LOOKING FOR THE BEST LIFE LESSONS FOR TEENS? ARE YOU RAISING A TEEN YOURSELF?
As a mom of a teenager myself, I understand full well that the parenting game changes immensely when your child hits high school.
However that doesn’t mean we need to shirk away from this responsibility.
Our children need us MORE THAN EVER during these formative years and it is up to us to provide them with the right support, love and guidance during this sometimes tumultuous journey.
I have written a whole book for teens, parting advice on how to live life without regret.
From that book INSPIRING TEENS, here are my top five lessons (written specifically for teens) that I really believe it is important for a teen to learn.
5 LESSONS TO TEACH YOUR TEEN
1 RECOGNIZE WHO YOU ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL IS NOT NECESSARILY WHO YOU WILL BE IN LATER LIFE
In high school we are often given a specific role to play – there are the geeks, art freaks, jocks, losers, drama weirdos, goths, deadbeats, popular kids and whatever other label they have going on in your high school at the time.
If you can resist falling under such a label that is great but chances are it will be granted to you whether you like it or not.
Now here’s the thing – when you have been labelled as something (whether it’s super nice or super suckful) it may feel like this label is going to stick forever. It may also feel like a mask you can’t strip off no matter how hard you try.
For the four to six years you are in high world these roles seem like a division between the students.
It isn’t until you finally leave the fish bowl of a school environment that you realize these labels were arbitrary.
They kept us locked in a box and misunderstood.
I want to assure you just because a label has been placed upon your shoulders does not mean you need to pigeon-hole yourself into this little niche too.
Resist the label. Know you are more than a one-word tag.
And guess what?
Everyone else in high school is more than their one-word tag too.
Do your best to expand yourself and your friendships.
Spread your wings by speaking to new people, especially those who are outside your social circle.
Once you are outside high school you will be presented with and expected to socialize with so many different types of people that it is best if you are capable of getting along with everyone, sooner rather than later.
Stereotypes are fast and easy but they are lies and the truth takes its time. Deb Caletti.
2 UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF YOUR THOUGHTS
When you’re young it’s easy to think your thoughts are something you can’t control.
You can’t help but think angry thoughts, right?
You can’t help but feel sad or lonely, happy or mad.
But here’s the thing – you CAN control your thoughts.
Even more importantly, your thoughts are so powerful they usually manifest into reality.
So you need to be careful about what you choose to focus on.
You are probably wondering, what does manifest even mean?
It means your thoughts have a tendency to come true, if you keep repeating something over and over to yourself.
This is why it’s important to think positively.
If you constantly tell yourself “I can do it” or “I will succeed” then the world has a way of listening and giving you exactly what you asked for.
Just the same, the world listens when you repeat negative thoughts to yourself on a daily basis.
If you constantly tell yourself “I’m so stupid”, “I’m such a loser” or “I can’t do anything right” are you surprised when the world gives you those same experiences back?
After all you asked for it, didn’t you? You told yourself it was true.
But you can change this immediately – right now, today, by stopping the negative thoughts and focusing on the positive.
Tell yourself great things; choose to avoid words or labels that put you down or make feel bad.
The recipe is so simple: think angry thoughts and you will feel angry and behave in an angry way.
Think happy thoughts and you will feel happy and behave in a happy way.
Thoughts impact feelings, which in turn impact your behavior. The recipe is the same no matter which feeling or adjective you choose to substitute it with.
3 UNDERSTAND FAILURE DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE A FAILURE
As a teenager failure often feels like the worst thing in the world.
When you fail you feel like a loser.
You get angry at yourself and depressed about the world.
What if I told you though failure is a necessary step to pass on the way to success? What if I told you IT’S OKAY to fail and make mistakes?
The truth is failure is something you need to embrace in life instead doing anything you can to avoid it.
Because this is how we learn – we learn from making errors and discovering what does and doesn’t work.
Try to find someone in this world who has never made a mistake in his or her life.
I’ll save you the fun of searching endlessly for a person that doesn’t exist.
We all experience failure and hardship. We all have good days and bad days.
This is part of being a human and nothing to ever be embarrassed, anxious or nervous about.
4 PICK THE RIGHT FRIENDS
Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know they are always there.
Friends are pretty important no matter what your age but they play a pivotal role in your life when you are a teenager.
This is because they act as a personal support group, during this somewhat difficult stage.
Your friends provide you with a sense of security and belonging.
They are someone you can turn to when things get tough and it helps knowing you are going through similar experiences and feelings at the same time.
So what does it mean to be a good friend?
You have to remember friendship is a two-way street and it takes time to build and maintain positive and supportive friendships.
A true friend doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, fat or thin, if your house is a mess and your parents are crazy.
They will be there for you when you need them the most and despite your faults they will love and cherish the time they spend with you.
Friendship means understanding, even if you don’t always agree with each other. It means forgiving, even if you don’t always forget.
A best friend won’t always agree with you to make you happy.
Instead they will tell you what needs to be said, whether you want to hear it or not.
True friends say good things behind your back and the not-so-nice things straight to your face.
They see the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes your smile.
There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little better.
Cherish these friends for they are precious. It is also important to be a good friend to those who are special to you.
Be trustworthy and help each other out, and you will always have someone you can count on in life.
5 LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS GO ACCORDING TO PLAN
So here’s the thing: life doesn’t always go according to plan.
You may have already worked this out in your life.
Maybe you made plans to do something special with a friend and they ditched you at the last minute.
Maybe your parents promised you a new phone for your birthday and instead all you got were some socks.
All I can say is this: yes it seriously sucks but life is not always predictable or fair.
Sorry I know you probably don’t want to hear this from me but it’s true.
Sometimes the best person doesn’t get the prize; sometimes the pushy person gets recognized ahead of the nice one who waited longer and more patiently.
Sometimes you get blamed for things you didn’t do or you miss out on things you had your heart set on getting.
But that’s life.
It’s unfair and unpredictable for EVERYONE so in a way that’s the only thing that makes it fair (in a weird kind of way).
Much better you get used to this fact instead of fighting something you can’t change.
This is why it is so important to be flexible and to learn how to go with the flow.
Often you will need a Plan B or C, or maybe even a Plan D, E or F, depending on how many challenges you end up facing in life.
Being flexible means being willing and open to change because life will never stay the same.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals.
It simply means you have to be open to trying out different methods to achieve what you want.
Life is series of choices and changes.
If you don’t make the team, get the job, or pass a test, try not to stress too much.
Your life isn’t over…when one door closes another door usually opens.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
For more information on how you can inspire your teen to live life without regret, please feel free to check out my book INSPIRING TEENS: A GUIDE TO LIVING LIFE WITHOUT REGRET
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