When we teach our teens that it’s better to GIVE….then how are they supposed to handle all of what they’re given?
We need to teach our teens how to GIVE and how to RECEIVE.
I’d like to take the wise wisdom of Christine Arylo, who says “It’s better to give AND receive”.
Teens often have a bad reputation of being entitled, self-centered and want-want-wanting!
The truth is, teens (like all people) come in ALL VARIETIES! There are advantages and disadvantages to being a GIVER. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a RECEIVER.
No matter what kind of teen you’re working with…there IS a way to engage with your teen in a positive way, so that they can learn the art of being able to both give and receive in life.
GIVERS: Some teens are incredibly passionate about serving others. They are altruistic and compassionate, and they put all of their energy into making the world a better place! These teens volunteer in their community, and they are lit up by the difference they are making! As parents of givers, we encourage and applaud their efforts. They are amazing kids! Sometimes, though, the givers struggle to take care of themselves. They’re so busy taking care of others that they can neglect their own sleep, nutrition, and ability to have fun (which is SO restorative!). Givers often feel guilty for having all they need, and for having a good time. As parents, we need to applaud their self-care efforts; when they are resting, when they are laughing with friends, when they are taking time for renewal, we need to congratulate them for knowing that when they’re whole and healthy, they are better able to jump back in to serving others.
RECEIVERS: Some teens appear so SELF-CENTERED! They’re entitled, and want-want-want. This can be really aggravating because they believe that the entire world (and family budget) should revolve around them and their needs. Sometimes this intense wanting pushes our buttons because the wanting isn’t connected to understanding how to GET what they want. Another reason why our teen’s wanting gets aggravating is because we’ve suffered so much from wanting and NOT receiving, that we’ve given up on our own desires in life. Wanting can be a great indication of clarity in life, and can create a compelling future (think of the kid who wants a car and does EVERYTHING in their power to fund that vision)!
As parents, we can encourage these teens to keep wanting, AND to figure out a plan of how to GET what they want (like getting a job, setting up a savings plan, thinking long-term, etc.).
As parents, we can also help these teens to be grateful for what they have, and think of the needs of others.
Often these teens need an experience of walking in someone else’s shoes, or serving others (more than just one time) to really understand that it’s important to give when you have so much.
Whether you have giver, receiver, or both, it’s important to recognise that there are gifts in every way of being, and there are opportunities for US as parents to really lean in to those places where our teens “push our buttons” as areas to commit to learning about ourselves and growing in wisdom alongside our teens.