Is Your Teen Resilient?
Do this ONE THING to make them resilient.
Make your love and commitment to your kids count. Not to sound dramatic, but this is not a normal time. You know it, too. Our kids need us now more than ever.
That said, this letter may well be the most important thing you’ll read in your life. Here’s why.
Being a teen is tough enough in the best of times.
Add to that the huge disruption caused by COVID as school starts, economic uncertainties and social unrest and what parent isn’t losing sleep worried about how their teen will get their life started in a world that seems to get more chaotic by the minute?
There really is no time to waste. We need to get our teens ready not only for school, but to thrive in the uncertain world we live in.
More than anything, this ONE THING will help build the foundation of resilience in your teen. First, some basics:
The isolation caused by COVID-19 is actually an opportunity to build key resilient strengths for an uncertain future.
You can flip the problem of social isolation caused by COVID on its head.
You can use this time as a kind of “time out” and use it to anchor some essential resilient skills that your teen will need to thrive in the face of the uncertainties and huge challenges that lie ahead.
To do nothing is to risk missing this opportunity to prepare your teen.
You can help your teen now to direct the course of their lives with vision and resilience.
You can help your child now to avoid years of indecision and false starts so many young people are caught in.
You can help your teen now so that they come out stronger, wiser, more confident and better prepared to launch their lives successfully and to even heal our ailing world.
From this generation, there will likely arise some truly historic figures who will meet the challenges of our time in historic ways.
We need to do all we can to can to give them now, right in the middle of the chaos caused by COVID, the resilient strengths they need to meet the challenges of these historic times.
Begin Today To Make Your Teen More Resilient
with this CRITICAL First Step.
Having set up resilience programs for New York City after 9/11, for the State Department through my program at Harvard University and other places all over the world, I can tell you with absolute confidence that you can use these challenging times to bring out the very best in your kids.
To help you do that, this letter will do a few things for you:
1. I’ll show you the critical principles of the first stage of resilience so you have a blueprint to help you think through how to build resilience in your teen.
2. Then, I’ll show you the profoundly helpful “I See You” Transformation Exercise that lays the critically important first stage of resilient growth in your teen. Start today doing the “I See You” Transformation Exercise with your teen. It will vastly accelerate their launch into resilience. THE MORE YOU DO THIS WITH YOUR TEEN, THE MORE SOLID WILL BE YOUR TEEN’S RESILIENCE! Do it as often as you can.
Now, on to the core principles.
The critical first principle of resilience to understand is…
Everyone Wants To Be Seen For Their Best Selves,
For instance, even when we make a mistake, we want our best self to be understood, we might say,
“I didn’t mean it, I was only trying to…” and then we explain a good motive, a skill or a good goal we had intended that didn’t quite pan out.
You see, even when we mess up, we often have a motive, a skill, a plan or a goal we think is good that we want others to see. This is true for teens too.
The negative consequences of the mistake, however, tends to overshadow our motives in the eyes of others. Most then become embarrassed or ashamed. They lose confidence and motivation.
And there is the issue.
The Problem For Teens Is
They Don’t Have Many Refined Skills Yet…
So they make a lot of mistakes.
These mistakes make them feel embarrassed or humiliated.
So, they might stop trying because they don’t want to embarrass or humiliate themselves.
They then feel inadequate for not trying.
They start to feel like they can’t do anything
and beat themselves up for not being good enough.
A “Vicious Cycle” Of Feeling Passive And Powerless Results.
Your teen may then fall into ways to avoid feeling embarrassed and powerless
by not trying at school, work or at home, or
by distracting themselves from real contact with others where they might make a “mistake” and feel exposed and be occupied instead with meaningless, time consuming or even dangerous activities.
Think video games… their phone… or drugs… or porn… or whatever.
The trick is to change the game, to reverse the equation and …
Do the Opposite of What You Would Expect:
Ignore The Problem… For Awhile.
There are important things to do BEFORE you focus on helping a teen solve their problem.
You want to deflect the focus from the problem for a bit, until you have helped your teen feel competent enough to approach the problem.
Maybe you’ve seen your teen stop trying when they feel overwhelmed, confused or inadequate. They can feel these things and then get stuck in anxiety and indecision if we focus on the problem too soon.
The good news is, you can short-circuit that disempowering response and create the conditions needed for your teen to have a confident self-empowered response.
What you want to do is…
Avoid These Motivation Killers And
Change The Focus From The Problem
To The Strengths Your Teen Is Trying To Show.
A mistake, and the humiliation or embarrassment that come with it, are motivation killers for many teens.
They reinforce the idea in your teen that they can’t do anything and shouldn’t try.
But if you first focus on the resilient strengths of your teen and not the problem…
You Can Set Up A “Virtuous Cycle”
Of Empowering Resilient Growth.
Sounds deceptively obvious and simple, and it is, but doing it right is absolutely critical to your teen’s resilient growth.
You change the focus from the mistake or problem and how incompetent your teen is feeling…
To the resilient character strength that they were trying to show.
This places the focus on your teen’s resilient character and that they have the power to act.
This doesn’t fix the problem yet, but it keeps your teen’s motivation alive so they are willing to try, while helping them identify the strengths they need to apply to the problem at hand...
This will make more sense when I show you the “I See You” Transformation Exercise.
The “I See You” Transformation Exercise:
The Critical First Stage Of Building Your Teen’s Resilience
So You Can Sleep At Night Knowing Your Teen Will Thrive.