18.11.2021
launch-your-life
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 In YOUR opinion, is your teenager performing below his/ her potential?

 If so, if you could gently, even invisibly guide them toward THEIR OWN desired growth or change or development, would you be interested? 

 We are preparing to release a very effective [low stress] system, enabling a teenager to strengthen their life in whatever area they choose – academics, sports, any area.  Before we release it to the public, we’d like your insight as a parent.  In exchange for your reply, you will receive a free gift, for you or your teen!

18.10.2021
launch-your-life
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That’s the unanswerable question for too many parents of teenage boys.

Yet, it’s contradicted by the FACT that all humans are inherently motivated.

So what’s the answer?

If you think it’s a biological or psychological problem, there’s at least an 80% chance you’re wrong!!

And if it’s not biological or psychological, there’s only one element left: their ENVIRONMENT – the world in which they live: parents, siblings, friends, school, sports, other activities.

As a parent your first reaction might be something like “how dare you? I’m doing my best… I feed him, clothe him, care for him…”  And in most all cases, it would be hard to find fault in your parenting.

Bottom line: when you left the hospital after he was born, they probably didn’t give you a book to tell you how to raise the perfect kid.

Parenting is hit or miss – if you miss, try again, DIFFERENTLY.

I’m amazed at how often I read of parents whose teens “suddenly” won’t do anything – school, household chores…  Are they REALLY believing this just started happening?  I think not!

If you’re a helicopter parent, doing and giving everything for him – why should he get off the couch?

Frankly, [subjective opinion] – those kids who have THE LEAST are often the most motivated.

 

Might you be trying to fit him into the paradigm box of your expectations – and he refuses…?

Are you trying too hard? 

Have you given him every book and resource to ATTEMPT to make him into what you want?

Has he failed – and given up?  If so, what did you do next?

Failure can be very upsetting, often creating an “I’m no good” thought.

Think of his possible interpretations – did he fail himself? Did he fail you?

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

•         What are your expectations of him?

•         WHY do you have those expectations?  [yes, instantly you will say “for his own good”]

•         Do you think he understands that? 

•         Would you, when you were a teen?

 

One key is to provide or allow as many different resources as he’s interested in – and let him discover his own motivation.

BTW - recent research shows that video-gaming is not harmful, unless done to excess.

I had robotic surgery a few years ago – I hope my surgeon was very good at video-gaming!

 

DE-MOTIVATING WORDS

•         Have you said unkind things when he fell short – or did you reply as a teaching coach would – “this is how you can do it better…”

Bad example: we see too many parents trying to live out their sports dreams through their kids – which often makes them wild and over-emotional FAR too often and nutsy! ☹

 

1.       “Fertilize” him with resources and opportunities. 

2.       DON’T force any of them on him.

3.       Avoid over-persuading. You’ll turn him right off – and lose this battle.

4.       Be patient.  I’ll bet he notices – and emotionally ‘returns’ to receptivity.

 

Two over-arching thoughts:

LISTEN       And LEARN.

If you’re interested, we have some simple tools you can use to begin to guide this process.

If we can be of help in this or any teenager issues, please message us here or CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com

 

 

28.09.2021
launch-your-life
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WHY???

One of the main areas of focus in business, executive and even personal coaching currently is the issue of finding your WHY.  That is, understanding your life’s purpose – WHY you’re here, on this planet, this life, this world.  That might seem too lofty or unnecessary or over-intellectualizing, but – it’s a worthwhile objective for most adults.

 

However, while that focus on knowing your WHY is important, it may be too premature for most high schoolers.  It does provide an excellent interim step to get them moving and thinking toward dreams and success and all its related elements toward life success.

