30% of children between the ages of 4-18 struggle with ANXIETY.
(That’s the number that psychologists know FOR SURE…it’s likely that even MORE students suffer from anxiety).
But here’s the thing: some teens are pretty good at covering up what they’re feeling, because they feel ashamed, or they’ve “always been that way”, and both the teens and their parents are wondering if it’s “just a normal part of being a teen”.
Does your teen:
Have trouble sleeping
Want to stay home in their pj’s all day
Have stomach aches or headaches that keep them home from school
FIGHT every time you tell them it’s time to put away the Xbox or iPad?
Try to make deals with you to get out of going to school, or going to social events?
Seem “ok” for awhile, but then go through periods when these symptoms flare up?
Is it possible that your teen has anxiety?
Are you DRAINED from the constant negotiating it takes to get your teen out the door and involved?
Are you AFRAID of the way your teen is isolating herself and only connecting with people online?
There is HOPE!
Resilience is a set of skills that can be LEARNED.
ANXIETY doesn’t need to be the reason that your teen is at home all day missing out on their life.
ANXIETY doesn’t need to be the reason that you and your teen are CONSTANTLY fighting over their phone, the homework, their falling grades, or their lack of friends.
Trust me, your teen is as tired of all the fighting as YOU are. (Imagine how exhausting life must be for them!) They just want to feel good. Together, we can teach them HOW.
If you’re feeling worn out from all the negotiating and fighting because your teen challenges everything you say, then we need to connect!
CLICK HERE to book your FREE 30 minute call. You don’t need to live this way!
Video games are fun, beautiful, challenging (at just the right level), compelling, and they give us INSTANT FEEDBACK. It’s no wonder they are so compelling (and so addictive). Video games are slick, sexy, and meet so many of our emotional needs (in the short term).
But for many teens, video games are their ADDICTION. Just this past week, the World Health Organization declared video game addiction a new category of mental disorder, and teens are highly susceptible.
SO many teens today are feeling STUCK doing school, and like they’re in a holding cell until they get to the adult world (which can also terrify them because they’re not sure they have what it takes to handle the adult world). Video games fill SO many of the needs for worthiness, purpose, a clear role, clear boundaries, clear objectives, clear rewards, and connection to something bigger than themselves. Video games are also a great way to distract ourselves from negative feelings, or avoid things we don’t’ want to do. It’s no wonder so many teens just LOVE video games. But there are potential dangers…
Have you seen the movie trailer for Ready Player One? I just saw it last week when my husband and I went to the theatre to see Star Wars.
In just two minutes, the trailer covers how many teens feel, why they game so much, and how gaming fills a deep human need for connection.
“I’m sitting here in my tiny corner of nowhere.”
“There’s nowhere left to go except the Oasis”
“It’s the only place that it feels like I mean anything.”
“Like many of you, I came here to escape, but I found something bigger than just myself”
The main character in Ready Player One, Wade Watts, is relatable to so many teens because he feels powerless, stuck in his small world, and searching or something more. When we see Wade enter “the oasis” (the virtual world) he enters a world that is more engaging and stimulating than the world he lives in. He feels worthwhile in this world. In the Oasis there is a clearly defined goal with a HUGE reward. Even more than the compelling nature of searching for treasure is the sense of purpose that he gains from connecting with something bigger than himself (the political rebellion). In a few short minutes we can see a worthless small town nobody find purpose, connection, and a compelling future.
This is the trailer I’m talking about
Watch it with your teen! It’s a great conversation starter about how gaming fills our human needs.
Video games are like CANDY, because they’re so wonderful, they can crowd other healthy options. Just like helping little ones not eat candy all day long, it’s up to parents to help teens set healthy boundaries around video games.
Some psychologists are suggesting that 3 hours of gaming or more per day has harmful effects on social interactions. There is also research to suggest that excessive gaming is detrimental to the brain’s health. As a educator and a mom, I know that it doesn’t take 3 hours of gaming a day to start to cause a problem. Whenever gaming crowds out a teen’s homework time, their sleep time, and your teen is a sleep-deprived, moody, anxious, and going to school without completing their homework, those are CLEAR signs that your teen needs help to set boundaries with their gaming.
When video games start to crowd out other activities in a teen’s life, like spending time in person with friends, physical activity, school work, contributing to household chores, sleep, or personal hygiene, they have become a problem!
In the last week I connected with Elaine Uskoski, a mom of two young men, who told me the horrific story of her youngest son who went off to college and instead of attending class, shut himself up in his dorm room for 2 months playing video games. When she finally cut through all of the lies he was telling her (and that she was telling herself) she met him in person, and saw that he was a rack of bones. Not eating. Not showering. Only gaming. Who knows what would have happened if this mother hadn’t FINALLY listened to her intuition and stepped in. For more details, you can read Elaine’s book, Seeing Through The Cracks.
I don’t want this nightmare to be your story. If you have concerns about how your teen’s video gaming is impacting the other areas of their life, please reach out.
Elaine told her son, “You can hate me for the rest of your life, but I’m going to SAVE your life”.
And she did. But she didn’t do it alone. Elaine reached out wherever she could for the support she needed.
End this now. You could be saving your teen’s life.
I’ve created some extra time in my calendar this week to offer a FREE 30 minute coaching call for YOU.
BOOK NOW to grab your spot.
You’re not alone.
P.S. Elaine told me that not only was her son lying to her about his gaming, but that she had been lying to herself. She had been downplaying the severity of what she was seeing, she had been trying to give her son his independence as a college student. But deep inside her, she knew there was a problem. She made her decision to take action, now it’s time for you to make yours…from your deepest place of strength. I can help. Book your call now
Once they reach high school, they’re expected to be able to study at home, on their own.
As a teacher, I know that by this time in September many high school students are struggling to keep up with their studies. Teens struggle with time management!
It is SO frustrating (for teachers and parents) to watch teens slap together last-minute work, procrastinate, or stay up late sacrificing their sleep in order to complete their work. These tactics do not lead to academic success or mental health!
The truth is that many teens have poor time management skills because:
There are many tasks that they’ve never done before, so they can’t estimate the time it will take
They are highly distractible (even college-aged students!)
They need someone to SHOW them how to manage their time
Time management is SO CRITICAL for teens to learn so that they can create healthy habits for life, and achieve the success that they desire. Teens need to learn how to schedule in their work, so that they also have some time for PLAY (which seems like slacking off, but which actually nurtures their creativity so their school work and their problem solving abilities improve).
We all wish that teens wouldn’t be SO distractible, but the reality is that THEY ARE!
Living a mindful life is all about noticing, without judging. Instead of judging ourselves (or our teens) for being highly distractible, we need to acknowledge this distractibility and work with it!
Research Psychologist and Professor Emeritus at California State University, Dominguez Hills, Dr. Larry Rosen taught me that teens need to work WITH their distractibility. I was so inspired by my conversation with Dr. Rosen, and his research on how teens study, that I created this planner for teens to use. It’s a time management tool I call
The Ultimate Reading Estimate Tool for Teens
Knowing how long it’s going to take to get through a few chapters of a bio textbook, or a novel for English class is key to balancing school work with a social life, or any kind of life! Take the guesswork out of reading with The Ultimate Reading Estimate Tool for Teens.
P.S. I’ve never met a teen who didn’t want to be successful. They just don’t always know how to be successful, and they don’t always BELIEVE that the smallest steps in the right direction can and will add up to success down the road. This tool can help teens to learn that small steps do result in BIG success!