Secret Life Of The Superstar Teenager
By Donovan Grant
"My mother was very big on having a good self-image. I thought of myself as being special and different."
Today’s article is about the #1 asset for most parents, your children.
Your kids are amazing. The question is are you mentoring them for life? Sometimes as parents we are so busy that we only see a snippet of what are children are really up to. We see glimpses of what they are good at or what their unique skills are. The thing is that many of our children have hidden potential that neither parents nor teachers get to see.
Why don’t we see the potential?
Children like parents have an unlived life because of many factors that impact their day to day life. For some children it’s an honour thing in front of their friends not to seem needy or nerdy. For others they don’t want the parent or teacher to see them as worrying about little things that all adolescents have to go through. The result is that our children remain silent about their troubles because they assume that you can’t be bothered to help them.
I would like to suggest that we as parents need to raise our awareness for the sake of our children. We need to ‘lean in’ and listen to what they are saying. It would be fair to say that the vast majority of our young people are giving us signs when things are not well for them. Evidence would suggest that many of us are too busy telling instead of listening and mentoring.
We recently ran a five series of mentoring workshops at a School in Westminster, London, UK. Before the mentoring workshops got going I asked the students to anonymously give me some feedback about the type of things they were worried about in life and school.
Here are some of the troubles that they shared:
“I keep putting myself down”
“My self-confidence is low and I’m worried about certain aspects of life”
“I don’t know how to make myself feel good”
“I am not working to my best ability”
“I am negative and doubting about myself”
“I tend to do what my friends say”
“I am not motivated for school and don’t know what to do about it.”
Sadly, the fear is that if we spoke to other teenagers in schools around London, UK and even the world, we would get similar responses.
So what are some ways to move forward?
1. It’s time to start listening to the children and then helping them. As Steven Covey said “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” There is no overnight solution so, it will need to be a step-by-step process. And as much as you want to build your belief in your child, they will want to build their belief in you!
2. You may purchase a book like “7 Habits For Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey and gift it to your child to work through.
3. You could enrol your child onto a training program that develops their social and emotion skills.
4. It may be necessary to seek the help of a mentor or a coach to help work through any challenges that your child needs assistance with.
5. You may even choose to have some coaching sessions yourself!
The feedback from students at our recent Workshops “Secrets Of A Superstar Teenager” were enough to make a grown man cry with joy.
Some would say it was bravery to step into a classroom of full of 16 year old boys and girls…. phew! But I am so glad I did and I honour and thank every one of the students for showing up and for telling us how the mentoring impacted them!
Here’s what Tarek, aged 16 had to say…
“Before attending the mentoring workshops I was less confident about myself and when I was in a bad mood or being called names I would stay negative fir the whole day. I was laid back and did not achieve my potential. By taking part in the training I have learnt how to control my feelings, to motivate myself and put a smile on my face when I’m in a bad mood which is very difficult. I stay focused in class and do my work up to my fullest. Donovan put a smile on our faces and I was honoured to be in his mentoring group.”
Ousnairnia, aged 16 shared this…
“Before going to the training youth program I was curious what to expect. I was not studying extremely well and not working to the best of my ability. After taking part in the sessions I have discovered myself. That sounds extreme, but now I am able to be positive about myself without doubting myself. As a result of the mentoring I am now able to say something good about myself that will make me improve on that thing, increase my self-esteem and perform to my best ability. Our mentor was fun, active and outgoing.”
Our children are our #1 asset, so let’s give them the TLC they deserve. Let’s go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic; let’s break through the barriers that stop children from experiencing true success from the inside out!
I believe in you and I believe in your dreams.
Father of three wonderful children, coach, mentor, copy-writer, speaker and IT Professional are just some of the roles that Donovan Grant enjoys everyday. He is a passionate and committed person who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Donovan has been a catalyst for many to live a life of balance, integrity and fun whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com