For kids, life is about having fun. And, being the parent of a fun-loving teenager isn’t easy. In Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, he tries to provide “a compass to help teens and their parents navigate the problems they encounter daily.”
We often wish peer pressure was an exaggerated myth, but often it leads to a child’s miss-guided motivation or lack thereof! The truth is teenagers are presented with tough decisions everyday and ones that may affect their lives forever. As parents, we are surely capable and willing to help them, but the reality is kids rarely give value to a parent’s piece of advice, citing our lack of experience in “their” modern world. But we have to continue trying to guide them in the right decision until they are legally responsible for their actions as an adult.
More than words can say, parents must lead by example. “Teens watch what you do more than they listen to what you say,” Covey says. Parents need to practice more and preach less.
Sean Covey is a shining example of following in his father’s footsteps. His dad, Stephen Covey, wrote the book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which sold over 15 million copies. Here is a summary of some of his lessons for parents, and honestly terrific advice. Understanding and applying good advice is another subject, but we must try!!
Being proactive is the key to unlocking the other habits. Help your teen take control and responsibility for her life. Proactive people understand that they are responsible for their own happiness or unhappiness. They don’t blame others for their own actions or feelings.
Begin With the End in Mind
If teens aren’t clear about where they want to end up in life, about their values, goals, and what they stand for, they will wander, waste time, and be tossed to and fro by the opinions of others. Help your teen create a personal mission statement which will act as a road map and direct and guide his decision-making process.
Put First Things First
This habit helps teens prioritize and manage their time so that they focus on and complete the most important things in their lives. Putting first things first also means learning to overcome fears and being strong during difficult times. It’s living life according to what matters most.
Teens can learn to foster the belief that it is possible to create an atmosphere of win-win in every relationship. This habit encourages the idea that in any given discussion or situation both parties can arrive at a mutually beneficial solution. Your teen will learn to celebrate the accomplishments of others instead of being threatened by them.
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Because most people don’t listen very well, one of the great frustrations in life is that many don’t feel understood. This habit will ensure your teen learns the most important communication skill there is: active listening.
Synergy is achieved when two or more people work together to create something better than either could alone. Through this habit, teens learn it doesn’t have to be “your way” or “my way” but rather a better way, a higher way. Synergy allows teens to value differences and better appreciate others.
Sharpen the Saw
Teens should never get too busy living to take time to renew themselves. When a teen “sharpens the saw” she is keeping her personal self sharp so that she can better deal with life. It means regularly renewing and strengthening the four key dimensions of life – body, brain, heart, and soul.
For more information on how to help your teenager succeed in school check out the following websites:Kimberly Smith CEO/Co-Founder Omega Learning Center 5155 Stilesboro Rd., Building 400, Suite 410 Kennesaw, GA 30152 National Support Center: 770-422-3510
References: Sean Covey’s book: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Teenagers, education.com