Instilling a Never Give Up Attitude in Your Teen: 3 Successful Tips

 

Teens, tenacity, steadfastness
Instilling a Never Give Up Attitude in Your Teen: 3 Successful Tips
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When you hit a brick wall every corner you turn, giving up is the easy way out.  Now, if parents, the adults, feel this way, imagine how teens feel when they are faced with what appears to be insurmountable mountains!

My favorite quote of all times is

“Never give up!”


by Winston Churchill.  This is my mantra!  When I was a little girl, my family’s home burned to the ground.  We lost everything we owned.  I remember nothing of this except when we moved into a mobile home while my Daddy began building our new home.  I only know the sadness from stories from my family.  What I remember, however, is how my family stuck together and built a home from the ground up.  I remember perseverance, steadfastness, tenacity.  I remember strength and hope as we built our home little by little.  Over forty years later, this is what I still remember…strength and hope.

This strength and hope that my parents instilled in me during such a difficult time provided me with one of the most important tools for my life. Some call it tenacity, others calls it perseverance, and yet others call it steadfastness.   All three words mean the same thing:  Never give up!

From this experience and those with my own children, I have surmised 3 successful tips for instilling a never give up attitude in children:

 

love

1.     Love your child with all your heart…no matter his age.

Teens often don’t make that easy to do.  When I was a teen, I was a spoiled brat.  There is 9 years between my next oldest sibling and me.  My parents tried for 9 years to have me, so to say I was spoiled is an understatement.  Remember though, my family lost everything in the fire, so they did not have material things to spoil with.  Rather they spoiled me with an immense amount of love.

Mama did the majority of the spoiling.  Daddy, on the other hand, was the “bad guy.”  I remember thinking that he didn’t love me.  Why?  Because he wouldn’t let me have my way.  However, in the end of Daddy’s life, I realized he loved me more than anyone in this life.  You see, amidst a horrific and violent marriage, I pushed my parents away.  This lasted for almost a decade.

Daddy NEVER gave up on me!

He prayed and kept trying to get me to talk to him.  I was terrified of my now ex-husband.  How dare I disobey him; now, that’s a story for another time.  I will never forget calling my Daddy collect for the first time in years and hearing his sweet voice on the phone, accepting my call.  He knew I would call.  He had faith in God and in me.  He had faith in the love he had truly shown me.  He never gave up.  And for him, I will never give up.

hope

2.    Give your child hope.

What is more depressing than thinking there is no hope?  A sense of hopelessness can drown an innocent victim.

The college entrance experience was a challenging time for my daughter.  First, she was terrified she wouldn’t be accepted. She wanted to go to SCAD.  She wanted to pursue her passion: Art.  And SCAD was where she wanted to do so.  I continued to ensure her that she would get accepted.  Sarah had the most well-rounded resume for a high school student.  My head spun helping her get her resume together, and I thought I was a busy student.  Sarah was the ultimate juggler.  She still is!

Next came the financial aid struggle.  We worked hours and hours, night after night, on scholarships and other financial aid.  It was a close call, from which we learned many lessons, but her first year was covered.  I remember celebrating that night!  Together, we never gave up, and together we celebrated.

Hope fuels success!

example

3.    Live by example.

In other words, practice what you preach!

You are your child’s first example!

If your teen sees that you give up every time you feel pressure, they will see no reason to persevere.  This fuels low self-esteem.

As a former math teacher, I firmly believe there is a solution to EVERY problem.  The key is when you first don’t succeed, try another way to skin the same cat.  There is always more than one true method to solve a problem.  Live by this in your own life.  Like my Daddy, when our home burned down, he rebuilt, and he built a beautiful home in which our family created the most beautiful of memories.  He made lemonade out of lemons and showed all his children how to rise above the highest mountains.

My kids have truly gone through some difficulties and statistics would dictate they should be failures.  However, they are the most amazing kids!  Not because they are mine.  No!  Because they have been truly resilient and risen above the odds stacked against them.

Children who don’t have this type of positive influence in their lives often become statistics, whether it be from drug or alcohol abuse, physical abuse, prostitution, suicide, etc.

