Mom or Dad,
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...
Gotcha, didn’t I? You can’t wait to argue, debunk, reject such blarney!!!
naturally achievers. THAT’S SCIENTIFIC
So when someone
acts like or even describes themselves as lazy, there’s a reason.
For teenagers, it
may be attention-seeking behavior!! [it
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.
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
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!
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!
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
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.
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
OR “the soufflé
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!
will give him or her a tool for thinking and discussing issues and questions of
Questions like -
where should I go to college?
What should I
What if I don’t
go to college - what will I or should I do?
What should my
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
It’s your move!
“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
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.”
“yes, I think I see your point – please help me to see it more
“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!
you do see the point of all this, don’t you? 😁
I try to suggest parenting strategies toward teens – this one is a family
that people are becoming more and more stressed – as they are ‘locked in’ at
been in the business and success coaching field for a L-O-N-G time [I’m now
adapted to success coaching for teens] – and I can tell you ABSOLUTELY that the
best ‘immediate’ strategy I know: when ANYONE is feeling overwhelmed à MAKE a LIST!! Then,
with the top priorities, MAKE a PLAN.
the plan isn’t finished, the fact that you have one gives you an almost instant
feeling of having re-established CONTROL.
That list could be anything – even complaints and negatives! Getting them down on paper provides an instantly
clearer idea of the issues – which almost always turn out to be far fewer than
you thought – and allow you to begin to work through them easily and quickly. If you think this only applies to business,
you are absolutely wrong. It works FOR
LIFE. And if you’re here for teenagers –
works perfectly for them, TOO!
you might ask, Lists you might start – yourself or your family: [probably
choose just ONE]
List everything I’m doing that annoys you
[then, I will] list everything YOU do that annoys me
List all the reasons curfews don’t work
List all the reasons your hounding me about studying or grades
or school doesn’t work
List all the reasons I shouldn’t have to help clean the house
[then] – all the reasons I SHOULD help clean the house
List all the reasons that what you do annoys me no end!!!
List all the THINGS I WANT [you – each family member]
NEXT STEP is to begin creating a plan to address each issue. AT THE SAME TIME, just deciding (a) which one(s)
to work on, and (b) who will decide what steps or actions we’ll follow – will be
SURE to go into this with a sense of humor and willingness to adapt and LAUGH
We believe that
the essence of ALL human lives is to be of service to others… whether nurse,
first responder, truck driver, teacher, cashier, cook, waitperson – we are all
there to support and be of service to each other.
LAUNCH-YOUR-LIFE exists: to be of service – to teenagers and their parents – as
they evolve and strive through those often-explosive, often troubled teen
We don’t ‘know
it all’ – but we have many years of experience in guiding and coaching success
ANY TIME we can
help YOU – whether your teen is troubled, unmotivated, unfocused –or already
pretty darned good!! – We can help and elevate – since all of us are striving
to get to “that next level” in our own lives.
Please be in
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 –
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
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!
You are probably now in
the midst of the toughest, weirdest, most problematic time of your and your teenagers
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
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
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
· What could have been done to prevent it?
· What should we do to prevent its ever
· What inventions do we need, to prevent the
future need for
social distancing and
sheltering in place and
cancelling school and
finding, optimizing alternative learning modes?
other or different changes to society or school – or anything – do you think we
Then, use second- and even third-level follow-up questions
leading to exploration and wondering, even pilot-testing their ideas and
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!!
‘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
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!
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 –
[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,