Updated: Jul 26
As we get older, we have enough life experience to be able to go back in life and connect the dots.
This helps us make better decisions, and learn from the choices we made. As a teen, the life experience can be limited, as they are experiencing many incidents for the first time. One would say, “well, I keep telling them what the right thing to do is, and they keep ignoring me!” It’s not you, and it’s not them, it’s life! Just like us, they need to experience something in order to learn from it. It is impossible to learn something from a hypothetical scenario, but there is a life hack called “visualizing” that can help teens understand the impact of positive decisions, rather than negative results.
Reminding teens of the negative results is simply noise in their ears. If it worked, no teens would get suspended, there would be no bullying, and no challenges in these years. Focusing on the positive results can sound like this: “remember how much time you had to enjoy with your friends last weekend when you did all your work right after school?” or, “remember how well you did on that assignment when you asked for help from your teacher before you got started?” or “yes, that’s a great choice, to take charge and show how you care about your learning!” and even the good old, “I trust you will make the right decision, you have before!” These might sound a little awkward in the beginning, but as you instil the sense of trust in your teen’s judgement, you will open up a line of communication that will enable them to trust themselves, their own judgement, and their own abilities; yes, you got it right, you will be empowering them!