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Stealing


In this lesson we are going to explore stealing. In it you will learn:

  • Five reasons why your teenager may be stealing
  • The root cause of why anyone starts to steal
  • A step-by-step process of how to turn the situation around
  • The importance of changing the situation around sooner than later

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.

Take A Moment

Did you ever steal? Did you have friends who stole? Think back to when you were a teenager and ask yourself, “Why would I or my friends steal?”

Overview

If you have found out that your teenager is stealing, the first thing you need to do is understand why they’re stealing. Each reason will require a different approach when it comes time to speak with them about this. When speaking with them, make sure you do not come from a judgmental place or use fear as a way to try and get them to stop. Unless he or she is an outright criminal (which would require a different approach) keep the conversation calm and centered. Fear and guilt will only send them in a more negative direction because when someone starts to steal, it’s usually a cry for help.

Below is a list of the top five reasons why most (not all) teenagers steal.

1. Fear Of Lack

Reason: Most people who steal will fall under this category and it’s the simplest reason. Because of the way that society is structured with money, if a person comes from a poverty-stricken background where they feel like they cannot make money on their own, or have access to it, they will steal. Chances are they probably don’t want to steal but they just believe that there is no other way for them to get what they want.

Solution: First, you must reassure your teenager that there is plenty to go around and that they do not need to steal to get what they want. Even if you come from an environment that does not have a lot of money, you can still teach your teen that there is enough for everyone.

Second, ask your teenager this question: “How would you like it if someone stole your things?” You need to make sure they know what it would feel like if it happened to them. If it’s already happened, just remind them about how they felt at that time.

Third, help them find a way they can make some extra money. Once they’re paid for doing a job well done, they won’t feel the need to steal. If they’re really young, there are still ways they can try and make some money on their own. This will require you to be creative in how you help them find their way. Just look at little kids who would build lemonade stands, wash cars, and so on. Your teenager needs to find creative ways they can make some money so they won’t feel the need to steal.

2. Filling A Void

Reason: Some people steal because they’re filling a void in their life. They may be sad, lost, or depressed and while most people eat or do drugs to fill that void, some will actually steal to fill it.

Solution: You need to help them feel better about themselves and their life. They will first need to deal with their emotions and once they do, they can start creating a new life where they will feel better about themselves.

*Please see module called “Depression” to learn more.

3. Attention

Reason: People who steal for attention are generally ones who want to be caught. Because this is a cry for help, they’re seeking attention. If you recall when the famous actress Winona Ryder (who has money) was caught stealing, she admitted that she had a problem and was seeking attention.

Solution: You need to give your teenager more attention when they do positive things in their life. Try and help them discover other things that they’re good at and when they do those things, praise them and love them to death. Once they see that they can get attention for things they’re good at and that are healthy for them, they wont seek negative ways to get attention.

4. The Thrill & Rush

Reason: Stealing gives people a sense of excitement and a rush. Because there is a risk of getting caught, those who do it for this reason are adrenaline junkies. Just like people who jump out of airplanes, business men who seek to close a deal, card players looking to win the next hand and so on, these people become addicted to the thrill of the rush.

Solution: Help your teenager find something else that brings them excitement. If they’re stealing because they want the thrill, it’s because nothing else in their life is bringing them any joy or excitement. Help them find something more constructive that brings them this thrill and you will see that they will stop stealing.

5. It’s A Game

Reason: Some people who steal just love the game of it. It’s like a puzzle they want to solve. It becomes a way for them to engage their mind so they can “solve the puzzle”. Most of these people who do the stealing for this reason rarely ever care about what it is they’re stealing. They’re just looking for the challenge.

Solution: Help them find something else that is constructive and challenging.

Repeating Myself

I know it may sound as if I’m just repeating myself because, well, I am! It amazes me that society has taken such simple issues and turned them into such complex problems. Everything comes down to pleasure and pain. If your child is stealing, it’s because they believe this is the easiest way for them to experience pleasure. This is why you need to replace the negative behavior, stealing, with something else that brings them pleasure and is positive and constructive. This way they will associate that behavior with being more pleasurable.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.

 

editor September 24, 2012

Technology Addiction


In this lesson we are going to explore technology addiction. In it you will learn:

  • The root cause of all addictions
  • Different types of technology addictions
  • Why teenagers are becoming addicted to technology
  • How to help your child find balance with video games, Facebook, cell phone, & more

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Take A Moment

I want you to think about how much time you spend watching TV, browsing the internet, using your mobile device, on Facebook, and so on. Do you think you spend too much time using these technology platforms? Have you struck a balance with them?

Video Games, Facebook, Cell Phones, Internet, Etc…

Technology and video game addiction is becoming more commonplace with many teenagers and while the addiction is not the same as a chemical one via drugs or alcohol, the psychological impacts it can cause is much the same because individuals still become withdrawn, lost, and depressed. So why is video game and technology addiction on the rise?

Boredom

Boredom has to be one of the most common reasons that people become addicted to anything. It’s when people are bored that they want to ingest something (either physically, mentally, or emotionally) into their body to cover up the fact that they’re bored. So why are people bored?

Lack Of Imagination

Imagination is the greatest gift to be bestowed on us when we were born. As children, we would use our imagination to make things up and play with our friends and toys. If you watch little children play and use their imagination, it’s a beautiful thing to watch them “create their world” as they go along.

As we get older, many of us are guided away from using our imagination because it is time to “get serious”. For many teenagers, this happens during school where they are told that they need to focus on getting good grades and getting prepped for college. The “real world” starts to take over and the pressures and stresses that come with this starts to weigh them down.

Escaping Reality

When your teenager is playing a video game, on Facebook, or texting, their mind enters a virtual world that distracts them from these pressures. It’s this distraction that they enjoy so much that becomes addicting for them psychologically. It’s their escape where they don’t have to worry about school, grades, and becoming an adult.

Just look at how many businesses have blocked YouTube and Facebook from their office. There are so many adults that are bored out of their mind and they want to escape this boredom by watching videos or chatting aimlessly. Think about this phrase for a moment: “Killing time”

How many times have you heard people say that? If life were filled with joy and excitement, why would anyone want to “kill time”? Now think about this phrase for a moment: “Time is flying by”

Do you see the difference? Either people hate their life so much that they want to kill time, or they love it so much that they don’t even notice it and time flies by.

ADD & ADHD

All scientists have done by creating these ridiculous ailments is to categorize boredom. Rather than being open and honest with the fact that kids are bored, society feels better by “solving” the reason that so many people are not interested in life and school. Think about it – we have to drug our kids to pay attention to something! Life is supposed to be filled with so much joy that they should want to pay attention to their lives. If your child is not paying attention, it’s a sure sign that they’re not interested. Rather than drugging them, how about finding something that is more interesting for them to want to learn? Kids do want to learn. They just don’t want to learn the way they’re being taught in most schools.

