Today my goal is to help us “THANK” Outside the Box.
I saw someone post an article on the subject of thinking outside the box in business. There post had a typo that said “THANK outside the box”
As soon as I read that I knew I would write this post.
One of the biggest frustrations you might have with your teenager is that they are ungrateful. They take for granted all that you do for them. They don’t have an appreciation of how much worse their situation can be. It feels like they are obsessed with themselves.
I believe that one way to address them is to help them “THANK” outside the box.
Here is an easy and effective exercise for you and your teenager to do together.
1. Invite your teenager to join you in an experiment where together you will see what happens when you “THANK” outside the box.
2. For one week, you and your teenager intentionally and authentically “THANK” people with a spirit of gratitude. The challenge is simple. You keep tabs of how many genuine “THANK YOU’s” you give and the responses of the people you thank.
3. When you and your teenager are done you go out to dinner and talk through your experiences. For fun you can say that whoever “THANKED” outside the box the most gets to pick where to go to dinner.
It’s simple. It’s fun. It builds your relationship. And hopefully it teaches how much power the two words, “THANK YOU” can have.
So who’s in? We would love to hear about your experience. Please let us know.
I saw a great list from Dr. Chap Clark of the 6 longings that are in the heart of your teenager.
1. I long to belong
2. I long to be taken seriously
3. I long to matter
4. I long for a safe place
5. I long to be uniquely me
6. I long to be wanted
I thought it would be helpful to take this list and transform them into 6 Action Steps You Can do to connect to the heart of your teenager:
1. Help Your Teenager Belong to Something Greater Than Themselves- You can help them connect to family, faith, or a cause that they can believe in. If your teenager’s mission in life is to take care of themselves they are headed for destruction. Offer to take on a cause with them to introduce to them the joy of serving others.
2. Take Your Teenager Seriously- Think back over the last few weeks and identify one thought, idea, or suggestion your teenager made that you quickly dismissed. Go back to your teenager, apologize for not taking them seriously, and re-engage the conversation.
3. Download my free E-book “Birthday Blessings” today- Give them a “Blessing” even if it is not their Birthday to help them know why they matter.
4. Be Courageous enough to Ask Your Teenager a Scary Question- Ask them, “What is one thing you would change about our home?” Give them a chance to speak into their environment and have legitimate influence. Please don’t be defensive by their answer. Just listen. If they say something ridiculous like, “I would really like to build a bowling alley in the living room”, see #2.
5. ”SEE” your teenager- I know you see your teenager every day, but it takes more effort to see into their soul. Take an hour of time and write down what you see in your teenager. Write down their likes, their dislikes, their struggles, their fears, their friends, their relationships, their dreams, their favorite color, their enemies, and anything else you can think of. Once you have written it all down, take your teenager the list and ask them to tell you what you got right and wrong. It will do two powerful things. It will give you insight to their soul, and it will communicate that you love them so much, you want to study them.
6. “PURSUE” your teenager- Unfortunately, the business of life can turn our relationships into simple time management and common routine. Make your teenager feel wanted by pursuing them for one week as an experiment. For one week chase after them. Do they love gifts? Give them a small gift each day. Do they love affirming words? Write them a daily note of love and encouragement. Do they love to be hugged? Have a hug-a-thon at your house. Do they love acts of service? Clean their room or build them something special that took time and hard work. The key is to figure out how they love to be loved and give it to them.
I believe that once you see their reaction you will pursue them for more than a week, it will be your adventure for a lifetime.
this is a guest post by Shellie Hochstetler who is a stay at home mom of four, married for almost 23 years to her high school sweetheart, and is determined to help others know that they can survive the teen years with their sanity and hair intact. From shaving legs, shaving chins and from pimples to prom, Shellie has walked, limped, and flat out sprinted through those teen years to realize some really great friendships with her kiddos.
Nobody ever told me that after I had graduated from all of those years of schooling myself, that I would have to repeat kindergarten through twelfth grade all over again through my children.
Not sure how fair that is, but it is necessary none the less.
We have drawn more maps and practiced the “Names of the Presidents” song more times than we can count. We as parents of teens are trying to help decipher mathematic equations that I know were discovered after we graduated.
If you throw in our teens deep seeded desire to become independent of anything that smacks of authority, and you have a wonderful afternoon of homework.
How do we get them to take this seriously? How do we help them develop strong study habits that will aid them not only in middle and high school but also on into college and their professional lives? Yep, I said it. They are growing up and these things matter. They really matter.
So, what do we as parents to to keep our sanity?
Here are 4 tips that Parents of Teenagers can use to help their teenagers with homework:
1. START WITH DOWN TIME- When my teenagers get home they know that they have about an hour to just relax. They can hang out and decompress from school, from friends, from teachers, and mostly from expectations. It’s their choice what that down time needs to look. This gives them the opportunity for some independence. But they also know that nothing else in their life gets to happen (i.e. friends, phone, or fun) until that homework is done.
2. CREATE THE ENVIRONMENT- I created a specific place that has all the necessary tools (paper, pens, computer) and none of the unnecessary distractions (tv, siblings, even parents) for my teenagers to do their homework. This really helps their focus especially when I consistently have them use the same place for their work. Routine is essential.
3. CLEAR COMMUNICATION WITH THE TEACHER- My teens can be very, shall we say, creative in assuring me that all of their homework is getting done. And that is why it is so important for me to have clear communication with all of the teachers who are in my teen’s life. I don’t know one teacher who isn’t grateful when a parent is actively and respectfully involved in their teens education.
4. BE A GREAT CHEERLEADER- They have to know that even with homework I have their back. I let my teenagers know that I am there to help, not to judge, ridicule, or be impatient . My goal is to help, listen, and back off when necessary. Be willing to get your teenager help through hotlines, homework help sites, or tutors if necessary. Not to make them feel less than but to show them that it’s ok to ask for help. One of the greatest disservices we do to our children is to make them think that we should always have it together and always know the answer.
Hang in there moms and dads. You will graduate again. At least it feels like it when you watch them walk that aisle and receive that diploma that should have your name on it somewhere!
What are some ways that you have conquered the homework battle in your house?