facebook

Overweight


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

  • How we use food as a drug
  • Why diets fail most of the time
  • The real reason why teenagers become overweight
  • The importance of teaching your teenager to create a healthy lifestyle
  • How to approach your teenager without pushing them away
  • A sample talk you can have with your child

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

Take a moment to think about your relationship with food. Do you ever use it to suppress your emotions? Do you overeat because you feel empty inside? Do you use sweet foods as a way to feel good about life? Do you eat even though your stomach is full? Would you define your lifestyle as healthy and balanced?

Now ask yourself this: What type of relationship do you want your teenager to have with food and health? How do you plan on teaching them this?

Overview

With childhood obesity being at an all time high, it’s important that we take a close look at why this is happening and what exactly is going on. No parent wants to see their child become overweight, yet most of the foods kids want to eat are junk. And since many parents themselves struggle with their weight, it’s hard for kids to establish a healthy eating pattern. In this module we are going to take a closer look at how food is affecting our lives, what the root cause is, and what you can do as a parent to help your child establish a healthy lifestyle.

Junk Foods Are Drugs

No matter which way you look at it, junk foods are drugs. Highly processed sugars, fried oils and salt, and the myriad of chemicals companies are putting in their food stimulates our mind and body in such a way that we become hooked. I know from first hand experience because I was addicted to sugar and sweets and it was very hard for me to get off them. Looking back I can clearly see how these foods over stimulated me in such a way that I needed more and more to get my high.

Easy Supply

Because junk foods are the easiest drugs to get in the world, then it’s going to be imperative that you teach your child at an early age how not to get sucked into this world. These foods are so inexpensive and in high supply that it’s impossible not to come across them. If you take a look at any major grocer (even natural food chains), over 80% of the food they sell is actually not real food. What I mean by this is that they lack any proper nutritional value.

Food Is Enjoyable

When I recently chose to mainly eat raw and vegan foods, what hit me was how much society is structured around eating. Everything we do when we get together is about eating. I lived in NYC for three years and had a great opportunity to feast on some of the best foods in the world. The restaurants there are amazing and there is a cornucopia of delectable delights that can keep any foodie entertained for life.

That being said, if your child grows up associating food with pleasure, it’s much harder for them to eat healthier and find their balance. There is a saying that goes, “I eat to live, not live to eat” which has a lot of truth to it. Once again, I’m not saying that food cannot be enjoyable because it is. Events like Thanksgiving, birthdays, and other occasions are great ways for people to get together and share company with each other. The challenge is that we have associated food with pleasure instead of people with pleasure. A good friend once asked me, “Are we getting together because of food or our company?”

It’s important for you to instill in your child that while food can be enjoyable, IT’s not the reason people get together. People should be the reason that we get together.

Pleasure vs. Pain

Since food is so pleasurable, the challenge most people face is redefining what brings them pleasure. Remember, all humans are motivated by what brings them pleasure and if your child defines food as their source of pleasure versus living a healthy life, they can get stuck on this path until “something” knocks them off of it.

Emotions & Boredom

Beside the chemical addiction of foods and easy access to them, the main reason that kids become overweight is that they’re using the pleasure of food to suppress their emotions. Most kids are so bored that they’re not getting the pleasure they need from life. They use food as a way to compensate for these missing feelings. So what’s the solution?

As outlined in most of this course, you need to help your teenager find other things to bring them excitement and passion in their life. When I was a child my entire diet consisted of cookies, burgers, coke, ice cream, and so on. When I found my passion in life and became active with it, my cravings for these foods were less and less. I still remember the day I approached my mom and asked her about being healthier. It was the beginning of the end of the cycle because I began to move away from eating in this manner.

If you want to ensure that your teenager doesn’t go overboard with sweets and that they don’t become overweight, help them find their passion in life so they will spend their time on something more constructive rather then destructive. In other words, help them find the “sweet” part of their life.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Being healthy is all about lifestyle and you don’t get there through some crash diet. People tend to think when they’re overweight that they can just do some type of “program”, lose the weight, and then go back to eating how they were. This does not work and it’s why so many programs fail. The truth is, many of these advertised programs know this but won’t say it because if they told you the truth, “You need to change your entire life”, it would be too much for you to handle and you wouldn’t purchase their product or service. Look around at these items and you will see that people love “quick fixes” and items where they don’t have to invest a lot of time or effort to lose their weight (hence liposuction, lap band, diet pills, and so on).