Here is another way to look at it: Do you have to drug kids to play video games, surf the net, listen to music, or play with their friends? Of course not, we only have to drug kids to do things they don’t want to do.

Chemical Stimulation

When kids are using technology and are stimulated by this, there is a level of dopamine being released that can create a high for them (especially with video games). The mind does NOT know the difference between reality and alternate realities so when it’s immersed in all the graphics and action taking place in games (or conversations and information on Facebook or texting), as far as the mind can tell, it’s real. So real that it stimulates the mind and creates some level of pleasure and euphoria.

Pleasure vs. Pain

The mind will always choose something that it believes is more pleasurable. Because most kids hate school and many aspects of there lives (chores, family, etc…) they would rather escape into technology because the mind sees this as something more pleasurable and the alternative as something painful.

The Solution

If you want to help your teenager not become addicted to video games or any technology escape, you need to be creative and help them see that THIS world is more pleasurable. The way you’re going to do this is by figuring out what they’re passionate about and creating a relevant education and environment to support their passion. Once they find their “thing” in life, the mind will define that as being more pleasurable and will not seek an escape refuge using technology.

Finding Balance

Our world is driven by technology and there is no way around this. The real issue here is finding balance between both worlds so that your teen doesn’t want to abuse their technology as an escape. This is about “how” your teenager uses technology. Are they playing the video games but are also excited about the next thing they’re going to do afterwards? Or, are they depressed and playing video games so they don’t have to face a life they’re not enjoying? Helping your teenager to find their balance is going to be crucial especially as our world becomes more technologically driven.

Rules

Some people like the idea of creating and enforcing rules like, telling your child they only get X amount of hours to play video games or use Facebook. Rules are great especially when you can enforce them. By telling your child that they only get one hour on Facebook and one-hour playing video games, you’re giving them some structure (but you need to be consistent in enforcing it).

However, rules only deal with the surface level issue and not the root cause. Wouldn’t you rather your child find their balance and have a healthy perspective on life rather than having to watch over them all the time and govern your rules? Parents hate having to keep after their kids and the reason why they have to is because they’re not helping their teenager find their own balance in life. So by all means, definitely set some rules and boundaries for them to follow and at the same time, empower them to be excited about life so they will naturally choose something else.

Talking With Your Teenager

It’s also very important that you have an open and honest talk with your teenager about your rules and why you want them to follow them. Don’t just say, “Because I said so” as that will get you nowhere fast. It’s imperative that they understand the good you are trying to do for them and show them how other people are hurting their lives when they are totally consumed by video games, Facebook, and technology. Help paint a picture for them as to why it’s more pleasurable for them to maintain a balance with technology and real life.

Energy

Everything in life is energy and this means that when your child has a lot of it, it needs to go somewhere. If you don’t help them discover somewhere they can put their energy, by default it will be directed to things like games and Facebook. So be proactive, creative and excited to help them discover who they really are! I promise that once they find something they’re good at and want to do, they will naturally gravitate toward it.

Exercise

If you have not done so already, make sure your teen is getting at least 90 minutes a day of physical exercise. We all sit on our butts now and this is why so many people are lethargic, depressed, overweight, and so on. It’s important that you instill in your teenager that they need to be active on a daily basis. Make sure they’re in the sun for at least an hour a day as well because it helps to create a positive mood. You will notice that many people who are depressed are very pale because they never see the light of day. This is why people are much happier in tropical weather. So get them in the sun and make sure they are exercising and breaking a sweat!

Most importantly, “how” you go about getting them motivated or inspired is going to be crucial. You cannot force anything on your child. They must choose it for themselves

Lead By Example

And of course, make sure you’re leading by example. It’s going be hard to swallow your ideas if all they see you do is watch TV, surf the net and play on your computer all day. If you too have an issue with spending too much time in front of any screen, this is your opportunity to find a way to bond with your teen outside of the house.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,
I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.
Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.
editor September 24, 2012

School


In this lesson we are going to explore teenagers having problems at school because they are disinterested. In it you will learn:

  • Why so many teenagers hate school
  • What you as a parent can do to support your teen
  • Why it’s important that parents change their approach
  • How the old school system is failing our nation
  • The reason why smart kids are not excelling
  • Your child has a very unique gift waiting to be unlocked
  • How to teach your teen that school is everywhere

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Take A Moment

Did you like school? Did you enjoy going to class? Did you respect and appreciate your teachers? Do you wish they had taught you other information? Or maybe they could have taught you in a different way? Think back to when you were in school and take a moment to write down what you liked and disliked. Then write down what you wish they had done differently.

Overview

There are generally two reasons why kids struggle in school:
1. They are bored.
2. They are struggling with some emotional issues and it’s affecting their ability to focus.

If your teenager falls into the second category, struggling with emotions, then you need to help them deal with these issues so that they can move on with their life. But if they are bored or “for some reason not doing well”, then read on as this is what this module focuses on.

“My kid is very smart but for some reason is not doing very well in school.”

Does that sound familiar to you? I hear this from parents all the time. If your teenager is having problems at school when it comes to studying and staying focused, you’re not alone. Millions of parents around the world are experiencing the same issue. Our psychologists are calling this ADD or ADHD. I call it: School sucks!
I’m sorry to tell you mom and dad but most schools, not all, are terrible at educating our youth and here is why: Public school systems were developed by financiers and banker’s in the 1930’s. The factory industry was booming so they needed to create a bunch of carbon copy people who thought and acted the same way. Students were being prepared to work in the factory so they didn’t encourage critical thinking.

As we know, China has most of our factory work now. And India and the Philippines is the best place to outsource remedial jobs such as admin work and phone clerks. What does this mean for those of us in the rest of the world? It means our strength is going to be dependent on our creativity and critical thinking. The issue here is that our school systems have not changed to reflect this. Because of how our school system was established, it’s causing our economy to suffer because our youth are not as creative at coming up with solutions or thinking for themselves.

The Old System Is Dying

Most parents dread to hear that their kids don’t want to go to school and get a degree. It’s been engrained in our collective psyche that “We need to go to school, get a degree, and get a job”. As I type those words I already feel less inspired. Just by looking at how miserable people are in their lives it’s amazing that many would want their kids to follow suit. It’s almost as if parents feel that because they had to suffer their kids should too. Believe it or not, there are other ways of creating a successful life. And by the looks of how many adults in the world are having mid-life crises, it shows that the old system is dying. However, because this is really the only “game” in town, it’s understandable that most parents get nervous when their kids don’t want to follow suit. So what is the real problem with school?

