Breathe, Pray, Give: Dr. Alice’s Guide to the Universe
Okay, that’s my title for the bits of wisdom I have learned over the past ten years from my friend and counselor, Dr. Alice. She has guided and mentored me and many others in so many ways, that they can never be counted. She has helped me through many of the Murphy’s Law Moments in my life, as well as the normal chaos that comes with life, work, marriage, parenting four children, and all the unexpected (such as falling off a longboard–see previous post).
To me, she is one of the wisest, godliest, kindest women I have ever met, and I thank God for bringing her into my life. May her wisdom be spread. But as she would say, “It’s all from God.”
Today’s wisdom from Dr. Alice:
“Practical Suggestions for Teaching Moments”
Each of these ideas can enhance the life of you and your teen.
1. Keep your promises: Let your word be your honor! Keeping a promise that you made is one of the ways you demonstrate integrity and the value you place on your relationship with your teen.
2. Learn to laugh: It has been reported that preschoolers laugh about three hundred times a day. Laughter is healthy; it releases stress and strengthens relationships.
3. Be available: Give your teen your undivided presence. Design routine opportunities to spend time talking with your teen about “their world” and “their concerns.” This is your opportunity to model effective communication skills and teach problem-solving strategies.
4. Provide individualized attention: This desire to have attention often is because of a great need for fairness, especially in relation to siblings. Be on the lookout for infamous behaviors that signal, “I feel like I am being ignored.” These behaviors may be minor irritants or major concerns, such as lying, stealing, breaking the rules, anger, or depression. Even bad attention is better than no attention.
5. Give your teenager a voice: Encourage them to share by being a compassionate listener. Listen, repeat what you have heard, ask if your interpretation is accurate, reserve your judgement, ask clarifying questions, keep listening, probe the feelings that surround the issue, and acknowledge and affirm those feelings. If appropriate, practice negotiation techniques in order to come up with a “win-win” plan. (Discuss: Win-Win, Win-Lose, Lose-Win, Lose-Lose)
6. Recognize the struggle of independence: Teens experience a constant struggle between their desire for independence and their “security grip” on dependence. They need “freedom within limits.” Freedom to learn and limits to guide them. Give structure and boundaries. Structure gives them direction and boundaries give them security.
7. Allow time alone: Honor time for you teen to be “alone” but not isolated.
8. Let your teens “long”: Teenage appreciation coincides with “time spent waiting and longing,” so refrain from giving in too easily and giving too much too soon.
9. Limit Long Lectures: Teens likely don’t hear half of your “long lectures.” So it’s better to be direct. Ask your teens to “repeat back” their understanding of what you said. Be firm, fair, and consistent. Guide them in what should be done as well as what shouldn’t be done.
10. Explore the language of emotion: Teenagers use anger as an emotion to express a variety of feelings because they do not have words to express deeper meanings. For example, the meaning behind anger is often frustration, fear, hurt, or extreme sadness.
Perhaps you needed to read these words today. You may or may not agree, but I believe these principles can be applied in other areas of life, such as relationships with coworkers. All I can say is, without Dr. Alice, I don’t know where I’d be.
#parenting #parentingteens #wisdom #teachingmoments #milestonemoments #wisdomfromdralice #writerslife #writingforteens #healthyliving #honor #integrity #humor #laughter