GIVE YOUR TEEN THE BEST CHANCE AT SUCCESS
by Julie Orris, PsyD
In today's competitive climate of high school, a 4.8GPA means you MIGHT get accepted into a University of California school. Being the best player on the basketball team means you MIGHT get looked at by colleges but are competing with thousands for your spot on the Division 1 college teams. It means that perfection can still mean relative failure. It is time we start preparing our kids for adulthood in a different way: by giving them one environment where they are liked, loved and understood - and by giving them a place where they are ENOUGH. We can do that by using three important skills
1. Notice their unique qualities : One of the keys to building a satisfying life is following our values. In order to do that, we have to know what is important to us - what we like, what we find interesting, what we are good at, and what we are attracted to. By noticing and reflecting to our kids what we see in them, we are making it more likely they will have more clarity on who they are and what they value.
2. Validate : By showing understanding of our teen's experiences, and particularly their emotions, we can enhance the relationship with our teen and reinforcing healthy expression of emotion. When kids grow up in a validating environment, they learn to trust their own experience and are better equipped to regulate emotion.
3. Hold the dialectic of acceptance and change: By holding acceptance of where are kids are performing, their struggles, and allowing for the possibility that they may be on a very different timeline or trajectory than we had imagined, we communicate that they are valued and accepted as they are. By also holding hope and belief in their ability to achieve, to reach goals, to improve, and to learn new skills - we create an environment that encourages them to solve problems, take risks, and learn from mistakes.
There is no replacement for a home environment that teaches a child to fully accept themselves while working hard to reach their goals. For more parenting tips and online therapy blogs, follow us on instagram @both_are_true