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18 Ways To Show Your Teen You Are Thankful For Them

POSTED ON November 18th, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Orig Post | Re-Post Sports World 11/18/2015

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1. Advise when asked. There will be times your teen will come to you to fix a problem. But generally, only offer advice if they ask for it. Be sparing. Too much advice can feel like judgment to a teen. Listen to them when they talk to you – really listen, don’t just nod along. Sometimes it’s just as important to hear what they aren’t saying as it is to hear the actual words.

2. Look at them. I am guilty of doing other things while listening to my kids, which means I’m not giving them my undivided attention. Sometimes, our kids need us to look at them when they talk so they know that they are the most important thing to us in that moment.

3. Talk & Laugh. Spend time talking with your teens. Tell them about your day, about what life was like when you were their ages, what you’re struggling with. Laughing together is a great feeling that creates security and trust. Find a way to laugh with (not at!) your teen!

4. Say yes. Sometimes it’s easy to say no without really thinking about the request. Give your teens some freedom, let them take (reasonable) risks, and give them a chance to make their own choices.

5. Say no. They may be teens and they may be morphing into adults, but teens still need boundaries. Provide them, with love.

6. Respect their struggles. Sometimes those things our teens are struggling with seem so insignificant in comparison to our adult struggles, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Their struggles are very real and very important to them. Remind yourself, when your child is stressing about something that seems trivial to you, that it’s not trivial to them. Respect what they’re going through.

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Former LA Laker Motivates CHS Students to Make Right Choices

POSTED ON November 5th, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Orig PosAt | Re=Post Sports World 11/05/2015

Sport Talk

EDWARDSVILLE — The importance of making good choices is the message that former Los Angeles Laker player Adrian Branch brought to a group of students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center on Oct. 27.

“In your life, you are not born a winner or a loser,” said the 6-foot, 7-inch former guard/forward. “You are born a chooser. Your choices determine who you become.”

Branch, now a college basketball analyst for ESPN, came to the Center after learning that his engagement to speak at an East St. Louis school had been thwarted due to School District 189’s strike. He spoke with approximately 35 young people, including ninth and tenth grade males from the East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) and Upward Bound East St. Louis, Cahokia (EC) male and female students.

Branch stood in the middle of the assembled group and discussed academic excellence, integrity, peer excellence, respectful relationships and achieving dreams.

He recounted for the students his high school days of developing into a star basketball player.

“I played for the winningest coach in the history of high school – Morgan Wooten at DeMatha Catholic High School in (Hyattsville) Maryland – and I got the big head,” Branch said. “I was concentrating on ‘showboating’ and looking good.”

Wooten threw Branch off the team. He was only allowed back after the players voted for him to return, and he apologized. But Branch said he did not learn his lesson.

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Confidence-Building Exercises for Teens

POSTED ON September 22nd, 2015  - POSTED IN Helping Teens

Origi Post | Re-Post Sports World 9/22/2015

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Depression is ten times more prevalent today than it was in 1960, and the average onset age is now 14.5 years old vs. 29.6 years of age just 50 years ago. For any parent or teacher, this is a terrifying trend. As a culture, we’re vastly more depressed, and it’s starting much, much younger.

Over the past decade, I’ve learned quite a bit about youth depression in our youth, and the most notable factor behind it is disengagement. Our children, for one reason or another, are checking out, and their feelings of powerlessness are driving increased negativity and depression.

Because students lack confidence in their own abilities, as well as in the people and support structures around them, seemingly small challenges can lock them up and start the downward spiral. Many psychologists and educators believe that Resilience, the ability to deal with overcoming adversity, is the antidote to the depression epidemic that’s facing our nation today.

In our work, we often measure the impact of our programs through their ability to impact student Resilience. Using a tool called The Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents, we measure three areas:

  1. Sense of mastery, which tracks optimism, self-efficacy, and adaptability (essentially one’s confidence in their own abilities).
  2. Sense of relatedness, which measures trust, support, comfort and tolerance (one’s confidence in the people and support structures around them).
  3. Emotional reactivity, the measurement of sensitivity, recovery and impairment – this area looks at a person’s ability to make effective decisions under stress and to bounce back and recover from mistakes.

As we look to build our children’s confidence levels, it’s helpful to be prepared with strategies that are certain to increase their self-confidence, bolster their belief in those around them, and support their ability to make good decisions and recover from adversity.

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