How and when you offer support to your teens can play a major role in their journey to independence. Listen to our latest episode to learn how to offer support that will help them succeed in life!
the teenage years can be tough, especially on those who support and cheer them on. Navigating the complexities of engaging teens in a meaningful way can be tricky these days. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, you are in just the right place. Here you'll find the tools and resources you need to support the teens in your life as they discover how to embrace their individual skills, talents and passions to create a life that surpasses their dreams. You'll hear incredible endeavors where communities empower their youth toe have a real impact on the world. This is the change. Baker Teens Podcast with your guide Linda Johnstone, mother activist, eternal optimist and founder of the change maker Teens Project. She's passionate about helping you support the teens in your life as you work with them to find lives of direction, purpose and meaning. Here's Linda.
Hi, everyone. This is Linda and welcome to the change maker. Teens podcast. Today we're gonna be talking about the many ways to get and give support. I was watching the morning news show the other day, and they were talking about the front line workers who were being diagnosed with PTSD. I had to think about that for a minute. You mean doctors and nurses? Paramedics? MTs They're being diagnosed with PTSD because of the Corona virus. Post traumatic stress disorder. Like what a soldier might feel when a bomb explodes in front of him and it kills his best friend or when a passenger is the only survivor in a violent plane crash. To meet PTSD is a direct result of violence and trauma, physical pain. But it's what's happening to our doctors and nurses in our therapists, all the front line workers in the health care system. This is the real deal. Those of us on the outside have no idea what these people are going through. They're actually comparing it to the effects of 911. And so, on the morning show they were interviewing a psychiatrist, a doctor and a front line nurse. The psychiatrist was saying that are health care. Workers are experiencing anxiety, fear, panic and grief like never before. In some ways, even more than 911 the overwhelm is overwhelming, and yes, it's causing PTSD. So as the host was interviewing the front line nurse while they were talking about all the death and hopelessness and despair. She asked a very simple question. A very simple, yet powerful question. She simply said, What supports you now? Support comes in many ways, right? Some are obvious, some not so much. The local restaurants who hand out free meals to frontline workers are offering support. The New England Patriots owner, who sent his plane to China to get almost two million N 95 masks, was also offering support, just like the person who thought to collect all the unused graduation gowns and offer them to the health care workers as protective equipment was providing support. Have you heard about the RVs for MD's movement? It's offering support to doctors who don't want to go home and endanger their families. So there's plenty of ways to support our health care workers. But the nurse didn't say any of that. When asked what gives her support, she simply said each other. Her colleagues, she said, they know what each other is going through more than their spouses or their friends or their parents. She gave the example of something that happened just a few days earlier. She said that a previously healthy 19 year old died the other day, and everyone was crying. Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, everyone. And that's exactly what they needed to dio with no judgment, no mockery, no pity. Sometimes support is as easy as just letting someone cry. So let's talk about support. Like I said, support comes in many varieties. Did you notice how the interviewer said, What supports you? Not who? There are five different ways to support somebody. See if any of these resonate with you. There's emotional support, like the kind the nurse on the morning news needed. There's intellectual support, as in helping your teen with homework or studying for a test. There's physical support, like taking your team to the doctor when she doesn't feel well. And, of course, there's the support that parents everywhere are intimately familiar with financial support. And finally, there is spiritual support, taking your kids to church, praying with them at night or taking walks in nature, the type and level of support that your child needs changes over the years. One minute they may accept and appreciate your emotional support, and the next day they may want nothing to do with you. They want little or no emotional connection to you at all, and this is the way it's supposed to happen. Teenagers just naturally reached a time in their development when a separation from their parents begins to occur. It's not fun. It's a little painful, but it's supposed to happen this way, and this is definitely not the time to dig in your heels and fight back. It won't do you any good to get angry or defensive. If they don't want to involve you. Don't push. Just remain fluid and pay attention to the daily rise and fall of what your teens need from you. When to support your teen Is Justus important as how you help them? And here's another important concept. The concept of support versus rescue. You know where I'm going with this, right? But first, some definitions. Here's the definition of support to further the interests of another simpler way. To say this is to aid This type of support is based on courage, building and growing their courage and helping them learn to do by themselves to figure out a solution by themselves, which is all in sharp contrast to our next definition, that of the word rescue to rescue is to bring out of danger. This type of support is based on fear or crisis. There's a big difference. Believe me, parents do both. But now we're more fearful. Life is more fearful now, especially in the middle of a pandemic. It really is possible that a call from your team will actually be a life or death situation, something that rarely ever happened when we were kids. Sometimes parents really do have a reason to pull out all the stops and rescue their teen. But the problem is, many of these parents don't know that simply supporting their kids will do a much better job of fostering responsibility. Ah, lot of parents just don't know when to stop. Well, parenting. Trust me, an 18 year old can handle a lot more than you think he can. Sometimes I think they're even playing us a little bit. Does this sound familiar? I forgot my lunch. We're swimming in gym class today and I forgot my bathing suit. Everyone is going to the movies, but