 

In working with teens, we’ve found that helping them, guiding them, leading them to identify a dream goal that they can pursue now has value. [yes, like most all goals, it can be changed, deleted or replaced] Until high school, for the most part, they have been TOLD what to do, where to go, etc. – by parents, teachers, coaches, et al. But beginning to pursue “something of their own” on a daily basis, exercises and strengthens a number of valuable traits. It helps them to become more motivated, more focused, more driven and more success oriented. [we’ve also found that pursuing their own dream goal improves self-esteem and even family relationships AND academic performance!]

 

We also find that life and career dreaming is often quite foreign to their thinking and mindset.  And yet, it can plant some valuable fertilizing seeds toward their thinking, future and even today's life and world.

 

If you’re interested, we have a couple simple tools you can use to begin to guide this process.

If we can be of help in this or any teenager issues, please message us here or CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com 

Success to you and your teen!!

 

A FINAL NOTE: ALL WE HAVE IN LIFE IS HOPE - and this is your teen’s starting point!

19.06.2021
launch-your-life
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In teaching sales skills a few years ago, I did an entire sales presentation ASKING ONLY QUESTIONS! I never made a single declarative statement.   And it worked! The class understood and valued what I had done. [old expression: “sellin’ ain’t tellin’, askin’ is”]

In ‘negotiating’ or communicating with teenagers - you could do much the same thing!

This may take a little thoughtful preparation on your part, but the results will be worth it - fewer arguments, improved relationships, happier family life, greater mutual respect!

 We are all predictable [ask your spouse or partner!] – so you can readily predict what your teen will say to almost anything [assuming you listen well].

Imagine an entire conversation with your teenager in which you ONLY ask questions! Nothing snide, nothing sarcastic, nothing condescending, no sermonizing.  Just lead the conversation through and with questions. [like the Socratic method – see below]

 Remember always that if you don't participate in an argument there is no argument. By asking questions, you take the lead, you don’t argue and you’re always guiding the conversation.  I can instantly hear many readers objecting and disagreeing and saying this won't work.  Yes it will!!  It may take a little prior thinking on your part – especially if you already argue with them often.  But THINK – if you don’t argue – and they expect you to, they’ll be dumbfounded when you don’t!  Give it a try and see how far you get! And please report back as to how you did. I am always open to new and advancing learning.

 Let’s develop a list of good, worthwhile questions.     I’ll start:

·        “that’s an interesting point – please tell me more”

·        OR – “I don’t follow your thinking – please tell me how you got there”

·        “Now THAT’S enlightening!”

·        “just curious – what evidence or past experience makes you believe that?”

·         

·         

Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions

07.05.2021
launch-your-life
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 If your teenager isn't performing up to expectations, they must be defective!

What are you going to do?

Send them back to the factory?

Expect the schools to fix them?

Give them the proper pharmaceutical drugs?

- - - and if you don't believe that your teenager can be strengthened, built, refined - much like a coach builds an athlete - then you're done!

But if you believe they have the capacity for growth and change and even championship status, watch these pages next week for some easily workable, proven, low effort solutions!!

 

 

21.04.2021
launch-your-life
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Depression is one of the more prevalent issues for teens and their parents - and it’s worsening daily.  FACT: if you treat it only with prescription drugs, you are precluding their learning coping skills. 

I watched a presentation about depression recently – which should fascinate you, even if your teen is not depressed. The link is below, from NY Times best-selling author Johann Hari.  My fear is that many parents will simply ignore or reject it L.  I will leave it you to decide yourself.  I also have the transcript, if you’d like to read it.  If you’d like to talk about it or to obtain the transcript, I’d be happy to – just email me at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com  

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB5IX-np5fE  

31.03.2021
launch-your-life
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 Parenting is not an automatic, knee-jerk response.  NO ONE just knows it.  It’s not inherited nor pre-printed in your brain in the parents book of know-how!

Chances are that you’re parenting exactly as your parents did – or exactly the opposite!!

The world has changed IMMENSELY in the last 5 years, let alone 10 or 15 – when your teen was born.

And by today, your kids and their world and their chances to do incredible things HAVE CHANGED!!

So your plan of action must change also!!!!

