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The value of one in the social network

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Peggy Harper Lee, Rocklin mom of four, speaker, and author of Spoiled: Fresh Ideas for Parenting the Entitled Child At Any Age, is concerned that our teenagers today realize how important they are as individuals. “We live in a world that with cyber communications can convince us that we are powerless,” she said. “It is my hope that we can encourage and inspire our youth to realize their own personal power is important. Agnes didn't know she was going to become Mother Teresa, but she did something to help the poor and suffering even though the problem is enormous.”

Thinking about how the world changed for so many Americans when 9/11 happened, Lee observes that it raised awareness of how global problems hit home and we often feel like we can’t make a difference but the opposite is true. “Our children must never conclude that their lives and the choices they make do not matter,” she said. “What if Michael Jordan gave up in the eighth grade when he was cut from the school basketball team? You just don’t know what is possible when you choose to do something.”

Lee addresses forgiveness as empowerment in a world that can convince us the problems are too big. “Children are crumbling and folding like a cheap suit,” she said. “We are shielding children from being expected to exercise their own power. They fear the future, there is a lack of confidence, and pain and frustration are perceived as bad. They are not prepared for life.”

Lee’s tips for coaching teens about individual resiliency

  1. Shine a light on it so it can be examined. Encourage teens to talk about what makes them feel sad or troubled.
  2. Don’t minimize it – acknowledge the problem or offense for what it is. Painful, frustrating, sad.
  3. Don’t over inflate it (don’t allow the offense or negative situation to dominate your perspective).
  4. Seek wise counsel. Don’t allow yourself to feel alone with the problem. Someone else’s offenses are not about you.

“When we shine a light on what is troubling our hearts, we can recognize that the problems, pains and frustrations of life do not have to define you,” she said.

Parent Resources

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