HAPPY CLIENTS

Avoiding Power Struggles With Your Teen

It’s natural for your teen to challenge your authority and try to claim more independence. You have a responsibility to teach them to resolve conflicts respectfully and maintain family harmony. If you’re concerned that your teen is breaking your house rules or trying to provoke arguments, there are ways to keep them safe and restore order. Try these tips for transforming power struggles into more positive communications. Steps to Take Yourself: Set priorities. While some rules are essential, getting rid of unnecessary restrictions can help your teen to feel more motivated and trusted. Give them opportunities to show that they can handle more responsibility and let them learn from their experiences. Manage your emotions. You’ll appear more confident and make sounder decisions if you stay calm. Take a few deep breaths and choose words that will help to pacify the situation. Be positive. When your teen seems to be defying you, remember their attractive qualities and the things that they do well. Be sure to give them praise as well as constructive criticism. Stay firm. If your child discovers that you’ll give in under pressure, they’ll keep trying to get their own way. Stick to your decisions, even when backing down would be easier. Steps to Take with Your Teen: Express empathy. You can validate your child’s feelings even when you disagree with what they’re saying. Try to look at situations from your teen’s perspective and negotiate solutions that meet both your needs. Speak respectfully. Steer clear of name calling and personal insults even when you’re upset. Be tactful, direct, and open to discussing different opinions. Ask helpful questions. There’s a big difference between asking your teen why they’re so lazy and asking them why they didn’t clean their room as promised. Focus on fixing the issue rather than casting blame. Explain your reasons. Let your teen know why you expect certain behavior from them. They may think you’re being unfair when you’re actually concerned about their safety. Request their help. As much as possible, encourage your teen to use their own values to create their own rules. They’ll be less likely to complain and more likely to comply. Offer choices. Give your teen options when appropriate so they can practice handling greater independence. If they need to do more household chores, maybe they can decide whether to do those tasks on weekends or after school. Share power. Invite your teen to take on increased leadership. Use family meetings to collaborate on household decisions. Be willing to negotiate some limits, such as adopting a later curfew on weekends in exchange for making check-in calls to let you know they’re safe. Do things together. Building a solid foundation for your relationship can reduce power struggles. Put time aside to do things as a family and one-on-one. Cook dinner together or arrange a weekend outing. Plan ahead. Teens who are hopeful about their future tend to be less defiant. Ask your teen what their goals are or guide them toward resources that will help them explore their options. Seek support. If you want more help, talk with other parents or a professional counselor. Your relationship with your teen may benefit from additional insights and strategies.  Seeking more control over their lives is a sign that your child is growing up, but you can keep power struggles with your teen from turning into arguments and fights. Work together to prepare them to take on more responsibility and encourage them to learn from their own experiences. If you would like more help guiding your teen and giving them hope for the future, schedule a complimentary strategy session with me today.

How to Boost Your Teen’s Self-Esteem

Teens are stuck in an in-between world. They're neither children nor adults. They're adjusting to both physical and mental changes, including emotional extremes caused by additional activity in the part of the brain that regulates emotions. Needless to say, for many teens, this is a confusing time!  Along with the normal confusion, teens often suffer from low self-esteem and peer pressure. Females are more prone to self-esteem issues and often get more attention for the problem, but males are just as susceptible. In fact, any teen is vulnerable to self-esteem challenges. I know this to be true with my own teen boys. As parents and involved adults, it's our responsibility to help teens foster a healthy self-esteem. It's an ongoing process, and there are no shortcuts. Teens need to be reminded that they're great kids and we're proud of them.  Follow these strategies every day to boost your teen's self-esteem:            1. Take the time to talk with your teen. While your teen may not want to talk to you, make sure they know you're available if they change their mind. Sometimes just knowing you're there for them makes a difference. Part of talking with a teen is actively listening. Teens with self-esteem issues often feel that no one listens to them or cares about what they have to say. Show them you're listening by letting them finish and then asking questions about what they said.  2. Encourage your teen to live a healthy lifestyle. Many times, problems can manifest when teens are couch potatoes or have unhealthy eating habits. When a teen eats a well-balanced diet and gets a regular amount of exercise, it's easier for them to feel better about themselves. Schedule regular family time that includes exercise. It could be going on a hike or a bike ride. Maybe spending some time throwing hoops. Find something you all can enjoy.  3. Encourage your teen to get involved in an activity they enjoy. It could be any activity, club, or organization. Getting them involved in something will help them realize they're more normal than they think! Encourage their individuality and interests by letting them pick the activity. Give them the freedom to express themselves by getting involved in their own interests and passions. 4. Set a positive example for your teen. No matter how distant your teen may seem, they still model your behaviors closely. If they see you have a self-esteem issue, they may mimic that. Set an example with a positive attitude towards yourself and others. 5. Help your teen set goals and celebrate when they reach them. Start with small goals that they can achieve in a short period of time. When they reach the goal, celebrate with them. If it takes longer to reach their goal, keep encouraging them. Show them that taking definitive action to achieve their goal is just as important as reaching the goal. Let your teen know that it's okay to change their goal along the way. This is the way of life and an important skill teens need to learn. When circumstances change, we may need to re-adjust our plans. If your teen understands this, it will help build their confidence. 6. Let your teen know you're proud of them. When they score an A, tell them how great they did. If they got a C, it's just as important that your teen knows you're proud of that grade as well. Encourage them to do their best and be proud of them when they do. A teen's self-esteem can be fragile. All the time you spend building your teen's self-esteem can be torn down in one afternoon. Teach your teen that learning to deal with disappointment, criticism, and challenges is an important life skill. Talk to your teen about how important it is to know they're still a great person worthy of love and affection, no matter what life may throw their way. As with anyone, teens will have good and bad days. Never be discouraged or give up on them. Follow these strategies and soon enough, you'll know that you're on the right path. Your teen will go through mood swings, but with time and love, they'll emerge as a strong and confident adult. Want more help with building your teen’s self-esteem about the future? Set up a no-cost strategy session with us today.

