“Embrace the most amazing potential in you and the magic of every moment.”
Parenting today’s teens can be a happy, exciting and rough gig all rolled into one.
Your positive perspectives can be met with eye-rolls and audible groans.
Your attempts at injecting some excitement for life into them can achieve the opposite, and suddenly, you have an unmotivated and difficult teenager on your hands. You’re holding your head in your hands at a loss.
Understanding teenagers becomes a little easier when you remember what it was like to wander along the untraveled road of life. Life might have felt daunting, and new experiences and life stages might have felt scary and uncertain. You might have felt hopeless and unsure of the future. But here you are, raising a teenager of your own, and you have an incredible opportunity ahead of you.
Talking to teenagers about embracing life is some of the most important conversations you’ll have with them because they embrace leads to growth, experiences, self-reflection, resilience, and endless possibilities.
How to embrace life as a teenager
Embracing life doesn’t mean you’re telling your teenager to run outside, fling their arms open, and yell to the skies, “LIFE! I EMBRACE YOU!” (Although it would make for a great video). Embracing is more than just an act – it’s a mindset that, with a bit of practice, can become an automatic tool for resilience in teens. We can embrace both good and bad experiences through the power of perspective in viewing them from different angles to pluck out the life lessons, accept the rest, and move forward towards the growth and expansion of the person they are becoming.
Calling on your community for help
Our community can be made up of meaningful connections with family, friends, teachers, mentors, counsellors, and people we look up to and admire. People learn from people. These connections empower teenagers to learn, grow, and identify their place in the world. Community helps teenagers embrace life by giving them space to explore themselves, providing opportunities to learn and supporting them through the highs and lows. They help to view things from different perspectives, encourage teenagers to try new things, build confidence, and connect teens to their values.
The hesitation to embrace life
Embracing things doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For most of us, it’s a learnt skill that we put time and energy into practising so we can turn hesitation into determination. Teenagers are naturally hesitant towards the act of embracing life because of fear of failure or disappointment (no one likes those feelings!). That hesitation stops teenagers from stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. It chips away at their confidence and puts a heavy weight on their self-belief. It’s here, in this hesitation, where you, as a parent of a teen, can help them change the narrative.
Helping teenagers embrace life
Talking to teens can be like talking to a brick wall at the best of times, but don’t give up on them – these conversations (though often one-sided) can change their lives.
Here are some tips for helping teenagers embrace life:
- Take baby steps and start by helping them pivot their perspective on experiences to find value, even in the worst ones
- Call on your community to help with guiding and supporting your teenager
- Talk to your teenager about their goals, worries, and what they want their future to look, sound and feel like
- Teach them the art of self-reflection and its power to help us grow as people
- Talk to your teenager about what they’d like to experience in life in the immediate and long-term
- Give them the time and space they need to explore themselves and encourage new connections
- Have them write down a list of experiences they’d like to have and help them map out a journey to achieving them
- Don’t lose momentum! Embracing life takes practice, and they’ll need your support!
December and January are full of opportunities for embracing life. Your teenager is likely on school holidays, extended family and friends might be with you, and the time away from the everyday grind lends space for exploration and trying out your newfound tips on helping your teenager embrace life.
Have a fantastic festive season, and use this time to embrace everything life has to offer!
My name is LK Tommi – I’m a teacher working in the education and psychology field, and the author of a resilience-based book and journal series supporting children and teenagers to better understand their emotions, thinking, energy, and behaviour, and how it all connects with their everyday life experiences.
This book will a great edition to The Ultimate Experience series, which has two books in the series being:
- The Ultimate Experience: Discovering Me
- The Ultimate Discovery Journal
These can be found on my website at thetommiconnection.com.au/books
The people that know me well will tell you how much I love to chat.
Please connect with me at Facebook and Instagram: The Resilience Tutor