Have you found yourself trying to motivate your teenager? It can be quite a task to compete with their video games and television. Sometimes it feels like you are talking to a wall. Sometimes you don’t know what to say and at other times what you do say can make them angry or makes them even more distant and apathetic to your message.
As a parent you want to build their confidence, increase their discipline, or just help them to to use their full potential.They think you are nagging. It can be so frustrating and sometimes you may even feel like giving up and just let them do whatever they want... except you know that if you give up you're not doing your job as a parent, so you have to find a way to get through...it’s not an option.
In my search for motivational strategies for my son and almost by mistake, I found a solution. It occurred to me to get an expert opinion on my son's capacity for playing baseball (a field I knew he liked).
I found Chaz Lytle, a former big league baseball player that currently works with kids in town. If motivation was what I was looking for I was at the right place. This guy really knows how to get a kid motivated. He was the UGA all time stolen base champ and is an MLB Scout School Graduate but best of all he has the gift of communicating with teenagers. He built rapport with my son within seconds and I literally saw an attitude change within minutes. Instantly, my son admired and believed in him. e just had all the right words.
Chaz utilized his experience and knowledge to inspire my son to dream and talked to him about the importance of a visualizing himself where he wanted to be. The impressive part is that he did this all in less than half hour. II was sitting there in awe, thinking “ OMG, but I have told him the same exact thing sooooo mannny timmmmes”. Well I got a bargain, we went for a baseball lesson and I came out with a child that had a higher self esteem and all of a sudden had the desire to talk. Wow, what was that? It was a connection!
Our kids need people that inspire them to be better and to pursue their dreams. People that will believe in them and challenge them to greater heights. Before we could find this in teachers and guidance counselors but nowadays they are "Just not into our kids”. Unfortunately,our kids are just another pupil in school.
A mentor is defined to be "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher". Everyone should have a mentor, but especially if you are having communications or motivational issues with a teenager, you should really find someone besides yourself that will talk to them. It should be someone they can admire, someone in a field that your adolescent is interested in. They should also be willing to talk to them about their personal experience and If you have to pay...see it as an investment into your child's future.
Two Simple Steps
The first thing you must do is analyze your child and find out what are his or her interest besides the video games and TV. Secondly, find an expert in the field that your child is interested in. A coach that will tell him or her “All right, here’s what’s working; here’s what’s not. What do you need,to do this better? How could you improve? How could you take this to another level. " Someone that seems genuinely interested in them and their progress because kids can smell a fakes from a mile away.
You can do it yourself, but I guarantee you that they will hear this person and they will be enlightened even if you have told them the same exact thing in fifty different ways...don't take it personal.
At the end of the game
Teenagers are going through a critical age. Sometimes they think they know what they want and sometimes they don't. Let's not criticise them and lets help them find solutions. As parents we have to take an active role in this transitional stage even if we have to hide behind the curtains. They may not know the importance of role models... but we do!
I realize there isn't a Chaz Lytle everywhere, but there are people all over, that like Lytle are dedicated to helping kids discover their passion, talent and strengths so they can fulfill their dreams. Instead of labeling our kids, let's make it our priority to insert people purposely into the lives of our children that will bring out the best in them. For their sake and for ours... because at the end of the game, we all want our kids to be winners!