Teen Rut

back of teen boy walking down street backpack hand on headTeens get in the rut of the same patterns different day. They may say they want to change but you don’t see the effort being made. In fact, in your adult body, when you say you are going to do something, you do it. But it may have taken you years to get where you are and lots of trial and error.

So let’s give teens some credit that change is possible. Rather than a dose of “I told you so” or “You can’t do it,” offer a bit of hope. Acknowledgement of the feeling that it may be difficult and a confidence boost saying you know they are a capable kid.

Let’s take this last 6 weeks of school for example. Your child may have an intention of getting in their late work. Rather than showing the negativity you feel about not getting in their work, show some encouragement and offer some support. Because what is done is done. I would encourage you to process the semester with them but probably at a later time then when they are not coming up with a plan to crank out what they need to do. This can be discouraging and lead to hopelessness.

Am I condoning getting work in late? No. But I am an optimist and realist, and it is inevitable some children will just not be on top of things all school year.

What if you had to get something turned in late at your work. Something that slipped your mind or didn’t make it on the agenda. Would you want your boss telling you they knew you wouldn’t get it done and you will never be able to turn it in. Probably not. How about you boss asking you to do your best to get it done, if you need some assistance in planning how to tackle things or understanding the concepts, and empowering you with the idea that you can succeed?  Now that sounds nice.

So I know it is hard when kids aren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing or not doing as well as they should. These are all life lessons we can help them with to grow into successful adults who are going to run our country, businesses, and have families. Take a deep breath, smile, and know that even though it isn’t perfect, your hope in your child can make a difference.

And lastly, please join myself and a few colleagues as we offer a FREE Parent Education Event Sink or Swim: 5 Tips for a Successful Summer.  This will be held May 15 from 6-7PM at the Burdell Building, 405 East D Street #105, Petaluma.  There will be plenty of time for quesitons and answers about how to help your junior high child. Visit www.sinkorswimsummer.com for more infomation and to RSVP.


I empower my child to be successful with words of encouragement and actions of support.