Everyone, regardless of age, culture, or gender, lives by a unique set of values, a hierarchy of values – including your teenager.
It is unwise, as a parent, to attempt to inspire your teen by autocratically projecting your values onto them and by forcefully telling them what they must or must not do.
If you do, your teen will probably become inattentive, resistant, and defiant. They want to be loved for who they are, and not necessarily what you want to make them.
They are likely to become hesitant and frustrated and procastinate because whatever they are being told to do is not linked to or congruent with what they feel is currently most important to them – their highest value(s).
The wisest way to inspire your teen is to first help them determine their true and current highest values are and then help them fill their day with meaningful activities that are congruent with those values.
When your teen aligns their daily actions with that which is truly most important to them, this will awaken greater competence
This will allow them to fill their day with spontaneous, inspired actions that activate the self-governing executive centre in their forebrain and not just their amygdala.
Additionally, wherever your teen is required to commit their time and effort – such as at school, university, or work – help them understand how these daily activities, duties or responsibilities can ultimately help and are helping them achieve their highest values.
Help them align what they are doing with what is most important to them
When they can see how doing these activities will help them fulfill what is truly most important to them – their highest values – they will become more engaged and self-starting and less resistant.
It is important that you allow your teen the freedom to explore and experience what is meaningful to them
When your teen is pursuing what is important and meaningful to them, they naturally embrace the challenges that come with it. By encouraging your child to go after inspiring and meaningful challenges, they develop the habit and confidence to solve those and the many more that accompany their evolving life.
If they don’t pursue challenges that are inspiring, their days can become filled with other distracting challenges that aren’t.
Many immediate gratifying, addictive behaviours, are simply compensations for not having the day filled with what is truly most meaningful and inspiring
Many people would equate giving your teen ‘freedom’ with the vision of youths running free like impulsive wild animals
However, what we are talking about is teenagers who are free to do what inspires and is deeply meaningful to them, not impulsive compensations.
When they fill their days with high priority actions that inspire them, their days don’t fill up with low priority distractions that don’t. Many immediate gratifying, addictive behaviours, are simply compensations for not having the day filled with what is truly most meaningful and inspiring.
There are several key factors to raising an inspired and empowered teenager:
Help them transcend the fantasy of perfectionism
If you live within a fantasy world where everything is supposed to be happy, easy, peaceful, safe and agreeable, you are vulnerable to the major let down when your fantasy is broken by the reality of a balanced or two-sided life.
Help your teenager understand that life always has a balance and that every challenging situation serves a purpose and enhances their development.
Balance challenge with support
Over-protective parenting is as unproductive to a child’s wellbeing as harsh or autocratic parental styles. Every teenager needs a balance of support and challenge to help them maximally grow.
Therefore, allow – or even encourage – your teen to face inspired challenges, and provide them with a loving balance of parental challenge and support.
Acknowledge, communicate and work within your teenager’s current highest values
If you want to assist you teenager in fulfilling what is most important to them, it is wise and vital that you are aware of what their true highest values are (you can do this for free, here). Learn your child’s highest values and discuss with them what goals are inspiring to them and what they can pursue that will help fulfill those vital aims. When you help them fulfill what they would love, they will be more likely and able to fulfill what you would love. When you love them for who they are they turn into what you love.
Empower your teen to understand the upsides of bullies
Bullies can serve a very important purpose – they can highlight where you are disempowered and catalyse you to become more fully empowered in it.
If your teen has a bully in their life, someone pushing them around, it’s at least partly because they are not empowering, guiding or governing their own life. They are not fully empowered in that area.
Once they empower that area, the bully naturally disappears.
Help your teen understand where they have not empowered themselves, and support or challenge them to then empower it as they learn to become stronger and more resilient. For more on Dr Demartini’s teachings, visit www.drdemartini.com