Kids Are Bored At School

Our public school systems, generally speaking (there are exceptions), are one of the main reasons why our world is struggling today because they’re not teaching anything interesting. When your kids go to school, they’re bored out of their mind because what’s being taught is not relevant to whom they are, nor is it creative or engaging enough to keep them stimulated. When they become bored and don’t have anything constructive to put their energy into (see module on Boredom) they become destructive. This is why so many teenagers are misbehaving at school; they’re bored.

Kids Love To Learn!

The truth is, your teenager does like to learn. Ever see them figure out a video game? Facebook? Fix their computer, cell phone, and so on? It takes a smart person to figure some of those things out. In fact, chances are your teenager taught you some things about your computer or cell phone. It’s not that your kids don’t like to learn, they just like to learn things they’re interested in. The real question we should be asking ourselves is this: How do we create an educational system relevant to what teenagers want to learn, and that keeps them engaged and productive?

Babysitting

Unfortunately because most parents have to work, they need their kid to be doing something during the day. This means that what most schools provide is babysitting. And from my experience in the public school system, I can easily say that they barely even do that. I know its tough for most parents to have to not only work, but also help their teenager learn something so that they can be productive. The challenge here is that if we leave it up to the public school system, well, we will continue to see high dropouts, low attendance, poor grades, ADD, and the destructive behaviors we see due to boredom.

Your Child Has A Unique Gift

So many parents are concerned because of the lack of motivation their child has in school. Remember, we all move towards what brings us pleasure and move away from what brings us pain. If your child is bored at school and has “issues”, it is because school brings them pain. Unfortunately most parents try to force their kids to like school and that is not going to work. The only way to motivate your teenager is to help them discover what’s in it for them. What is going to bring them pleasure from doing their schoolwork?

As outlined in the Career module of this course, every one of us has a unique gift to offer the world. It does not even have to be a major invention or business idea. It could just be as simple as “how” that person provides their service or does “their thing”. If you truly want to empower your teenager and see them become very proactive in their education, the first step you have to take is help them explore and discover what it is that they’re passionate about in life. They need to find their one “thing” that they can sink their teeth into that keeps them driven and motivated. Just look at any person who loves what they do and you will see that you never need to motivate them.

Why?

Because when someone is passionate about what they’re doing, their excitement is what will motivate them. It’s the natural juice in all of us that makes us jump out of bed ready to start the day. Your job as your teenagers guide is to help them explore something that excites them a lot. It may take a few months of trial and error until you find it, but I promise it’s like a hidden gem ready to be discovered and polished. Once they do find it, it will become their “special project”.

Relevant Education

Once your teenager has discovered their one thing that drives and motivates them, then you need to help him or her create a relevant education around that. Whether it be having them research it online, reading books, meeting people who do what they want to do, enrolling them in another “outside” course, finding them a mentor, and so on, you need to do the best you can to help surround them with as many “props” that are relevant to what excites them. Once they dive in, it will get the ball rolling so that other opportunities can present themselves through synchronicity.

Supporting Them

Although your teenager will be motivated and excited, this does not mean they won’t face some challenges along the way. This is where you need to be their coach and help them overcome these challenges. Because your teenager will be, for a lack of better terms, working “outside the system” to educate themselves, this means they will be in their school alone (unless they are enrolled in another program). If you start to see them taper off with their special project, then do not take this as a sign that they’re not interested. It probably means they hit a roadblock or fear. You need to help them through this so they don’t give up. The first couple of years will be challenging so be ready to become their cheerleader and support them through their challenges so that they learn at an early age how to pick themselves up when they’ve fallen down.

Ask your teenager the following questions:

  • What would you like to learn? Is there anything that interests you?
  • What do you like about school?
  • What do you dislike about school?
  • What could your school be doing better to keep kids interested in learning?

Once they have answered these questions, you should be able to gage where they’re at mentally with learning and then you will need to be creative with how you support them.

College

I’m in no way saying that your kid should just drop out of school. Many parents want their teenager to move on to college and that’s fine. But first let me point out something that is VERY relevant for you as a parent. Do you really want your kid wasting your money on college if they’re just going to be slacking off and bouncing around from one major to the next? Do you know how many kids in college come out with their degree and never end up using it? That’s $50 – $100k down the drain. There are many kids in college who have no idea how to apply what they’re learning. This is a waste of everyone’s money, time, and resources.

Find A Compromise

What you really want to do is strike a balance between a “public education” and a relevant “home education”. By acknowledging to your teenager that you understand that, for them, school is not that great and that you do not expect them to become a scholarly student, this will alleviate their pressures, which is one of the reasons why so many teenagers struggle. Ideally you want to find a compromise where you get them to finish high school so that if they want to go to college later on, they can. Tell your teenager they don’t have to go to college right away if they don’t want to, but that they do need to be showing some growth in their “special project” by taking action. And, they need to get good enough grades so that they can go to college if they want.

Maybe later on they will find out that college would be relevant, or not. Maybe they will discover that they just need a vocational school. Or maybe they will discover that they would be best suited in an internship of some sorts. But you need to find a compromise so that they don’t feel like there is no way out. You also need to find a compromise so that they’re motivated enough to want to finish high school. And the only way to do this is to give them “something” to look forward to. Otherwise they will drag their feet and drive you nuts!

Timeline

If you find that your teenager really lacks motivation and just can’t seem to get it together enough to find their “special gift” (please see the module on Motivation) or put energy towards it, I would recommend that you give them a timeline and say by a certain date, they need to be ready to live on their own and pay their own bills. But let me make this very clear, this should not be a threat. It needs to be said with love and compassion and not using fear as a mechanism to try and motivate them. The conversation can go something like this:

“It’s ok if you don’t want to learn or put time into something you care about and want to do with your life. But I want you to know by the time you are (this age), you need to be ready to live on your own and pay your own way. I’m more than happy to support you in getting started with your life in any way that I can, but at the same time, I cannot be your crutch and just let you get by while living at this house. If you need any help with your education or finding something to do, let me know.”

Also, this conversation should be a last resort. Meaning that you have tried to help them find their “special project” and you have also done the best you can to make sure they don’ have any anger or resentment issues that might be holding them down. If you have truly done your best to support them in a neutral and loving way and they still seem to slack off, then its time that you put reality on their front door so that they know that at a certain point, they need to take action.

The reason you don’t want to use fear as a mechanism is because this can create conflict and send them in a downward spiral. What really needs to happen is that they need to be confronted with reality from a loving and neutral space. Because most parents fear their kids not becoming successful (and that it reflects poorly on them), they come from a fearful place. This is why so many parents struggle with this issue. They use fear to create more fear. You want to use love and compassion to create opportunity, while at the same time, helping them wake up to the fact that they need to become proactive in their own life.

