Teenagers can be fun, exciting and creative. They can also be stubborn, self-absorbed and self-defeating. That’s why it’s so important to have open-minded parents to not only help guide the teen through the mind fields of life, but also to help them set and achieve realistic goals.
The most important thing a teenager’s parents need to understand is: they aren’t in control forever. Eventually the teen grows up and leaves the nest, and the steps parents take while the teen is under their roof is key to determining the level of success their teen will have when they grow up. A parent must be firm, but also understanding that being a teenager is about boundaries, experimentation, and setting goals. Parents should facilitate a learning process that helps their teen understand what goals they’re interested in, and how to move from point A to point B in terms of achieving them. This means helping the teen investigate future goals, not pressing upon them what the parents want them to do.
Another important strategy for parents is to recognize and reward effort versus innate ability. Every teen has different strengths and weaknesses and some teens are able to skate through something successfully by putting in minimum effort. For others, it takes great work and effort to achieve minimal success. That’s why “smart parenting” dictates putting more emphasis on the effort put into something, as opposed to simply the end result. This way, parents start to instill the importance of having a strong work ethic, which is critical to success later in life.
Parents should also use short term goals to reward and motivate their teens. Some parents have their teen’s life mapped out already and only reward them based on their long-term effort & commitment to achieving these long term goals. This can be a recipe for disaster, as teens’ thinking is much shorter term, and can lead to feelings of inadequacy, depression and failure if long term goals look like they’re not being met. Parents should help their child break up all goals into small, short term ones, and reward them accordingly, that way teens feel they are meeting with success, by achieving goals on a regular basis.
Parenting a teen can be a challenge, but by keeping and open mind & making smart decisions, the challenge can feel very rewarding. Facilitating learning processes, recognizing effort versus ability and using short term goals to motivate are a few of the ways to foster a strong relationship with your teen, as well as give them the best possible chance to meet their goals and be successful in life. Remember, teenagers can be very stubborn and the best way to make sure they’re on the right track is to give them the knowledge and understanding they need to make their own decisions.
Need some help understanding how to be an open-minded parent? Visit www. lifecoachintoronto. com and learn how Toronto Life Coach and Mentor, Ivana Pejakovic can help motivate your teens to achieve their goals.
Ivana Pejakovic, MA, is a Life Coach working with teens as they make their own journey in life. Sometimes, with distractions all around us, we accidently or intentionally step off the road to self-discovery only to end up disoriented, confused and unhappy. Teens are particularly likely to step off the right path as they search for their true self and a place to fit.
Through the principles of self-love and self-awareness, Ivana helps her clients experience fulfilment and balance, as she guides them to develop a healthy attitude and a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem. She aims for her clients to understand their true worth and potential, to focus on what matters, and to help them develop goals and a vision to guide them in a direction that is right for them.