Do you feel frozen or stuck when it comes to making decisions about teen’s/loved one’s well-being? Are you thinking that it is someone else’s (e.g., a teacher, mentor, significant other’s) responsibility to guide your youngster through important decisions? Do you find yourself on old rabbit trails of trial and error, or giving up when you don’t know where your teens’ (automatic) default responses toward you are coming from?
If you are not sure on how to overcome your own ambivalence try out these five steps to get yourself unstuck. Increase your chances for successful decision making by first using this simple coaching tool first for yourself, then with those around you. Enjoy!
What Our Experts Are Saying
Insights, recommendations, and advice for parents balancing kids and technology from the doctors, subject matter experts and thought leaders in the Modern Parent Project community.
What to Do?
Direct, straightforward and summarized advice and recommendations. Parents, please consider the following insights when navigating the challenging topic of kids and technology.
What NOT to Do?
The wrong words or actions can sometimes make things worse with kids. Parents, please consider avoiding the following potential traps.
Grab A Listening Partner
Pick a listening partner (a person who can listen well and act as a sounding board. Please answer the questions. Then, read your answers to a listening partner.
- Name an incident/event/experience you would like to reflect on today
- Please list/describe your feelings with regards to that incident/event/experience
- Please list/describe your wishes with regards to that incident/event/experience (e.g., I wish this would not have happened)
- Please list/describe what you feel sorry for with regards to that incident/event/experience (e.g., I feel sorry that this happened)
- Please list/describe if someone/you will need to make amends for his/her/your action(s) with regards to that incident/event/experience
Release Or Keep Each Statement
For each statement that you described, imagine a “place” where you would like to put each statement (e.g., a beautiful garden for positive memories, a garbage can for statements that you don’t like.
Re-read out loud each statement to your listening partner and declare if you want to “keep” it or release it to the place(s) that you imagined. Be specific (e.g., “I wish I would have known how to protect myself from getting herpes”; “I release that wish that I would have known how to protect myself from getting herpes to [name of imagined location]”.
Once you have decided to release or keep each statement, finish the exercises by speaking out loud a word of appreciation to yourself (e.g. “I appreciate that you took the time to think and process the thoughts about when you got herpes”). Finish as if you signed a letter (e.g. “I have to go now, bye. Yours [your name]”).
Don't Overlook The Importance of Teaching Your Child Healthy Decision Making - After Teaching Yourself
In Western cultures, empowering others to make their own decisions is a must. Not being a team player, poor communication skills, competitiveness, and possessiveness can work against one’s advancement and success. Knowledge is power, a game plan is harnessing the power, and living in consultation to master areas of growth are the key ingredients to becoming a facilitator of communicative support and autonomous decision-making.
Don't Attempt To Get Yourself Unstuck Without a Listening Partner
Research shows that people who were encouraged by others through, e.g., peer mentoring were much more likely to achieve what they set out to do, and to go to the next challenge afterwards. Even if it may feel counter-intuitive to pick up the phone and to call or text a friend or coach when areas of growth become apparent, sharing with a trustworthy person about what we are facing is the secret ingredient to excelling during challenges.
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