But My Kid Is Really Out Of Control

If you are faced with a teenager who is exhibiting behavior that is beyond “normal boredom” from school, then there is something else going on with them. They probably have some unresolved anger or resentment that is keeping them from wanting to learn or being focused. I have come across many teenagers who are so angry and frustrated with life that all they do is create more destructive behavior. The solution is that you need help them get it out. It’s an energy that’s inside them (literally) and it needs to come out. They need to find a way to vent their anger (see module on Anger) and frustration both verbally and physically. Once it’s all out and transformed, you will see your child become a different person.

As noted in my bio, I used to throw rave events for ten years and would see the most angry gangsters come to my parties. These were people who were very destructive mentally, physically, and spiritually. But once they came to our party, took ecstasy, and started to talk through their problems and dance the night away (this is where they got out their anger physically), they seemed to change dramatically. I could see them transform like a butterfly overnight. The most hardcore brut became a silly playful child hugging their friends. It’s quite astonishing to watch this transformation take place right in front of you.

So once you help your teenager to get out their anger and frustration in whatever process you come up with, you can start to explore what it is that excites them and get them more involved with their education.

School Is Everywhere

Asking good questions is the best school anyone can put himself or herself through. Every time I meet someone who is well educated in his or her “special gift”, I ask a lot of questions. From a one-hour conversation I can learn so much more than an entire year at some public school. You want to teach your child how to start asking good questions and pay attention to what is going on in all of life. Every moment we are alive we’re in school. Just by paying attention, listening, and asking good questions we can educate people far more than most schools can. Teach your teenager how to ask good questions and they will always be learning.

I have a friend who went to Stanford (one of the top business schools in the world) and when I asked him about his education, while he did say it was valuable, he said he learned more from a one-hour meeting with a major business executive, where he was allowed to ask ten questions, then his entire time at Stanford. Teach your children how to ask good questions and listen well and they will educate themselves on a daily basis.

My Experience

I had discussed in the “My Story” portion of the course how I was able to change my life once I found something I was passionate about. I’m not going to go into full detail with that, however, I do want to point something out by using a simple timeline. This will show you the steps I took to transform my life outside of the school system:

Ages 7 – 13: Experienced many hardships because I did not know how to address my emotions and solve my own problems. Because of this, I became overweight, angry, resentful, lost, depressed, confused, and so on.

Ages 13 – 15: Ditched school, drank alcohol, hung out with gangs, took drugs, stole, ran away from home, and was a “troubled teenager”.

Age 16: Found my passion in life and started my “special project” which was producing events. I was still exuding poor behaviors but they started to diminish. I left high school and made an agreement with my mom to take the proficiency test (similar to GED) so that I could leave high school and start college. I recall telling my mom, “It’s not that I don’t like to learn, it’s just that I’m not learning anything in school”. My special project turned into a business and I got my first taste of accomplishment and sense of ownership. My phase of being a troubled teenager started to dissipate.

Age 17: Took some college classes to appease my mom at the local community school. Continued with my business that was doing well. At this point I was still having some troubles, but these were more normal things teenagers go through rather then extreme scenarios.

Ages 18 – 24: Launched my magazine while still producing events. Had a great opportunity to learn about many businesses and learned sales, project management, administration, and much more. By this time I was no longer a “troubled teenager” because I was too busy having fun and enjoying life. I learned structure and discipline, became more health conscious and was no longer a troubled teenager.

I wanted to share this outline because I don’t want you to think that everything is going to change overnight. It took me four years to work through my troubled teenage years. I also want to point out that after 18, even though I was not exuding terrible behaviors, I still had many pitfalls. But once again, these were the more normal and less destructive ones. It’s important that you brace yourself and come to terms with the fact that you and your teenager will be going through a process that can take many years. What will help minimize this phase is if you don’t judge them, add fear or anger and help them to find their “special project”.

I highly recommend you take some time to pay attention to people’s stories about how they changed their lives, overcame certain obstacles and came from nothing to become highly successful (rags to riches stories). There are many people who discuss how they were a mess and that once they found their “calling” everything changed. Even if you’re a Christian you know that once people find “God’ it changes their life. From my perspective, love, joy and excitement is how God works.

Internships – Here is a recent post I wrote on helping your child get an internship.
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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.
editor September 24, 2012

Rebellion


In this lesson we are going to explore teen rebellion. In it you will learn:

  • What rebellion actually is
  • How you as a parent might have played a role
  • A step-by-step guide on how you can turn it around
  • The difference between anger, rebellion, and being out-of-control

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.

Take A Moment

At any point in your teenage years did you ever rebel? Did you see any of your friends rebel? Why did you or they do so? What sparked it? Take a few moments to think back to that time.

Overview

In addressing teen rebellion, it is important to get to the root cause of what it actually is because the way most parents define it is not entirely accurate. Many people define rebellion as a teenager being angry and trying to go against the grain. While these are symptoms of rebellion, they’re not the root cause of it. If you want to get to the root cause of why teenagers rebel, then you have to ask “Why?” Why are so many teenagers pissed off? Why do teenagers behave in destructive and erratic ways?

It is also important that you understand that rebellion is phase two of anger. Generally speaking, a teenager will become angry first. If their anger is not resolved or addressed, then they act out by rebelling. It is the first stages of them trying to address it but they do not know how to do so in a constructive manner. If their rebellion phase is not neutralized, then they will become out-of-control.

So what exactly is rebellion?

Rebellion is when anyone (regardless of age) is told whom and how to be in any particular situation without being included in the decision making process. Rebellion is when you force your beliefs and definitions on to your child and expect them to create a life they may not want. It’s when we’re “controlled” and so the natural affect from this is rebellion. It’s like a rubber band; you can only pull so hard until it pulls back.

Teenagers generally rebel against their parents, school, society, religion, or anything that is structured in a manner that “forces” them to be something they are not. But since this course focuses on the parent-teen relationship, I will address teenagers rebelling against their parents.

If your teenager is angry and rebelling, this is what they’re saying to you:
“I’m pissed off because you keep trying to control me”.

But let me do a better job of communicating to you what they really want to say:

Mom and/or Dad,

Thank you for caring about me. I appreciate the fact that you’re doing the best you can in trying to help me. But because you have a fear-based agenda in how you are approaching me, it hurts my feelings. I would really appreciate it if you would just accept me as I am, stop trying to control me, and then try to support me in what it is I’m trying to do. I understand that I do need to follow some rules and that you need to set boundaries for my own good. But I would also appreciate it if you would allow me to make my own mistakes and stop approaching me from a fear-based perspective. All this does is make me more scared and this is why I react the way I do. Will you please stop projecting your own fears and agenda onto me? Will you please stop controlling me and let me live my life?

Can you “hear” your child now? This is what they are really saying to you but do not have the skill set to do so.

As a parent, you need to understand that there is nothing you can do to “fix your kid”. The whole idea that parents have in trying to control the situation doesn’t work. All this does is push them away, makes them lose respect for you, and creates friction and conflict. You need to embrace the idea of accepting wherever your child is at and do the best you can to guide them along their process. Because just like you’re on your own process of maturing and figuring things out, so is your teenager.

