COMMENTARY 971.2: Rules to Survive and Thrive the Teen Years

00 5 rules for teensOne of the toughest jobs in the world is being a teenager. Everything is in transition. Everything is intense — even apathy.

Kids on the brink of adulthood have to cope with inconsistencies and conflicts. The desire to be special and different clashes with the need to belong and fit in. The desire for independence collides with an aversion to self-reliance and personal responsibility.

Here are five suggestions to help you not only survive but thrive in  the journey through adolescence:

1.   Be yourself. Mindless conformity is a prison; express yourself authentically and don’t be afraid to stand out, but don’t go to extremes just to be different, or just prove you can. You don’t need orange hair, a nose ring or tattoos to be special. In the end, it’s more important to be respected  than notorious 4

2.   Don’t expect too much or settle for too little. Don’t expect anyone else to make you happy and don’t allow others to treat you badly. Hang out with people who bring out the best in you, and be the kind of person who brings out the best in others.

3.   Think of responsibility as a ticket to independence.,not a penalty.  Be dependable and self-reliant. Dependability and self-reliance are the tickets to freedom and independence. Don’t waste energy resisting what you have to do. Instead, win others’ trust by doing what you should do.

4.   Think ahead. The choices you make today will shape tomorrow. Remember that every act has a consequence. Don’t confuse fun with happiness or forget how temporary pleasure is. Be careful: just because it feels good doesn’t make it good.

5.   Take charge of your own life. Your life is your ship; be the captain, not a passenger. Figure out what needs to be done to improve your life and make it happen. Your attitudes are more important than your aptitudes. You can’t control what happens to you, but you control what happens in you. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Let go of resentments, grudges and regrets. Learn from them and move forward.

Comments 8

  1. Michael,

    As a parent and a grandfather, if I can add a request for the parents and guardians of the adolescence.

    This stage of life can be confusing for those still maturing and need tons of unconditional love from us parents.

    For all of us to be surrounded by loved ones is an essential ingredient for a healthy long life.

  2. What Will Matter | COMMENTARY 918.2: The Journey Through AdolescenceIf ever there was a time to reach out to young adolescents , it is now. Thanks Michael, I will be printing this for my 15 year old son who wants to post this on the notice board at his high school.

  3. Am trying to sign up for your newsletter. The other sing up method failed maybe this will work. Like you say don’t give up Thanks

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      Emma,
      I’m sorry the sign up isn’t working on the website. I’m looking into that. In the interim, I went into our main newsletter email list and added your name and email address. The newsletter comes out on Thursdays. Enjoy!

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