I don't have any money. I don't have any gas in my car to go toe work. Mm. If I had a nickel for every time I got a frantic phone call from school, I'd be rich beyond my wildest dreams. Well, I'm not rich, but I am the proud winner of ultra high miles on my car because of all the trips I made to school and back. Yeah, enough already. There must be a better way to get our kids through high school and through life. Well, there is. It's called supporting our kids, not rescuing, supporting. So every time I jumped on my white horse, I mean my white Mitsubishi and rode out to the high school lunch or bathing suit or money in hand. I was doing my teen a disservice. I'm rescuing my team, not supporting her, and that doesn't help her grow towards independence. If we continuously rescue our kids, they will be less responsible with no consequences for their actions. They will be less streetwise, and I don't know of a single parent, even the most lazy and uninspired who would want that for their adult Children. Perhaps one of the most important lessons here is that there aren't any consequences for their actions. If we continually rescue them. If they forget their lunch every day, they're going to be hungry when they get home. If they forget their homework again, they're going to get a bad grade. With any luck, they will figure out that they don't like being hungry, so they won't forget their lunch every day. Let them feel the consequences, and I get it. It's so hard to do when it's your little pumpkin crying on the phone. But realize that we're growing independent, responsible young adults here. And this is how you do it. Of course, I understand that parents feel the need to both support and rescue, depending on the situation. I've rescued my four kids many times myself. If my daughter gets a flat tire on the highway at night, you better believe I'm rescue Mama. But if she has a flat tire in my driveway, so how can I support you? Sweetie, this is a Jack. This is the spare. So the time to mold our teens and a responsible independent young adults is now, while we still have their attention. So how do we know what they need in each new situation? We asked, Um, remember those five distinct types of support that people of all ages crave and search for come right out and say, What kind of support do you feel you need from me? Most of the time, it's obvious what they need, but sometimes it's a little more vague. It's your job to pay attention to what they're saying to you and really try to focus on the support without judging them. Respectful support should be given on an individual basis without a set timetable or without the desire for your child to succeed at a particular thing. The courage based level of support is definitely more work up front. However, the long term benefits air definitely worth the effort. See, not your team knows how to change a tire or find money in a pinch. Are you ready? For some examples? Here's one. Jordan was thrilled to be offered a job with Outward Bound. Working for the adventure company had been a goal of Hiss since childhood, and finally the time had come. He was due to leave Brighton early the next morning for his job is the photographer for an Outward Bound adventure, and he couldn't wait. But while packing his bag, he made the horrifying discovery that he had forgotten to buy the film for his camera. It was expensive and he didn't have the money because he hadn't started the job yet. Well, what is a mother to dio? All right, so number one, the rescue option. Give him 50 bucks and drive him to the store a 10 oclock at night. But the support option was, How can I support you in figuring this out? What are your options? After discussing the situation with his mom, Jordan called the supervisor at Outward Bound and arranged to get an advance on his pay so he could buy the film when he got there in the morning, instead of handing him the money his mom taught him about planning, budgeting and being more organized, it's a win win. Here's another example that proves that this works for kids of all ages. Jenny wanted a new doll. Not exactly a crisis, but you know how kids are when they desperately want something. Here's the rescue option by her, the dial to get her to stop whining and crying or the support option. How can I support you in getting your doll? They both came up with the idea that Jenny will do odd jobs for her mom to earn the money for the doll in Together, they go to buy it. But Jenny agonizes over how hard she had to work to get the money, and she decides she would rather keep the money. Instead, lesson learned about patients, budgeting and the value of money. An example. Number three. Sam has a big project to a school, and he's too overwhelmed to even start. Here's your rescue option. Let me help you get started, which will probably turn into Let me do the whole project for you. And here's a better idea. Here's your support option. You simply say, What support do you need for this project? And just a little side note saying, How can I support you in this instance, places the burden of helping squarely on your shoulders. It implies that you are willing to do the work for your teen. Instead, say, what support do you need or what support are you going to need to finish this? Now your team can think about what he really needs to get going on this project. Maybe he needs you to sit with him at the kitchen table to keep him on task. Maybe he needs you to physically hold the parts of his creation. Who knows? But the important thing is you are supporting him not doing for him. So the next time you get that frantic phone call from your teen and you race out the door, stop Ask yourself if you are supporting or rescuing. And yet they both have their place in the job of parenting. But now you have the knowledge to make sure that your answer will serve your teen on their journey to adulthood. So that's it. We're almost there. One more step to go until you have an independent young adult. Our next episode will focus on responsibility. And if you think a lot of parents get support wrong, wait till you hear about this one. But there is a fix. There is a way to teach and model responsibility, and I'm gonna show you how Come back and join us. Okay, I'll see you then.
You've been listening to the change maker Teens podcast with Linda Johnstone Way Hope you enjoyed today's show but more importantly, that you feel inspired and supported to mobilize and ignite a spark in the youth of your community, please like and subscribe to help others find the podcast, too. We want to hear from you tell us your story and be part of the community on Facebook and Instagram at Change maker teens to learn more about the change maker teens project or to help you truly change the world Visit Change maker teens dot com See you next time.