Having An Agenda

Because you are creating a neutral space for your child to explore life, you need to let go of any agenda you may have. Only then will they begin to listen to anything you have to say. When a teenager or young adult hears anyone in authority speak to them with an agenda, they can smell it a mile away. As soon as they sense this, it sends them into a fight or flight mode because it is not providing them a neutral space for them to just be. That is what rebellion really is.

In fact, you have this same capability in you as well. It’s just that as you have gotten older, your ability to fight has weakened and because you need to “pay the bills”; your focus has been more on survival. But I am sure at some recent point someone has tried to force his or her beliefs or way of thinking on you and I am sure you did not like it. Of course, you did not rebel as a teenager would. But this is why it is important that you remember that your teenager is just starting to get a grip with their emotions so they just don’t have the skills to be calm and see all angles of what is really happening in a rational way.

Boot Camps: Hitting Rock Bottom

It breaks my heart to see so many of these military and boot camps thriving with business. These are just parents who have given up and thrown away their kids like dogs and cats to animal shelters. “I have no idea what to do so let it be someone else’s problem”. Below I outline a step-by-step process for how to address this but I want to point out that the two main reasons why boot camps work is because:

1. It provides the space for the teenager to get out their aggression through physical labor.
2. It gives them structure and discipline that helps them create a new pattern in their life.

These are things you can do as well without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars. But it does require your time and effort. While military and boot camps can help with some kids who are dealing with anger and rebellion issues, it sends a clear signal to them that you have given up and don’t know what to do. Sadly, it also sends the signal that you don’t want or love them. Another thing you should be aware of is that boot camps teach discipline through the use of fear, control, and domination. This is not a healthy and balanced way to learn discipline.

As I use the Dog Whisperer as an example, “troubled teenagers” are just the out of control pit bulls and Rottweiler’s. They got there because of their owners (parents), not because they were born this way. This is not about blaming or saying it’s the parent’s fault. This is just showing you that this is the extreme type of “reflection” your child is teaching you. They’re saying, “Look at how you have (or have not) dealt with me all my life. Look at the life and environment you have created for me. You have created such a negative environment and not given me the type of love or attention I need, now I have to be sent away for someone else to try and deal with me”.

If you really pay attention to what a boot camp does, all it is are people who spend time with your kids giving them structure and attention while creating an environment in which they’re supported to act in healthy ways (albeit they do it in an angry and militant way). The amount of teenagers in these types of camps is just one of many examples as to how many parents would rather buy their way out instead of spending the time to raise their kids on their own.

If you are at your wits end with your teenager, then chances are you have considered a boot camp (and probably did not enroll them because you did not have the money). Either way, if you’ve gotten to this point it’s a clear reflection of the fact that you have not put the time into being with your teen and guiding them along their process. If they’re so out-of-control it ‘s because they’ve never learned any boundaries nor did they have a positive role model to look up to. This is where you really need to be honest with yourself about issues you may have and heal them first before you try and take on the issues with your teenager. I cannot be specific as to how to address this since each one of you will have different issues you’re facing and need to heal.

Focus On the Root Cause

As with any issue you address with your teenager, you must focus on the root cause. The reason anyone will rebel is because they are upset and do not know how to deal with their emotions. If your teenager is rebelling, then they are angry for a reason and you need to focus on this reason, not the behaviors. Before any healing can take place, your child needs to get their frustration out of them. Once they have, then you can work on your healing process.

Here is a step-by-step action plan:

Step 1 – Release the Emotions
Help your teen in some way to get their emotions out on the table and get them out of their system.

Step 2 – Neutralize the Situation
Once their emotions are out, you need to create a calm and centered environment where a new direction can take form.

Step 3 – Redefine the Relationship
Depending on whether they are rebelling against you, school, or society, you need to help them redefine their relationship in a win-win manner so that they can move forward with their lives in a healthier way. For example, if they are rebelling against you then you need to understand why they are upset at you and then redefine your relationship addressing their concerns. If they are rebelling towards school then you need to help them come up with a new solution as to how they will become educated if they do not like the school they are in. Whatever they are rebelling against, you need to help them redefine their relationship with it so they do not act out with destructive behavior.

Step 4 – Be Consistent
In the beginning stages, your teenager will be very “raw” with their emotional state and because they are moving in a new direction, anything can and will set them off. It is important that you help create a consistent environment where new patterns can be laid down that are fair and reasonable for all involved.

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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.
editor September 24, 2012

Psychedelics


In this lesson we are going to explore teenagers and psychedelic drugs. In it you will learn:

  • The type of teen that uses psychedelics
  • How concerned you should be
  • The different types of these drugs
  • How they affect the mind and body
  • How to best approach the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teen

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Overview

Types: Mushrooms, LSD, & DMT

Concern Level: 6

I have combined these three substances into one lesson because even though they’re different chemically speaking, your teenager’s frame of mind is the same regardless of which one they ingest. It’s important to understand that these substances are not drugs per se. While the government technically defines them as such, they all derive from natural components already growing in nature.

Mushrooms

Native Americans and many other tribal groups in Central and South America use these natural fungi as a form of ritual as they believe it puts them in touch with other worlds. I’m not going to get on a spiritual or philosophical soapbox since that is not what this course is about. But mushrooms do provide a way for humans to learn more about the meaning of life and to develop a stronger relationship with your spirit.

Here are some basic factoids:

1. What causes the mushrooms to cause hallucinations are the psilocybin (which is poison) that has grown on the mushroom.

2. Mushrooms are not very common with most teenagers but some take them.

3. The effects of taking mushrooms lasts up to four hours and typically send the person on an inner journey where they can explore the nature of reality.

4. Mushrooms are not addictive.

5. It’s better to take mushrooms in a tea than to eat them because the poison in mushrooms can cause an upset stomach and affect peoples experience in a negative way.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) aka “Acid”

LSD is another hallucinogen that is derived from the rye plant. When ingested it will have similar affects to mushrooms and take the individual on a hallucinogenic journey. What people see is a fractal world where everything is broken down. It’s been said that what a person sees on acid is actually more real than what we see with our own eyes (did you know there’s a chemical in your brain that stops you from seeing the entire world as it really is?).

The effects of LSD can last around ten to twelve hours. If the person taking them has some form of inner conflict or is in a bad state of mind, they can go on a “bad trip”. A bad trip is when all your suppressed emotions come to the surface. So in many ways, it’s actually a good trip. Just depends on how you look at it.

LSD is not addictive. The only concern you should have is if your teen is not in a safe place or if they are taking it while their psychological makeup is unstable.

DMT (Dimethyltryptamine)

DMT is the other hallucinogen that teenagers and young adults take. The irony about this substance is that our brain (via the pineal gland) already produces this substance. While there are many technical reasons that this substance is different from mushrooms and LSD, to go into further detail about it would be an entirely different course.

