In Part 1 your heart should have been warming to the social issues faced by the youth of today. Here's a follow up, which you might like to think about when you're at home with a teen in your life.
Tips to try at home
Although you may not recognise it, your teenager will look to you for positive responses to their negativity. Better still, make it easy for your teenager to do the right thing and therefore please you. Here are some tips.
We sometimes are of the mistaken belief that our teenagers no longer appreciate ‘rewards’ and that we should keep prize-giving for the younger kids. But although they may respond with perceived apathy, your teenager will be very heartened to know that they have succeeded in pleasing you and probably enjoy the bonuses offered.
Rewards can be as simple as choosing what to have for the family meal, buying a favourite drink. Or for special recognition you could beef it up for a trip to the cinema or tickets to a favourite sports event (obviously without you, their parents).
What’s in it for them?
Goal setting and planning is not high on the agenda for teenagers. So when they moan and groan about school or college, try to sit down with them and discuss the future. Use the What’s In it For Me? process (see^^below) . On a sheet of A4 create two columns; one column should read “Likely Benefits of…..” and the other column should read “Possible consequences for not……”. You’ll need to facilitate the discussion, but it’s a great opportunity to examine their expectations. If your teenager doesn't have any future plans or goals, it’s a simple way to start the process and you’ll need to make it relate directly to what’s happening right now.
Use motivational slogans and mantras, just to ruin their lives:
I remember my own mother and Grandmother telling me lots of *useful* catchphrases, quotes and'sayings. At the time I thought it was ridiculous and didn't understand. But now I find myself repeating them to my own teenagers because they seem to have more meaning from a distance.
So if you’ve encouraged, rewarded and smiled and your teen is still grumpy today, remember this: they won’t be like that in 5 years’ time and every single tomorrow is a new start.
^^ Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development - in which right behaviour is defined by whatever is in the individual's best interest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development
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