Most teens (and adults, for that matter) fall into three general groups of common behaviours and habits.
Group 1: “I always do more than anyone expects!” In sports, they hustle and work just as hard at practices as they do at games. In school, they get straight A’s and get homework done without being asked. At home, they are respectful and appreciative. As a friend, they would help anyone in need and can be counted on and trusted at all times. They know what college they want to go to and have a good idea of their future field or career goals.
Group 2: “I do just enough to get by!” In sports, they're the ones who work hard mainly when the coach is watching and rarely do anything extra on their own. In school, they typically get A’s and B’s in the classes they like but C’s and D's in classes they do not like. At home, they try to negotiate to get out of things. Parents often find themselves pestering these kids to get their homework or household chores done. As a friend, they are the ones who treat a friend one way when around certain people and another way around others. They do not know what they want to be when they grow up.
Group 3: “I try to get by doing less than I have to, sometimes taking shortcuts or cheating.” In sports, they may be asked to leave the team because both the players and the coach know they bring everyone down. In school, they achieve C's & D's (maybe even fail classes). They tend to hate everything and think everyone is out to get them. It is never their fault. They are rebellious and disrespectful. They seem to fight everyone and everything. Their parents are close to desperation and often say “I have taken everything away from them and still ….” As a friend, they like to bring others down and often act out with mean or bullying behavior. They don’t think or even care about their future.
If your teen is in Group 1, congratulations!!! You are very fortunate. You can help them to stay in Group 1 by surrounding them with Group 1 peers, teachers, coaches and mentors. They need to be strongly supported and their achievements accelerated at this stage. This is the objective of both our Teen and Leadership programs: to support and push these high performing teens over the top by raising their standard, improving their peer group, and teaching them leadership skills.
If your teen is in Group 2, the good news is there is room for improvement, and we can help to better mold their attitudes and habits. “Average people cannot earn Black Belts!” Your teen just needs a new outlook, perhaps a better peer group with better mentors and role models, and above all, more success! They just need a much stronger and more positive “village” around them. I believe this group is in that dangerous “grey area” where they are just okay or have learned to settle for good enough. Today’s world is changing so fast, and is increasing competitively, that "okay" or "good" may not be enough. We teach children how to change their mindset from "just enough" to "always more" - providing the social-emotional training that will assist them throughout their lives.
If your teen is in Group 3, I really feel for you. You are not alone. We have worked with many, many teens in crisis. It is tough to watch a mother or father completely frustrated and confused about how to best help their child get out of this low-achieving mindset. Together we will strive to find the one thing that breaks through their limiting beliefs and destructive behaviours - a way to break the mold and to help them find something where they can feel success and feel good about themselves.
I love working with teens and often find it the most rewarding group to teach. This is when you truly see the results of everything you do!
For more information about our Teens Program, please click the link below to request a free Introduction. I look forward to meeting you soon!