DMT is not addictive and in terms of safety, the same applies here as with mushrooms and LSD – safe environment and the person’s psychological make-up should be stable.

Why Your Kid Will Like Psychedelics

Most teenagers who take psychedelics are doing it to get high and feel euphoric. The “trip” they’re on helps them perceive the world in an altered state and makes them giggle and laugh a lot. It can also be a bonding experience for your teenager and his or her friends.

If your teenager is taking psychedelics, then the chances are they’re very smart and don’t fit into school. Most teenagers who take them are generally “rebels” and go against the grain of society. They read a lot of books, have lots of questions, and are very artistic. Chances are if your one of those parents that say, “My kid is really smart but for some reason does not do well in school”, then your teenager has a high probability for taking psychedelics. The reason why they’re smart and don’t fit into school is because they think outside the box.

The Truth

Other then potentially taking too much, not being in a safe environment, or being psychologically unstable, psychedelics are not harmful and you do not need to be as concerned. Psychedelics are a psychological experience and it will challenge the mind and ego. Ideally if your teenager is taking them they should be doing so in a safe, natural, and ritualistic manner where they are respecting the “elements”. Ideally they should have a guide with them who can talk them through the experience.

The Downside

Psychedelics are a serious hallucinogen and deal with a person’s psyche. If the person is unstable emotionally it will bring this experience out in their “trip” and make them face it. If they don’t know how to “go with it” and face their issue, this can turn into a bad trip which means your teenager can go to a dark place mentally until they are talked through it or the affects wear off. Because psychedelics deal with the human psyche, what they actually do is resurface what the individual has suppressed in their subconscious mind forcing them to have to look closely at it. If they’re not able or ready to deal with these emotions, it can affect them negatively. This is what is meant by “bad trip”.

The Upside

If taken responsibly and your teenager has a good experience, it can help them grow as a person. They will feel much stronger and more able to deal with other issues in life because they will have gained some inner perspective. As noted above, many indigenous tribes have used similar substances as part of their “vision quests”. It’s a normal part of their culture and each member of the tribe uses it as a right of passage and opportunity to learn more about themselves and life.

Approaching the Situation

First and foremost your energy and thoughts should be calm and centered remembering your unconditional love for your child. I highly suggest that you’re straightforward with your teenager and say something to the effect of:

“I know that if you want to take psychedelics you can and there is nothing I can do about it. I prefer that you hold off until a later age to try it if you’re going to try it. But if you’re going to try it now, here are some of the pros and cons of doing it (then discussing the points I mention above along with any other research you find as you educate yourself as much as possible on the subject). Keep in mind that psychedelics are mental and visual drugs and if you’re not in a good place mentally it can bring on a bad trip. Also, if you’re going to try it please do it somewhere where you’re safe and that you don’t drive and don’t do anything where you will harm someone else. If you do get in trouble or cause damage you will need to suffer those consequences. I love you no matter what and as mentioned, here is why I prefer you to not do it”.

The other thing to keep in mind is to make sure you guys have a good relationship and that if you have any issues, try and resolve them because this substance will make your child feel very emotional if you do not have a good relationship. Psychedelics are very psychological and will bring up any issues your child has to face with their life and relationships.

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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.
editor September 24, 2012

Prescription Drugs


In this lesson we are going to explore teenagers using prescription drugs. In it you will learn:

  • Why your teenager will try them
  • The real dangers of using prescription drugs
  • What you can do to address the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teenager
  • How our society creates a tolerant environment for their use

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Overview

Concern Level: 9

Types: Vicodin, Oxycotin, Ritalin, Adderal, + too many to mention

You may notice that I’ve listed the concern level as “9” which is higher than everything else discussed except for hard drugs. Why is that? When our kids start taking pharmaceutical and prescription drugs, they’re reflecting and mimicking the biggest challenge we face as a society: numbing ourselves.

Look around at the world and you can see that whenever someone has a problem, we tell him/her to take a pill. What most adults fail to realize is that emotions are there for a reason and they’re not supposed to be swept under the rug. Feeling sad and depressed is a good thing because it’s saying very clearly, “Hey, I am not happy with life right now and I need to do something about it!”

Instead of looking at these feelings and emotions we take a pill and hope everything will work out. It won’t! In fact, things just get worse.

Teenagers using prescription drugs to get high is on the rise and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If your teenager is going to any “pharm” party (short for pharmaceutical) you should definitely be concerned. These drugs (when poorly mixed) can cause a lot of damage and become quite addictive emotionally. More so, many teenagers mix alcohol with them and that’s a deadly cocktail.
Why They Do It

Remember, when addressing these types of issues focus on their state of being and “why” they are doing it.

1. Because they want to get high and have fun with their friends.
2. Because it’s a way to escape their feelings and emotions.
3. Because it’s easy to get and since most adults do it, they don’t feel like they’re doing anything wrong.

1. Fun – If your teenager is doing it just for fun, then your major concern is “how” they do it so they don’t harm themselves. It’s important to educate them about what they’re taking and what the drug can do. And while it’s not a healthy choice for them to be doing these drugs, if they’re just doing it to have fun you don’t need to be “as” alarmed. You should be concerned and explore the issue with them in the hope that you can paint a picture as to why not doing it would be a better choice for them. Simply put, they need to find something else that is just as fun.

2. Escape – If your teenager is taking the drugs to escape their emotions or life in any way, then you need to be highly concerned and get involved as much as possible without pushing them away. Remember, the drugs are not the issue here. It’s your teens state of being is the true issue. Stay focused on the root cause which is their emotional state of being.

3. Adults do it – Mimicking an adult is the main reason that most teenagers will take these drugs and assume it’s ok. It’s a hard thing for kids to swallow when they see their parents and family members taking pills and are then told that they’re not allowed to. Remember the importance of leading by example.
Approaching the Situation

The first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself. If you’re taking these drugs (most kids follow in their parents footsteps) to suppress any emotions, then your teen is reflecting your behavior. If this is the case, then you can’t approach them with any integrity until you’ve stopped taking the drugs yourself.

However, if you are taking them for a legitimate reason or are not taking them at all, here is how you can broach the subject:

First and foremost your energy and thoughts should be calm and centered remembering your unconditional love for your child. The most important thing is to find out why they’re taking them. You need to quickly find out if the drugs are being taken for recreational use or to suppress some emotional issue. If they’re just doing it for fun, while I’m in no way condoning the usage, you don’t need to be “as” concerned. Concerned yes, but not as much as you would be if they were taking the drugs to suppress their emotions. I suggest that you are straightforward with your teenager and say something to the effect of:

“I know that if you want to take these pharmaceutical drugs there is nothing I can do about it. If you’re taking them now I would really like to talk about it to see why you’re taking them and what you get out of it. I want to make sure that you and I have the type of relationship where we can talk about anything and that if you’re having any problems you can talk to me. Are you doing it for fun or to escape some emotions you may not be dealing with? While pharmaceutical drugs are socially acceptable in our society and not as physically addictive as alcohol and tobacco, they can still cause a lot of harm. I want you to know that no matter what I love you and am here for you.”