In empowering your teen, help them to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle so that it becomes part of their normal pattern. The word “lifestyle” is just another way of saying “pattern”. It needs to be something they chose on a daily basis and not when they become overweight.

What If My Child Is Already Overweight?

If your teenager or young adult is already overweight, then you need to help them begin their healing process. There are a few core reasons as to why they’re overweight, but either way you need to be positive, supportive, and not make them feel worse or self-conscious about their challenge. The biggest mistake parent’s make when they want to help their child lose weight is to make it a big deal. This adds pressure and makes them want to hide under their covers.

Step 1 – Love Them Unconditionally & Stay Neutral

The first thing you need to do is tell them that you would love to support them however you can and that you will not force anything upon them. By letting them know that you’re there to help when they’re ready, you have shown them the open door and they must walk through it on their own. If they feel pressure it will just backfire because no one likes to be forced into anything. They need to feel like they have a neutral space in which they can explore their choices. They must choose to become healthy on their own which will be a very empowering experience for them.

When you present them with unconditional love and provide a neutral space so that they can decide for themselves when to start making changes, it will remove some of their fears and insecurities and increase the chances of them moving into a healthier direction. You must be “authentic” with your unconditional love. If there is any fear, worry, or control hiding in there, they can tell.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that when a person who is overweight has people telling them they should lose weight, they feel vulnerable and shame. They know better than anyone else that they “let themselves go” and already live with their own shame and guilt. When you make a big deal of it or call it to their attention, it makes their negative inner dialogue even worse.

Step 2 – Lead By Example

They need to see you living a healthy and happy life. Your child needs to see that this type of life is much more pleasurable. Remember, everything we do is based upon pleasure. Right now your child has defined food as more pleasurable than life itself. When they see you living a “fulfilled” life, they will eventually follow suit.

The best way I learned how to live and eat healthy was by watching my mom. She went on to become a nutritionist and natural health practitioner and by watching her do what she did, I slowly but surely came around and followed suit. You will need to take an honest look at yourself to see if you’re doing a good job of leading by example. If not, then isn’t it time to make some changes in your life?

Step 3 – Facing Emotions

The root cause of anyone becoming overweight has to do with emotions. When we have something we do not want to look at and suppress it in our stomachs, we use food as a way to cover it up so we don’t have to look at it. To make a long lasting change in your child’s life, you’re going to need to get to the root cause of this issue and help them transform their emotional issues. This may require therapy, life coaching, or some form of interaction where he or she can address these emotions. But just know, that unless you deal with the emotions first, everything else is just a band-aid.

Step 4 – Healthy Alternatives

We live in a great time now where there are some great tasting foods that are not as bad as junk food. As outlined, the chemicals in junk food are drugs. Right now your child does have an addiction to either processed sugar or salt. You can help to wean them off slowly by finding healthy alternatives. Go into any natural market like Whole Foods and you will find a plethora of options. There are great chocolates, cookies, ice creams, pasta, and other normal junk food that has far less of the addictive substances in them.

Remember, being healthy is about mind, body, and soul. You need to approach the situation from all sides. If you need specific help with alternative foods, feel free to email me or contact your local nutritionist. We can provide a great list of alternative meals that are tasty, and healthy.

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

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

Out of Control


In this lesson we are going to explore the out-of-control teenager. In it you will learn:

  • The root cause of why teenagers become out-of-control
  • How to neutralize the situation so that they don’t continue down this path
  • A step-by-step process in helping to bring your teenager back
  • How you as a parent might have played a role
  • Why hitting rock bottom can be a good thing
  • The two options you have and what they look like

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 and…

think back to when you were a teenager. Did you ever have a phase where you were out of control? Where you acted or lashed out in ways that were destructive? If so, what caused those behaviors? What made you so upset or out of balance that you behaved in such harsh ways? If your teenager is out-of-control, how do you think they got there? Are you ready to take an honest look and do what it takes to bring them back to a calm and centered state-of-being?

