Help Your Teen Succeed!

Help Your Teen Succeed!


Q: What can I do to help my teenager succeed? Is there something I can teach her or something that she can read? I just feel like we teach so many things in school, but life skills isn’t one of them.

A: Sean Covey, the son of Stephen Covey who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, followed up his father’s book with one specifically targeted at teenagers. The book is a great resource for teenagers – and for parents of teenagers who want to help their teenagers develop and grow into healthy, happy adults.

What are those seven habits that Covey recommends for teens? I’ve outlined the first three below:

  • #1: Be Proactive. It’s easy to blame others and to react to negative situations. Someone gets angry at you, you yell at them. You are hungry, you quickly shovel food into your mouth. You get a bad grade on a test, you say that it’s all the teacher’s fault. Instead of reacting to what life throws your way, the idea is to be proactive and take responsibility for your life.
  • #2: Begin with the End in Mind.  What if you never think about tomorrow? What if you start things will no plans to finish them? What if you live in the moment and never think about the consequences of your actions on your future? Life might be great today, but tomorrow will likely be much more difficult. Instead, start with a goal in mind, and work toward that goal.
  • #3: Put First Things First. Who doesn’t love to procrastinate? It’s much easier to do something fun than to sit down and do what you’ve got to do.  But establishing what our priorities are can then help us fight that procrastination and accomplish our goals.

The next habit is think win-win. Let me explain.

  • #4:  Think Win-Win. Is everything a competition? Is it always you vs. them? Or me vs. him? If it looks like you are going to lose, do you intentionally make others lose as well? A highly effective person needs to readjust his focus to see the world as a me and him and not a me vs. him situation. In other words, you can both win. Check out the rest of the book to learn about the rest of the habits for teenage success.

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