The most important thing you need to find out is if they’re taking them just for fun or to cope with some emotions. If it’s to cope with emotions, you need to nip this in the bud as soon as possible. If it’s just for fun, then know that it’s a phase and the best thing you can do is educate them so they know what they’re getting themselves into. The key here is to make sure they know how you feel about it (that you prefer them to not do it and that you do not condone these actions) while at the same time being realistic about the fact that they can do it without you knowing. The best thing you can do is to keep them by your side while they’re doing it. If they’re doing it to suppress some emotions, then don’t focus on the drugs. Focus on their emotional state because they will stop taking the drugs once their emotions and state of being are positive.

Either way, you’re in for a ride and your patience is going to be tested. Stay calm and centered and know that there is no quick fix here.

You will also need to find out which drugs your teen is taking and educate yourself so you can be there for them armed with as much information as possible to help keep them safe.
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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers that will really help you get the most from this lesson because some of the concepts discussed here may not make as much sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
  • Make sure to join our Facebook community where we will offer support to parents.
  • If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it on your Facebook wall, Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon using the icons on the left.
  • If you have a question or comment regarding this lesson, please post it below so that other parents can engage in the conversation.
editor September 24, 2012

Partying


In this lesson we are going to explore teenagers partying. In it you will learn:

  • Why this is an important stage in their life
  • How you can prepare them to be safe
  • What you can do to keep the lines of communication open
  • Why you need to face your fears as a parent
  • How to set boundaries without pushing your teenager away

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Take A Moment

Think back to when you used to party as a teenager (if you did). What could your parents have said to you that would have reached you? How would you have liked your parents to treat you in this circumstance? What type of relationship would you like your teenager to have with partying? What would you like to teach them about this phase of their life? What is your goal and how do you plan to teach them this?

Overview

Ah, what parent doesn’t like to see their kids go out all night, get hammered, act stupid, dress absurdly, and cause all kinds of trouble that keeps you up all night? Good times! Ok, in case you cannot tell I was being facetious. The truth is that almost all kids from the ages of 14 – 32 are going to be in a phase where their entire life is structured around partying. Unless your child is an introvert academic, chances are your child will spend the next ten or more years devoting their life to going out with their friends and causing all sorts of trouble. So what’s the solution?

Acceptance

You just need to accept the fact that your teenager wants to go out and have a good time with their friends. When people are at this stage their entire identity revolves around it. The “weekend” is where teenagers feel that they can finally “release” some of the tension and pressures of their week from school or work. The danger of you not accepting this part of their life is rebellion. If you try to keep them locked up in their room or impose some extreme curfew on them, they will rebel because they will feel boxed in and their energy will eventually build up until it explodes. So you need to come to terms with the fact that they will be partying.

Facing Your Fear

Most parents who try to shelter their kids from partying do so because of their fears. Whether they fear their child getting too drunk, hurt, lost, or causing some form of harm, all resistance to parents not allowing their kids to go party stems from some form of fear. On the one hand, these fears are understandable. You see horror stories on the news or “Daddy’s little girl” on Girls Gone Wild. Any parent would dread to see their kid end up like this.

However, the truth is that what most parents see as being damaging is such a small percentage. Your teenager has a bigger chance of getting into a car accident than something really bad happening at a party. The real issue parents must face is the fact that they’re not arming their children with good skills and preparedness so that when they do go out, they can do so in a safe way. And since most parents deep down know they have been inadequate with teaching their child how to party responsibly, this is their real fear.

Teaching Responsibility

Because you do need to accept the fact that your teenager is going to party (once they are 18 you can’t stop them), your best bet is to embrace this fact and teach them good morals and balanced skills so that they are empowered to make good choices.

Step 1 – Have A Good Relationship

When teenagers have a poor relationship with their parents where they feel bitter towards you, this is where most kids get into trouble at parties. Because they’re hurt or angry with their parents, they will act out in ways at these events and that is where the trouble happens. If you want to help keep your kids safe at parties, have a great relationship with them so they wont use it as an opportunity to act out.

Step 2 – Drinking Responsibly

While it’s a nice idea to think that your kids are not going to drink until they are 21, that’s not going to happen. Alcohol is easy to get and all parties have them. In fact, no party is actually defined as a “party” unless it has alcohol at the very least. So just accept the fact that when your teenager tells you, “I’m going to a party”, what they are really saying is, “I’m going to hang out with a bunch of people where there is loud music and alcohol”.

Your safest bet is to teach them how to drink responsibly and here are the most important factors:

  • Never mix alcohol – It’s very important that your teenager stick to one type of alcohol. It’s the mixing that gets people into trouble
  • Drink water – For every eight ounces of alcohol they drink they should also drink eight ounces of water so they are not dehydrated. It’s the dehydration that gets people sick.
  • Have food in your stomach – If anyone drinks on an empty stomach they can get sick much easier because there is no food to absorb it. So tell your teenager to have eaten something.
  • EmergenC – There is a product called “EmergenC” where you can put in your water and it gives you a quick boost of vitamins and minerals. Alcohol robs the body of these important nutrients that can also cause sickness in young people. Tell your child to put the EmergenC in their water in between drinks. It will help replenish their system so they don’t get too tipsy.

Acting Out Of Control

Seeing kids act stupid and out of control is the worse thing to watch at a party. But the truth is that this person is acting this way because this is how they already feel regardless of the party or alcohol. It’s just that the party environment is more conducive for them to “let it out”. If you have ever seen someone act belligerent at a party, you will see that they almost change as a person. Once again, it’s because the party environment makes that person feel more comfortable to let it out. So why do people behave this way?

If you do not want your teenager to act out in this way then it’s important that you have a good relationship and instilled some good values in them so that they don’t feel the need to rebel or act out in this way. If your child has a good head on their shoulders then no matter how much alcohol they drink they will not act this way. Sure, they could get sick but they won’t act like an ass.

That being said, for the sake of discussion lets play devils advocate and assume for a moment that you and your child have a great relationship and have a solid head on their shoulders; and still act out in this way. Then use this as an opportunity for them to learn and grow from it. Don’t judge or punish them. If you use this experience for them to “look at it” so they can learn and grow from it, you stand a better chance of them not repeating it again later.