First rule:

THINK

– which presupposes that you PAUSE, and think

– don’t make it a knee-jerk reaction.

[Consider] - ‘Why did my teen do that or say that?’

All human behavior is successful [purposeful].  [Many people will disagree. They’re wrong]

There’s some gain, or self-image preservation that a teen “accomplishes” by their actions.

Example: If they don’t know how to do something and don’t want to admit it, avoiding it preserves their shaky self-image. 

I’m sure you can see lots of other self-image protections in your teen’s actions – whether they’re belligerent or unkind or avoidant - those are self-image protections!!

Many years ago, I observed gifted kids who were academically strong and therefore had never been challenged in school/ classes.  When they finally were, typically in college, they were emotionally defenseless – they had no strategy no mental resource available!  It had never been developed!  They simply didn’t know what to do – and their self-image was “under attack!”  

So if your teen becomes defensive or belligerent or avoids doing something needed or requested or explained, this is a great time to [pause, think], then follow our ASK, DON’T TELL strategy.

ASK, DON’T TELL means stop telling, reverse your paradigm, and begin gently asking clarifying questions.

Teens are TIRED of being TOLD.  So by shifting to an ASKING, information-seeking mode, not sermonizing or “teaching” – you’ll get further AND strengthen your relationship!

BTW – Discovery learning – leading them to their own revelations – is THE most powerful means of learning!

SO – was there information here you can use?     When?

Got your information-seeking, non-accusatory questions?  Prior thought and preparation is what makes anyone a champion!! 

 

25.03.2021
launch-your-life
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 There’s been an alarming proliferation of categories to explain or define emotional and cognitive abnormalities over the years: learning disability, dyslexia, cognitive impairment, from “autistic” evolved to the autism spectrum as well as ADHD, ADD, executive function impairment, 2e [twice exceptional] – and more.

Two concerns:

(1) all of a sudden, with this diagnosis, many parents feel a huge burden has been lifted from them. “Now, we know what it is!” – and they’re relieved!

(2) but the name, the labeling doesn’t actually do much of anything!

I once sat in a multi-disciplinary meeting at which the neurologist [a required medical professional by law, back them] – told us the student did or did not have ‘frank brain damage’ – I don’t remember which BECAUSE it didn’t matter!  No matter what he found, we still had the same student and deficiencies or conditions to remediate!!!

For me, that was a life lesson - which I’ve come back to, countless times. The key point, whether the student has ADHD, dyslexia, executive function problems, etc. – we’re NOT going to throw him/her away – we’re going to work with them, develop them!!!

These conditions can often be treated by and with drugs.  However, in the long run, most people – parents and student – want to wean off them.

I have worked with enough teens to know that most of them recognize that they themselves need to learn coping mechanisms and processes to succeed with life without medication.

And yes, it can be done.  There are, of course, some who will need medication for life.

One “can’t be changed or fixed” example: many people believe that a reading disability [dyslexia, if you must] is a permanent condition.  And yet – if you read the results Dr. Peter Gray found in surveying students who left school and went home to learn, in a fairly brief period of time, they were reading well!!  Seemingly, it was the pressures of school that “disabled them.”

Most often, we can provide and develop coping strategies. I see many workshops now being offered to ameliorate these cognitive and or emotional shortcomings.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t negate those workshops in any way. But… read on - - - -

The most straightforward strategy is to (1) identify the needed or desired behavior(s) – lack of focus, lack of self-discipline, attention deficits, etc., then, with a cooperative student, work toward the new/ desired behavior with a positively stated goal – not a “don’t do that” goal.

It’s FAR easier to move TOWARD a new, desired behavior than AWAY FROM an unwanted or undesirable one.  We need to identify a new, DESIRED behavior – which will simply ‘overlay’ on top of the unwanted behavior - using the old but still valid model of successive approximations. [Frankly, this will work even with an uncooperative teen – but must be done subtly!]

