdoors ·         needed and desired finances/ salary, etc. ·         family situation, kids if any ·         where they’ll live - geographic location – ·         and anything else you consider important or valuable.  Next key issue: ASK, DON'T TELL.  As you consider these things, avoid TELLING your teen. Make this just subtle, conversation - ask 'softball' questions- not hard-edged challenging ones. Your role is to guide and coach, not to direct. EXAMPLES to facilitate exploration with your teen: ·         “What do you think you’d want to do with your life?” ·         “What is it about that interests you?” ·         “Hmmm, that’s interesting… are there other similar but different areas you might also enjoy? ·         “What kind of education or experience will you need to be good at that?” ·         “I’m not being skeptical, just wondering - what if that doesn’t work out for you, what else might fulfill you?” ·         “Again, not being skeptical – can I help – only if you’d like, to explore other similar careers that might be just as entertaining to you, for you?” ·         “How can I help or support you in getting there?” Once you’ve begun this questioning, gently come back to it from time to time. Very often, the more you push, the more they’ll back away – so gauge your teen’s reactions and replies to guide your next steps. [In ALL these questions, expect to hear “I don’t know” – a lot!  Because in many cases, they’ve never thought about them before.  One way to help their thinking is to have 2 or 3 or 4 alternatives in mind when you ask the question.  If they negate or reject them - fine! You and they have learned what they DON’T WANT! It also helps to NOTICE what seems to make them happy. Very often, people don’t notice what makes them happy until later on. Finally – DON’T make this a formal pursuit [or “investigation”] – just add it to your parental knowledge bank, to refer back to in guiding your teenager toward HAPPINESS!!
18.06.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
BUT NEED TO!!!  - - - - The teenage years evoke a LONG, often scary list of issues – which FAR too many parents want to hide from – but we have a solution. What many parents will see or experience from their teenager: ·         Lack or loss of focus ·         Weak self-discipline ·         Low motivation ·         Just don’t care ·         Belligerence, sarcasm, unpleasantness ·         Drug or alcohol use, abuse, even addiction ·         Suicide – talking about, threatening to, or carrying it out As in all human behavior, there are no absolute answers, no cure-alls!! HOWEVER, we have found that our process in success-coaching teenagers CAN have a strong, strengthening effect on each of the issues listed above.  Here’s how: we ask our students to (o) brainstorm and list everything they ever want to achieve, possess or become in life.  (o) Then, they are guided to filter those dreams down to shorter range goals and actions, (o) then develop a plan – and (o) begin pursuing their dreams!! KEY POINT: when anyone begins to focus on their own dreams and goals, their “need” for unpleasantness, drug or alcohol use or addiction, and even suicide – diminishes or lessens a great deal. Further, their focus, self-discipline, motivation and “Just don’t care” attitude improves GREATLY!! Again, this is not a cure-all – but it’s one more tool to help them help themselves. While we don't yet have data to support this expectation, we know that every student with whom we have worked increased their own motivation and academic focus and school success without our ever mentioning that!  Essentially, we are guiding them toward igniting their own self-motivation and achievement drive!! If we can help you to use this idea with your teen, please contact us at CoachSteve@Launh-Your-Life.com
11.06.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
Henry David Thoreau said “most men [people] lead lives of quiet desperation” Hopefully, that does NOT describe you nor your family.  However, it SHOULD make us think - - - WHY BE AVERAGE? was a popular expression a few years ago, AVERAGE SUCKS!! is now a book and a t-shirt. Everyone wants to be ‘the best’ or ‘top of their class’ or ‘better than the next guy – or gal’ – but most people WILL BE average – just by definition – [84% of the population is ‘normal’ or average.] No one wants to be average… but there is a way out!! There IS a way to get past ‘just average’, to stretch beyond!  One of the best questions you can ask your teenager is ‘what will you do today that you’ll be proud of?”  Yes, the first time you ask, you’ll get a weird reaction – like “what book about me are you reading now, Mom?” And that’s OK.  But by asking that question, maybe a day or two later, and then periodically from time to time, you will have planted the seed for your teen to think about pride of performance and achievement.   And as in any growth opportunity, nurturing it with positive comments will help it grow – and probably enhance your relationship with that teen! By accumulating a long series of “days I’m proud of” – be assured your teen will excel, surpass their peers and achieve excellence – and along the way, build that most powerful driver of human performance: POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM!!   Try it and see – and report back and tell us how you did! CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com