What most parents do is see their child act like this, freak out, and then try and lock them up in their room. What will happen when they are 18 and you can’t stop them? Then what? Personally speaking I have seen people in very high stature jobs that work for very well known fortune 500 companies and act like an ass when they’re drunk. It’s as if they never grew up. Here they are in their late thirties early forties and they are acting like a child. It’s because his or her parents never taught them how to create balance in their life that these types of situations occur, and because they have some deep-rooted emotional issues they have not dealt with. Basically, they do not have a strong sense of self.

Of course at parties, people are going to let loose and have fun and that is the whole point. But there is a difference and fine line between having fun and acting like an ass and you need to teach your child that line so they know how not to cross it. Once you instill this in them and help them explore healthy choices while still being able to enjoy themselves, then you can let go and not worry so much.

Drugs

At some point or another, drugs will be available at a party. I have created an entire section on drugs and you can read up on this subject here. That being said, the short answer is the same: Have a good relationship with your kids and they won’t get into too much trouble. Please notice I’m NOT saying they won’t do drugs. What I am saying is that if you have a positive relationship with them they won’t abuse them in a way to rebel or suppress their emotions. Whether you agree with this or not, there are people in the world who can take drugs, enjoy themselves, and be healthy and balanced people.

Sex

Another fear most parents face is the sex issue that can come up at parties. Because I have dedicated an entire module to sex and dating I won’t go into too many details about this topic here. However, I do want to point out some significant points and I will do so from a male and female perspective:

Boys

Most boys (not all) go to parties to “get laid”. It’s in their DNA and is part of their “hunting” ritual. For most guys, if they do not “pick up” on a girl when they go out they feel like a failure. This is a very sad state of affairs for guys because they associate partying with getting laid instead of just going out to be social and have a good time. The other negative side of this is that most guys learn through this process to treat woman like a piece of meat or to view them as objects that are just there for their pleasure.

If you have a son, then start the process of teaching him that if he goes out to a party, to enjoy it as a social experience where he can meet new people, listen to great music, and have fun. Ideally you want to show him this side of partying. Otherwise by default he will just see it as a “hunt”.

Girls

On the other hand, girls love to go to parties to have a good time. They love to dress up, see their friends, hear great music, and cause some trouble. Sexually speaking, while girls this age are not necessarily looking to “hook up”, what they’re looking for can be just as detrimental; attention. If your daughter has low self-esteem then she will use parties, not to have sex, but as a way to get attention. And to be more specific, she will dress up in revealing clothes so that guys look at her. Because of this, the aggressive guys will come on very strong, be mean and rude because they’re after one thing, and whether she chooses to have sex or not, she will experience the repercussions of this emotionally and psychologically because she will have created the scenario where she believes the only way for her to get attention is to go out and have guys try and pick up on her.

If you have a daughter and dread the fact that guys could approach her in this way, first and foremost do not react with fear. Your daughter has to learn at some point that this is how most (not all) men are. But more importantly, if you have a good relationship with your daughter and you have taught her how to feel validated and loved for positive reasons, she will not seek attention or validation in this way. The only girls that tend to do this are ones that do not have any other talents or gifts going on so they rely on their default attributes; their sexuality.

Curfew

Depending on your child’s age, it is a good idea to have a curfew. That being said, you also need to understand that when kids are having a good time, time is irrelevant and gets lost in the moment. So when kids are late, they’re not disrespecting you. It’s just that in the world of partying, clocks are thrown out the window and it’s VERY hard to keep track of time. All week kids are on a strict time schedule with school and work and this gives them stress. So the last thing they want to look at is a clock while they are partying.

Curfews are also a great opportunity to teach your teenager that how responsibly they behave around the house, school, and other tasks will reflect in the curfew you give them. Because you want your teenager to learn responsibility as soon as possible, and because they want their freedoms as soon as possible, this is a great opportunity for you to show your teenager that how they behave responsibly will be a direct correlation with the types of freedom they get.

It’s also important that you’re fair about this and actually give them some space and freedom when they behave responsibly. At the same time, if they fall down and mess up, you can’t react and shut the doors on their freedom because of one mistake. This is VERY hard for most parents because whatever circumstances you’re dealing with are so emotional and frightening that most tend to shut down and want to keep their kids on a short leash. This will backfire not only in how your relationship continues, but as they get older they will not have learned how to become more responsible. This is why it’s important that you learn to find your balance in allowing your child to fall down and make mistakes.

Call Me

Because there is so much distance between parents and teenagers, most kids do not feel like they can call their parents for help when something does come up for fear of retribution. This is VERY dangerous because it’s during the partying phase of a kid’s life where they’re exploring boundaries. Chances are in some way, shape, or form, your kid will come up against a situation where they’re going to need to call you. But if they feel like they can’t, they’re left alone and the situation they’re in can get a whole lot worse.

If you want to keep your child safe during this phase, make sure it’s clear that they can not only call you, but they do not need to have any fear of shame or retribution. Now let me make this clear, this does not mean they will not suffer any consequences. It also does not mean that you might have to pull back a notch on their leash. But the real difference is in how you do this. You want your child to learn from the situation so it does not happen again. You want them to be able to feel like they can call you and that you can help them. So you need to find your balance in being open and supportive, while at the same time they know that they might have to take a step back in their freedom level until they have shown they are ready for more.

Escapism

Another side effect of partying that you need to look for is if your teenager obsesses over them. Many kids (and adults) obsess over parties because it is their escape. Because many individuals in society do not like there “day-to-day” lives, they will use parties as a form of escape. This can all be moot if your child has a strong sense of enjoyment with what it is they’re doing in life. But if they don’t enjoy what they are doing, then it’s more probable that they can go down this path. If they’re using partying as an escape, help them create a more fulfilling life so they no longer want to escape from it.

Mistakes Will Happen

No matter how perfect you are as a parent, and no matter how good your child may be, mistakes might happen. Teenagers are still finding their footing when it comes to choices and how to decipher situations and people. When your kid says, “I’m going out”, what you really need to see is that they are exploring the world. Imagine if we were living in the jungle (which we actually are) and your kid wanted to venture out. The only thing you can do is prepare them for what may come. Once they encounter some situations, then you need to help them explore what they experienced so they can learn from it. This way each time they go out they will improve their decision making process. But in the beginning, just remember that the world is VERY new to them and they are still figuring things out.

This is especially true when they are meeting new people. Where a lot of kids get in trouble is when they are out and interacting with people they do not know. Because they lack the skills to be able to gauge whether someone is a “good person” or “bad person”, some kids can get into trouble by default because they end up with the wrong crowd. If this happens, you need to use this as an opportunity to teach your child about human behavior and why people act the way they do. It is important that they start learning now how to tell if someone is a genuine person or if they are malicious. But if you punish them and don’t allow them into the world to learn, how do you expect them to be able to gauge these things when they get older?

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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincerely,

– Sergio Diazgranados

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editor September 24, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Parenting Teenagers Academy. All rights reserved.