Manage episode 345690795 series 1952577
Kate Lund, author of Bounce, joins us to explain how teens can face obstacles and practice resilience when life gets tough. We also discuss the importance of stress management, goal setting and trying new things.
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Full show notes
Your teen might have the perfect life plan–become class president, get a basketball scholarship, and go to the medical school of their dreams. But no matter how put-together your teen is, they’re likely to encounter plenty of obstacles on the road to success. They might not make the school basketball team at all, or maybe they’ll receive a rejection letter from the college they swore they’d go to
If teens let these challenges bring them down, they might not reach the future they’ve envisioned. But if they’re resilient enough to push past hardships, they may find that all of their dreams are entirely possible!
Building resilience is no easy task, however. That’s why we’re talking to Kate Lund, author of Bounce: Help Your Child Build Resilience and Thrive In School, Sports and Life. Kate is a psychologist and life coach with over 15 years of experience helping people of all ages overcome hardship.
In our interview, Kate and I are discussing how teens can gain resilience from learning to manage their emotions. We're also talking about how teens can stay motivated, and why teens need confidence and courage if they want to strive for greatness.
Modeling Emotional Management
There’s no shortage of frustrating situations in life, especially for teens who are still figuring it all out. When things go wrong, teens tend to get stressed–and how they deal with this stress makes all the difference, Kate says.
In order to find resilience, teens have to master stress management, she explains. When teens manage their stress properly by exercising, painting, or spending time with friends, they’re able to remain even-keeled and calm most of the time, explains Kate. But when they let their stress run free, any triggering situation can put them over the top and cause them to melt down. By scheduling time to regularly de-stress, teens can stay grounded when challenges arise.
To help teens gain emotional management skills, try modeling them yourself, Kate suggests. When you're dealing with something frustrating or overwhelming, you shouldn’t hide this from teens, she explains. Letting teens see your negative emotions can remind them that stress is totally normal. When kids see parents handling their emotions in healthy ways, they'll be reassured that they’re capable of the same, says Kate.
Another way parents can model healthy emotional habits is by practicing kindness in a visible way. When anger or sadness go unmanaged, these emotions can lead us to become unkind to those in our lives, says Kate. Showing teens that we’re capable of being kind to anyone, no matter their beliefs or opinions, is an incredibly powerful way of modeling emotional management, she says.
If kids are truly striving for resilience, they’ll have to keep their motivation going, no matter what obstacles are in their path. In the episode, we’re talking about how teens can stay motivated through any challenges they might face.
Motivation and Goal Setting
To maintain motivation, Kate recommends that kids set attainable goals. They might have a grand goal of getting into their dream school, but they’ve got to have smaller goals along the way if they want to stay motivated, she says. Their first goal might be getting all the necessary letters of recommendation by a certain date, and their second goal might be finishing their essays in time for early admission. Reaching these small goals helps teens feel accomplished, which in turn motivates them to keep going.
Sometimes parents push teens to pursue activities that teens just don’t seem to care about. This might be because we don’t want kids to be quitters or because we have our own selfish interest in the activity. This can cause kids’ motivation to stall out. Instead, Kate recommends that you encourage teens to pursue what they actually enjoy, letting their natural motivation take over. As a parent, you can help kids stay motivated by encouraging them to follow their passions.
What if your teen doesn’t feel motivated to achieve anything? Kate says you should give unmotivated teens time to figure out where they want to direct their energy. Not every teen moves at the same speed, she explains. She suggests that both parents and teens remain open to new experiences and connections through their teenage years and even into young adulthood. We never know what might inspire us, and teens shouldn’t hold themselves back from the possibility of finding their spark.
There are a few other things that factor into resilience, including qualities like confidence and courage. Kate and I are discussing how teens can gain these traits and find resilience.
Courage and Confidence
For teens who are facing the impending world of adulthood, confidence isn’t always easy. But the more kids embrace challenges and overcome them, the more confident they’ll be the next time an obstacle comes around. Resilience comes with learning to be uncomfortable, says Kate, and if we want to raise confident teens, we’ve got to encourage them to leave their comfort zones.
The same goes for courage, Kate explains. Kids might be scared to try something new, but courage comes from trying anyway, she says. If teens fail, parents can push them to approach the activity from a different angle, or prompt them to simply try again. Once teens realize that they’re capable of overcoming failure, they’ll eventually gain the courage to try anything they desire, Kate says.
Although it’s typically helpful to encourage teens, there are some cases when we should refrain from pushing them too much, sys Kate. Some parents tend to overschedule kids, filling up their day with sports practice, test prep, tutoring sessions and chess club. This overscheduling can lead teens to burn out, and hurt their ability to focus on anything at all. Kate recommends we monitor how much teens are sleeping, eating or socializing to make sure they’re not overworked to the point of exhaustion.
In the Episode….
I enjoyed talking to Kate this week about resilience, stress management, motivation and more! On top of the topics discussed above, we also talk about:
- Why teens might benefit from meditating
- How teens can fight distractions to stay focused
- Why it’s important for teens to have hope
- How parents can model motivation
If you enjoyed listening, you can find Kate’s book, Bounce, on Amazon. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! We’ll see you next week.
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