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,
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
you react [how they see you react]
can we LEARN from this?
1. How you
react [how they see you react]
clue what to do?
someone else’s fault,
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.
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…
teen will model you in the future…!!
Soldier on, valiant, unflappable, indomitable
Success is intricately intertwined
Pursuing happiness by pursuing SUCCESS works best
As others have said – EVERY TEEN has
some great talent
EVERY teen has MUCH untapped capacity
Conditioning works CONSTANTLY – be
conscious and aware of what YOU are conditioning
All kids/ teens are fundamentally
Our role is to find and/or build that
Negativity only breeds negativity –
reflect on that, please
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?
Our only goal is building success
Success is NOT monetary nor
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
We live, pursue and activate these
tenets with every element of Launch-Your-Life
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
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:
or identify a specific idea of the new, desired goal – [NOT the goal you’re
trying to shed]
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 ___________!
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
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!!
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!!
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!
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”
REPLY or says “no.”
1. OK, I’ll do it [take only your own, not
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”
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”
REPLY or says “no.”
his/her dishes, leave – uncleaned –on counter or even back porch/ deck
select any one of the replies above – or be even more creative!]
“Please put the game controller away and start studying…”
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!
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
What do you commonly
“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
How would you respond? _________________.
Check back here tomorrow for suggested