How Anxiety Can Help Teens Practice For Life Challenges

How Anxiety Can Help Teens Practice For Life Challenges


Getting to the other side of anxiety

In this short video Lauren Muriello, LPC of Well Being Therapy Center talks about how we all experience anxiety and that it is a natural, healthy part of the human condition. This reminds me of I a quote I saw recently that read … 

'The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional.' - Max LucadoClick To Tweet

Using fear as a tool

Lauren makes a great point about the importance for parents to try not to shield their teen from the things that might trigger their anxiety, but to let them feel worried and anxious, and to help them “get on the other side of it.” Anxiety is just an emotion like any other. We don’t have to get anxious about feeling anxious.

She discusses the importance for parents to encourage their children not to avoid the things that frighten them. The more we avoid things that make us anxious the more things we find to become anxious about. Avoiding certain things may help us feel less anxious now, but in the long run, that avoidance can make our lives smaller.

Are you contributing to your teen’s anxiety?

Lauren suggests that the higher expectations we may be putting on our children today can add to their stress and anxiety. She reminds us that there is a good chance that the grade our kids get on their AP Biology class will probably not have a very high correlation to the happiness they will experience.

I know that it is very easy as parents to project their own wants and maybe even unfulfilled dreams on to our children. Sometimes it can be a challenge  NOT to pass on our own worries and fears as well, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to relax more and help our teenagers do the same.

“Parenting and Digital Technology” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt-in for the whole series. I think there are some some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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Connection, Belonging and the Importance of Having Anchors in Teenagers’ Lives

Connection, Belonging and the Importance of Having Anchors in Teenagers’ Lives

 

The positive impact of even one adult in a teens world can be life changing.

In video 6 of 8, Amy talks about our need for connection and the importance for teens to have at least one person in their life who sees and “gets” them. Amy calls these people anchors.

I know all parents want to be anchors in their children’s lives, but  teenagers also need other people to recognize them and to help them to see their strengths.

How an anchor changed a life

I have a friend named Travis Allison. Travis lives in Canada and for many years was a Camp Director, and now works as a consultant helping summer camps succeed.

Travis tells a story about when he was a boy at camp. He says he was not the best athlete or the most popular kid and I’m sure he often doubted himself as we all do.

Travis said, one day at camp his counselor, who he really admired, called him over to speak with him for a minute. The counselor said a few words to him that would change his life forever.

He said, “Travis you would make a great camp counselor one day.” Travis was stunned. He did not see that potential in himself at all.

This counselor went on to tell Travis that he was a lot like him when he was his age and he mentioned some of the qualities he saw in him that would make him a great counselor. He saw what the analyst Robert Johnson calls “the gold” in Travis.

That one sentence set the course for Travis’s professional and even personal life. I hope every teenager can find those kind of great anchors in their lives and I also hope that I can be that  anchor for more campers.

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt-in for the whole series. I think there are some some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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One short segment will be delivered to your inbox each day for 8 days. Occasional notifications for new videos will follow. Your info is sacred and will never be shared.

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Thoughts about anchors?

What do you think about this idea of Anchors? I would love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below. I will respond.

-Adam

The Dark Tunnel of Adolescent Evolution (Part 1): Why Parents Need to Stay in The Game

The Dark Tunnel of Adolescent Evolution (Part 1): Why Parents Need to Stay in The Game

 

Introducing an 8 part series to help parents

This is the first of an eight part interview series I conducted with Amy Frisch, a wonderful therapist who has been leading teenage girls’ groups for over twenty years.

In this segment we discuss the challenges teenagers face as they begin to leave their childhood behind.

The dark tunnel

The call of adolescence is to leave your childhood behind. That evolution, from childhood into adulthood, is like a dark tunnel. - Amy FrischClick To Tweet

Amy calls it a “dark tunnel” and I know that sounds dramatic, but you are leaving behind what you’ve always known and you don’t know exactly who you will be as a young adult, or how people will receive you.