04.06.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
NOT TRUE!  ['just live with it'] Far too many people accept the false wisdom that that's just the way teenagers are. You can’t do anything about it – you just have to live with it. WRONG! With a relatively small ‘pivot’ – you can easily and substantially change the situation, your home life and your teenager’s life! Pivoted steps: 1.      Don’t argue 2.      ASK, DON’T TELL 3.      Develop a mindset in which you             (a) listen,             (b) laugh gently, if appropriate – OR show no emotion nor facial expression;             (c) ASK, gently, “I’m not sure I follow – tell me more about why you think that.” 4.      USE that information to more wisely reply and DISCUSS your reasoning and needed decision. 5.      Be comfortable in making a solid decision if and as needed – remembering that a consensually agreed-to decision is always easiest to enforce – because they had buy-in to it! 6.      EMPHASIZE that you are REALLY trying to listen and understand – but that your ultimate concern is their safety and life, even if it’s a painful decision. 7.      Define consequences of breaking this rule in your mind BEFORE the conversation begins. 8.      If the decision or rule is broken, YOU MUST enforce it!  If you don’t, they will see you as weak. 9.      If that rule is broken again, administer predefined MORE STRENUOUS consequences Be EXTREMELY CONSCIOUS and aware: with all the freedoms teens have, the more authoritative and domineering the atmosphere you create, the more defiant they will be. AND IN OUR NEXT EPISODE, we’ll discuss the most frequent or aggravating things your teen does or doesn’t do:  Laziness;  Homework/ schoolwork;  Screen time/ games;  Unpleasant, possibly nasty;  Messy bedroom;  Clothes strewn around bedroom, not put away,
29.05.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
Dear Mom or Dad, "If you always have the answer, you don't.  You can best help me to grow and 'become' by listening - listening to my thoughts, ideas, struggles- and NOT jump in and tell me what I should do.  That gives me a far better chance to become the me you’d hope for. We learned in school that the most powerful communication tool and skill is to listen... Love you,  Your kid"
19.05.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
Gotcha, didn’t I?  You can’t wait to argue, debunk, reject such blarney!!! Read further! Humans are naturally achievers.  THAT’S SCIENTIFIC FACT. So when someone acts like or even describes themselves as lazy, there’s a reason.  For teenagers, it may be attention-seeking behavior!!  [it happens!]  The more probable answers: they may just be TIRED.  They’re going through immense physiological changes – their bodies are literally growing – and that takes energy.  It’s much like a surgical patient recovering in the hospital, not allowed to go home yet – their body is rebuilding. Avoidance or procrastination [almost the same thing but not quite] – is basically FEAR.  It occurs because (o) “they don’t know how” [to perform or complete the task] – and they may be ashamed to admit it, or (o) there’s some other fear-like reaction going on inside their head. In some people – adults and teens, there is actually a FEAR of SUCCESS – which shows itself as laziness, procrastination or avoidance. Might there be deep-seated psychological issues? Yes – but not as often as you might think. And if there are, the solutions are pretty much the same ones listed here. And, there may be several other causes going on – but simply labeling it as laziness evades the question, the issue, the cause. Bottom line? Laziness is a defense mechanism – they’re hiding something – even though they may not consciously realize or understand that they’re doing it! What to do?  Use patience, empathy, support, GENTLE encouragement, DON’T MAKE A BIG ISSUE of it.  The bigger you make it, the more defensive they’ll become. In reacting – show no emotion.  And when you see “movement,” progress, got off the couch or whatever, – what BF Skinner called ‘successive approximations’ – compliment that action or movement - without making it a HUGE thing. And as always with teenagers – stay the course and ‘soldier on’ – with faith in your heart and a thick skin!