Gina E.

My Ideal College provided my daughter with vital information about careers where she could not only succeed, but also thrive because she’d enjoy what she was doing. Ms. Genevish’s individual attention coupled with the time she took to discuss results and what they mean in the real world was so personalized—that’s not something you find in other places. I’d recommend My Ideal College to anyone planning to further their education.

Ann Karako

My daughter's one-on-one counseling with Laurie took us from "no clue" to a very viable career choice that we both feel good about! I am so impressed with the process and how specific the results of the assessment are. The confidence that comes from knowing we've found something that matches not only my daughter's interests but also how she thinks and interacts is invaluable! Laurie gave us great insight for our particular situation, which was so helpful for narrowing down options and keeping us from second-guessing everything. We've tried other career exploration programs, but the difference here is the detailed assessment/reports and Laurie's expert input. I highly recommend My Ideal College!

Sue Ridge

Eric is really a good kid and I think your evaluations made him feel worthwhile again, so money well spent.

Alicia K.

As a homeschool family we found Laurie's services invaluable when it was time to have our son focus on his plans for the future. We wanted to make the best use of Georgia's Move On When Ready (Dual Enrollment) program. Other career aptitude tests we looked at seemed so generalized and lacking the information we really needed to make an informed decision. The testing and follow up meetings with Laurie helped put our son on the correct path for choosing a college!

Philana Swann

Having my daughter work with Laurie was nothing short of amazing. Through Ideal College and the college assessment tool, I was able to get a clear understanding of my daughter's interests, strengths, and weaknesses. This opened the lines of communication for both she and I because I found out what her passion was versus what she was doing as it relates to college. We were able to discuss the results in greater detail and as a result, she changed her major and is now studying in the area that is well suited for her. Laurie's attention to detail was very impressive to me as well; because she went through the report and gave my daughter and I recommendations and resources that we both can use to help us both navigate through this process together. Thank you so much Laurie for your warm and cheerful personality and for providing tools and resources for us as well as other students and parents to identify if college is ideal for them; hence saving both the parent and student from any had aches or financial woes. I would recommend My Ideal College to any family to help them identify what's best decision before going to college.

Tanya B.

I have been very pleased with having Laurie work with my son. We agreed that he felt “stuck” because he didn’t have a real feel for what he would do with an associate degree in STEM for a future career path which hampered his ability to find a college match. After he completed the consultation and testing with Laurie, my son was surprised at what his interests were best suited for. The assessment opened his eyes to look at fields and career that he would have never even considered (and honestly didn’t know existed) before. My son and Laurie clicked instantly! My son doesn’t open up very easily to just anyone but Laurie’s expertise and personality, transcended time and space during their Skype calls. I’m grateful for the clarity and personal empowerment that Laurie’s consultation instilled in my son in just a couple of sessions.I have been very pleased with having Laurie work with my son. We agreed that he felt “stuck” because he didn’t have a real feel for what he would do with an associate degree in STEM for a future career path which hampered his ability to find a college match. After he completed the consultation and testing with Laurie, my son was surprised at what his interests were best suited for. The assessment opened his eyes to look at fields and career that he would have never even considered (and honestly didn’t know existed) before. My son and Laurie clicked instantly! My son doesn’t open up very easily to just anyone but Laurie’s expertise and personality, transcended time and space during their Skype calls. I’m grateful for the clarity and personal empowerment that Laurie’s consultation instilled in my son in just a couple of sessions.

Emma Busbee

Laurie really helps those who aren't sure what they want their future profession to be or those who don't know what they enjoy doing. It really gave me a clearer insight about what types of jobs I would be happy in and do well in. It also helped me to make a definite list of colleges I would enjoy that also had great programs for professions that I would enjoy.