It’s a reminder that adolescence is not easy, and maybe that’s why when I talk with most adults and tell them that I run a summer camp for teens they often say, “I don’t think I would want to have to relive those years again.”

Amy offers parents some great advice that I know will help your teenager on this journey through “the dark tunnel.”

And just maybe your child will look back on his or her teenage years some day and be reminded of how supportive you were as a parent.

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

I hope you enjoyed watching the interview above and you got some great takeaways. If you have not yet opted-in for the entire 8 part series, here’s the form again below.

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One short segment will be delivered to your inbox each day for 8 days. Occasional notifications for new videos will follow. Your info is sacred and will never be shared.

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An invitation

And please do feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to continue this discussion with you.

Adam.

Thoughts on Gender and How Kids Can Help us Grow if We Allow it to Happen

Thoughts on Gender and How Kids Can Help us Grow if We Allow it to Happen


 

I love this segment with Amy. It’s short, but she touches on several things that we as parents would be well served to keep in mind.

When talking about gender and sexuality Amy says, almost as an aside …

We are who we are and we love who we love. - Amy FrischClick To Tweet

I love that she said that and it is something I will keep in mind and will repeat to others when we are trying to create the most inclusive community we can at camp and trying to make certain our LGTBQ campers are being respected.

Our children are mirrors

I also like when Amy verbalizes something in this segment that I imagine on some level every parents knows, which is that the realities of who we are as parents and who our children are, will always be a little, (or a lot) different from how we imagined it would be. That difference does not make it any less wonderful and amazing.

Being a parent is a great opportunity to see who we are and where we can grow. I think there is gold to be found for us in every parent child relationship, but we have to have the humility and self compassion to accept our shortcomings and learn from our mistakes.

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

I hope you enjoy the video above. If you haven’t yet subscribed to see the entire series, it’s well worth it Amy’s words will stay with you and potentially shift the way you may see things. Here’s the sign up form again.

 

Enter your email to see the entire 8 part video series with Amy Frisch

One short segment will be delivered to your inbox each day for 8 days. Occasional notifications for new videos will follow. Your info is sacred and will never be shared.

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An invitation to discuss Gender

This is a topic that comes up a lot at camp and I would love to hear your thoughts, fears and stories on gender. I encourage you to leave your comments below and I will respond.

If you want to here more on this subject from campers and counselor, check out our LGTBQ page.

It’s Not Your Journey: Giving Adolescents The Space to Navigate Their Lives

It’s Not Your Journey: Giving Adolescents The Space to Navigate Their Lives

 

How can we allow teenagers to make their own decisions, when we know what we know?

In this last video in my eight part series with therapist Amy Frisch, we get into some of the reasons why teenagers “twist the truth,” and how we can help them self navigate difficult situations.

What does giving space look like?

Amy talks about how parents need to allow space for teenagers to “do their own work.” She does not mean their schoolwork, she means the work of figuring things out for themselves.

The work of learning who they are and how they can navigate their world to get to their own finish line, (which may be very different from the one their parents might envision for them).

“The best thing we can do with our communication with teenagers when they are in a hard situation… is to help them think it through from lots of different angles and perspectives. Hopefully through that process, they can figure out what the best solution is for them.” - Amy FrischClick To Tweet

Why do adults ask kids this?

The comedian Paula Poundstone used to have a line that went something like this, “Why is it that adults love to ask children what they want to be when they grow up? “It’s because they are looking for ideas.” I guess we all have our own journey, but we can all use some ideas along the way.

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

The video segment above is only 4 minutes and I think it’s worth watching more than once. If you want to see the whole 8 part series then opt-in using the form below.

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One short segment will be delivered to your inbox each day for 8 days. Occasional notifications for new videos will follow. Your info is sacred and will never be shared.

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An invitation

I invite you to engage in conversation with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts, struggles and stories on this topic.

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