14.05.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
Launch Your Life!: BREAKING THE BOREDOM and SAMENESS (I): PLAYING CHESS WITH AND FOR YOUR TEENAGER If you think about it - every single instance of winning and succeeding in ANY field - sports, s...
14.05.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
PLAYING CHESS WITH AND FOR YOUR TEENAGER If you think about it - every single instance of winning and succeeding in ANY field - sports, science, medicine, business, etc., etc. happens because the individual saw 2 or 3 or 4 steps ahead of the situation – and anticipated and pre-planned possible alternative actions. And that's what makes a good chess player.  And before you minimize or reject the idea – be assured – it’s not just an intellectual’s game.  Huge numbers of people of all ages and intellects enjoy and play chess! The mindset development from chess is perfectly transferable and applicable to all of life. It's a magnificent tool to teach your teenager. In a gentle, adult-conversational manner you will accomplish several goals and see multiple benefits: (o) it will give you and them something to do together, (o) it will give them something novel and different to add to their often boring current lockdown, (o) it will give them a thinking tool – of great value FOR LIFE! (o) you will begin to further strengthen your relationship with your teenager [and probably more…] The heart, the core of it will build their ability to foresee WHAT HAPPENS IF... - huge insight for life.   “WHAT IF…” could be – “what if I ask ___ to “go out with me” [if that’s the current lingo] and they say No” – or “What if the other team does something unexpected?”  OR “What if the teacher asks _____? Will I be prepared?”  OR “What if – the sky falls”, OR “my car won’t start” OR “the soufflé falls” OR “my favorite clothes shrink in the dryer” OR “my beloved girlfriend/ boyfriend drops me”  and on and on…  Very often, teenagers are so muddled by their current circumstance, that their ability to see down the road is either too idealistic [“oh, that won’t happen to me”] or completely clueless – they just don’t know!    Secondly you will give him or her a tool for thinking and discussing issues and questions of life. Questions like - where should I go to college? What should I major in? What if I don’t go to college - what will I or should I do? What should my career be? And the list goes on and on and on. The ability to foresee, think about, consider, ponder and decide for or against is a huge tool for the duration of their life. If you make it a game-like situation now - you will hopefully enjoy the experience and you will gain and grow and develop them beautifully! It’s your move! 
06.05.2020
launch-your-life
No comments
“There are two kinds of people” – how many times have we heard or said that?  Here’s one that can be most effective with your teenager – and normal people, too! In conversation and discussion, people very often reply to a comment with either “Yeah, but…” OR “yes – I see your point - and can I add…?”  If you’ll notice, you’ll see that strong and frequent trend in communicating, from many people. Apply that Yes concept to your teen and you can bet your communications will improve!  And conversely, if your usual and common mode is to say “Yeah, but…” – the argument and disconnect starts right there. If you immediately reply to correct and negate, you are SETTING THE TONE for a disagreement.  The true success of any communication is consensus – which BTW is NOT acquiescence – not giving in, just to get along.  It’s two or more people coming to an agreement that all can live with. Is that always possible? No, but it’s certainly worth pursuing.  And even if you DO have to pull rank and force a decision they don’t like, they will see that you tried for consensus and agreement. And if your first reaction to what you just read is “Yeah, but…” – that’s the point! Regardless of the issue - if your reply is “yes, I understand - please tell me a little bit more.” Or “yes, I think I see your point – please help me to see it more clearly.”  “Yes, you have a valid point. Let's discuss it further so I better understand what you're saying.”   “Yes, I understand why you want that.  Let's talk about what the other elements or considerations or reactions might be.” And So It Goes. Another BTW:  you will notice that the silent thread that runs through this entire line of reasoning is respect.  Even if they don’t respect you, respect them – take the moral high ground.  They WILL remember – maybe not now – but some day … If we start by acknowledging their thinking with ‘Yes…” and then build from there, you will go dramatically further, faster and agreeably rather than instantly rejecting their no! YES, you do see the point of all this, don’t you? 😁
Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Launch Your Life 2015