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Mentoring Teens So They Handle Life Well...No Matter What

The teens years last from 12 - 25 years. 13 years of adolescence. How do we help them make good decisions as a teen in the 21st century? Is it possible? I believe it is.

Current studies on brain development is pegging today's adolescent ages, a.k.a. The Teens, from 12-25.  (National Geographic, September 2011)

Adolescence cannot be speeded up. Just how you can't ask a newborn to crawl or speak, teens takes their own time. As a wise man said to me years ago: You cannot push the river.

Is 12-25 just a time to "get through" and "survive" hopefully "in one piece"?  Does it have to be years filled with conflict and over-the-top stress and drama?

The more directed questions I have been seeking answers to for years is:

How do teens gain tools to handle their lives well? How do we help them make good decisions IN THE MOMENT?  

I love working with teens. I am one of those adults who enjoys the quirks and quirkiness that teens bring to the table. I remember being a teen. Yes, it was a long time ago, but there is a timelessness to teen aged angst. Plus, I am the mother of a teen aged girl. Right now. Not a long time ago. I am parenting in this culture, in this time in history and it is c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d.

Plan C Strategies are VALUES based.

Teens' values represent the BEST OF WHO THEY ARE. It is also often the BEST OF WHO THEIR PARENTS ARE. Values are typically where families can agree and join together. Identifying values helps break strangleholds within relationships that are mired in conflict. If you have a teen/are a teen, you are in a ton of conflict on a regular basis.

Plan C Strategy #1: Breathe in and out.

Plan C Strategy #2: Small smile.

Plan C Strategy #3: It's not what happens to me, but how I handle it.

Plan C Strategy #4: Choose to focus on my values.

Plan C Strategy #5: All actions are based on my values.

Plan C Strategies greatest tool for mentoring teens are #3, 4 and 5. Guiding them to truly TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS and re-define THEIR ACTIONS based on THEIR VALUES.

Plan C Strategies are not unique in and of themselves. But when practiced and mentored to understand Plan C Strategies (esp. #3, #4 and 5 SEE BELOW), life changes. Teens can see how who they are and what they do can be good and in their control. Quickly. Dramatically.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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