Step by step approximations of the desired behavior are rewarded or reinforced as the student moves or acts, small step by small step, closer and closer to the desired end result.

Done repeatedly, this process will instill the new, desired habit or behavior.  And with recent research, we now know that it takes [approximately] 66 days to install a new habit.

FYI – neurolinguistic programming proponents contend that everything we’ve ever experienced is in our brain!  And I tend to agree.  So overlaying the new behavior overrides the unwanted one.  Might there be a relapse?  Absolutely.  “Rinse and repeat.”

There are said to be four stages of learning.  The goal here is to internalize or habituate these behaviors to the fourth stage: Unconscious Knowing – but realize, to get there, they need to move through the previous three stages.

Four Stages of Learning

1.       UNconscious UNknowing – don’t know what you don’t know

2.       Conscious UNknowing – you know that you don’t know

3.       Conscious Knowing – you know and, with conscious effort, can do…

4.       UNconscious Knowing – you do, simply by habit – literally without thinking

This is NOT a quick fix – but interestingly, all these repeated reinforcements can also only have a positive impact on the student’s self-esteem - - - and that’s your main job to nurture as a parent!

With these thoughts, go forth, and may the force be with you – and please report back on your results!

 

 

17.02.2021
launch-your-life
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 TEEN’S DAILY NEEDS - -

You’ve probably noticed the huge popularity of motivational quotes all over the internet. And there's a message there. As much as people may want to ‘direct’ those quotes to us, they are also particularly meaningful, even personal, to the individual who posted them.  My message is – life beats down on us daily. And we all need to support each other.

And for you as the parent of a teenager - you need to do pretty much the same thing. As frustrating and even angering as teenage behaviors and unpleasant comments may be, it's important to keep in mind that they really are trying to establish their place in society in their own minds and in your household.  They are filled with doubts and wonderments.

So your BEST function as their parent is to look beyond their shortcomings and the negative things they do and remain positive, upbeat and encouraging. But keep in mind - a key element – your comments needs to be subtle - not directly expressed or explained.

I'm sure many of you will have doubts and even rejections of these thoughts but they are true and valid and real.

SEND YOUR TEEN INTO THE WORLD EACH DAY WITH BELIEF IN HIM OR HERSELF! [use different words]

 

28.12.2020
launch-your-life
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 In teaching sales skills a few years ago, I did an entire sales presentation ASKING ONLY QUESTIONS! I never made a single declarative statement.   And it worked! The class understood and valued what I had done. 

[old expression: “sellin’ ain’t tellin’, askin’ is”]

In ‘negotiating’ or communicating with teenagers - you could do much the same thing!

This may take a little thoughtful preparation on your part, but the results will be worth it - fewer arguments, improved relationships, happier family life, greater mutual respect!

 We are all predictable [ask your spouse or partner!] – so you can readily predict what your teen will say to almost anything [assuming you listen well].

Imagine an entire conversation with your teenager in which you ONLY ask questions! Nothing snide, nothing sarcastic, nothing condescending, no sermonizing.  Just lead the conversation through and with questions. [like the Socratic method – see below]

Remember always that if you don't participate in an argument there is no argument. By asking questions, you take the lead, you don’t argue and you’re always guiding the conversation.  I can instantly hear many readers objecting and disagreeing and saying this won't work.  Yes it will!!  It may take a little prior thinking on your part – especially if you already argue with them often.  But THINK – if you don’t argue – and they expect you to, they’ll be dumbfounded when you don’t!  Give it a try and see how far you get! And please report back as to how you did. I am always open to new and advancing learning.

 Let’s start a list of good, worthwhile questions. I’ll start:

·        “that’s an interesting point – please tell me more”

·        OR – “I don’t follow your thinking – please tell me how you got there”

·        “Now THAT’S enlightening!”

·        “just curious – what evidence or past experience makes you believe that?”

·         _________________________________________

·         _________________________________________

·         _________________________________________

 

Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions

 

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