I know teens are often difficult to love.

Believe me!  My daughter truly challenged me.  This doesn’t mean you give up on loving them as their parent.  It just means you have to get a little bit creative with how you love them!

Love, hope, and example grow a well-rounded, steadfast individual.  They instill perseverance, tenacity, steadfastness…tools that will help one survive the worst catastrophes.

May we all persevere and be steadfast!

All the best,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset

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Goal Setting with Teens: 5 Principles & 5 Aspects to Preparing for a Bright Future

Goal Setting with Teens.png

***Please note this page contains affiliate links, which means I receive commission if you make a purchase using the links.***

In my last blog, “Where Did My Baby Go? 4 Ways to Deal with Raising Teens…and Still Love Them,” one tip was goal setting.

Goal setting is a lifelong skill that will guide your child through the darkest of situations.

Goals give hope.  Goals give light at the end of that deep, dark tunnel.  Goals give focus.  Goals motivate and inspire.  Goals achieve results.

Our children will one day be on their own…if they are not already.  When they are, they need to have the tool of goal setting in their “toolbelts.”  Dr. Edwin Locke, an American psychologist and pioneer in goal-setting theory, and his research partner, Dr. Gary Latham, surmised 5 principles for setting goals:

  1. Clarity
  2. Challenge
  3. Commitment
  4. Feedback
  5. Task complexity

CLARITY

clarity-goal

Help your teen set clear, attainable goals.  Everyone needs to see positive results.  Have your teen write down his goals.  Putting it in writing helps make it clearer.

CHALLENGE

Challenge-goals

Help your teen set goals that will challenge him….ones that will make him reach for his full potential.  Challenge involves risk.  A small amount of risk is healthy.  Risk and challenge involve uncertainty, and this can be alarming to a teen. Help him to set challenging goals and follow through to the end result so that he can see the awesome benefits of meeting the challenging goal.

COMMITMENT

COMMITMENT-GOALS

Help your child set goals and stay committed to them.  Never give up.  There is always a way, under, or around, or through.  Sometimes the challenging road to success is littered with potholes and detours, but commitment shows true grit, especially as the goals become more challenging.  Teach your teen to never give up!

FEEDBACK

FEEDBACK-GOALSConstructive criticism is a tough bullet for some people to bite.  Teach your teen how to look at the “man in the mirror” and make true assessments of their current situation.  Have they reached their goal?  If the goal has not been met, what are issues standing in the way, and what are steps to take to successfully meet the goal this time?  Teach him how to accept the feedback of others and how to use this as a gauge of genuine success or failure.

TASK COMPLEXITYTASKCOMPLEXITY--GOALS

Ensure your teen has adequate time to complete complex tasks and meet his goal.  If stress or frustration arise, sit down with your teen, and take an inventory of the current situation, analyzing where things went wrong and determining how to fix these issues.  If necessary, especially in the beginning, break up more complex tasks into smaller chunks so that your teen sees and feels some success along the way.  What is more frustrating than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels in a million directions!

 

SMART Goals

Locke also coined the idea of SMART goals.

S—Specific

M—Measurable

A—Attainable

R—Relevant

T—Time-bound


Have your teen honestly ask himself the following questions regarding the goal:

  1. Is the goal specific?
  2. Is the goal measurable?
  3. Is this goal attainable?
  4. Is this goal relevant in his life?
  5. Are the time constraints for this goal realistic?

Begin with baby steps, even in middle school, especially in middle school, and gradually increase the levels of goals you help your teen set.  In the end, your child, his future wife, his future boss, his future children, etc., will all thank you for teaching him effective goal setting strategy.  Goal setting leads to great success in all areas of life.  While you’re at it, what are your goals for the next 6 months?  The next year?  The next 5 years? The next decade?  You are never too old to set goals.  Reach for the sky!

 

All the best as we reach for our goals,

Christy

Song of Sapelo Sunset

If you are interested in creating a blog like this one, I highly recommend using BlueHost for your hosting. They are awesome!