Overview

It’s one of the questions I get asked a lot by parents when their teenager is out of control. Whether it has to do with anger, food, video games, drugs, or any other “device” or abusive actions their teenager has used to lash out, what can a parent do once their teenager has entered into a downward spiral?

Please note this is the “rock bottom” phase of anger. First a teenager becomes angry. Second, they rebel. Third, they hit rock bottom and spin “out-of-control”. So while there may be some similarities in the anger and rebellion lessons, please keep in mind that this is a much different phase.

The Three Phases

To give you an example, if your teenage daughter is exuding these behaviors, then the first step was that she was acting rude and obnoxious. She would not listen to you; her grades at school may start to slip; and she may have been a bit snippy. If she is rebelling then she is talking back to you, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and dressing much differently. But if she is out-of-control, then she is sleeping around and acting like a slut, cutting herself, becoming overweight, never in school, and acting “crazy”.

This is why I separated Anger, Rebellion, and Out-Of-Control because each will require a different approach.

Why?

First it’s important to understand why they have gone down this path. Remember that the only reason anyone chooses this type of behavior is because an environment has been established where it’s more probable for him or her to do so. You need to realize that anytime someone lashes out (regardless of age), it’s because of how they feel inside and their outward actions are a subconscious way for them to experience what they feel like on the inside. Everything starts from within and our outer world reflects our inner world.

Ask yourself, “Why is my child so angry, sad, hurt, and/or confused?” Chances are there is something specific going on that is causing it and until you get to the “root cause”, every approach will be putting band aides over the symptoms. Some of the causes could be:

  • Does not feel a sense of belonging.
  • Has not been put in touch with their strengths in life.
  • Feels unloved and unwanted.
  • Feelings of inadequacy.
  • Has unresolved issues and anger building up inside of them.
  • Does not feel heard or validated by others.

Remember the only difference between being angry and out-of-control is that the root issue has been going on for so long and it has gone unresolved that its now at the rock bottom stage.

What To Do

As humans, almost all challenges we face have to do with a sense of self worth in some shape or form. How that plays out through the set of props on the stage of life is different for each one of us but the root cause is pretty much the same. Once you have explored some of the “whys”, then you basically have two options:

1. Direct intervention.
2. Wait it out.

Below we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of both options.

1. Direct Intervention
If you want to intervene with your child and stop the madness, you need to be prepared to take on the responsibility of what comes with this choice. It means that your teen’s entire life structure is going to change drastically and you will be responsible for helping them to build a new template for their life. In most cases, teenagers and young adults are sent away to either some boot camp or clinic.

The reason this method can work (although there are many cases of relapses) is that you’re taking the child out of the negative environment where they’re lost in destructive behaviors and replacing it with a positive and constructive one where they have a chance to choose healthier options. In doing this, you’re creating a “new world” for them but it’s such a drastic change from one world to the next that you will experience some serious backlash and reactions.

If you recall the “probability factor” I outlined, if your teenager is facing an extreme challenge then it’s because an environment has been created for them (because of multiple reasons and circumstances) that will make it more probable for them to continue along this path of destruction. When you remove these elements via an intervention, then you make it less probable for them to continue on this path.

However, this is such a shocking approach for your teenager that if you don’t create an alternative environment for them that is filled with love and support, this route can backfire and actually cause more harm then good. It’s vital for you to understand that the most important ingredient for this method working is surrounding your child with a positive and constructive environment. They have to remain in this environment so that they can work through their emotions and create a new and healthy pattern. Because this method can be very expensive, it ‘s tough for families who cannot afford to keep their child in such an environment.

Also, chances are your home environment added to this problem and that means that you will need to take an honest look at your lifestyle to find out how you contributed to creating an environment in which your teenager was able to become out of control. Don’t assume that just because you have money and are “well off” that this can’t happen to you. Environments have to do with the people and emotional make up, not just physical abundance.

If you are going to take this route:

A. Make sure you can afford to stick with the program all the way through so that your teen can transition from “one world” to the next, and that the next world is stabilized.

B. Make sure your home environment is supportive to helping them create their new life. Not only physically, but emotionally.

C. Be honest with yourself and change anything you have done that may have contributed to the situation. Make sure you’re willing to take a hard and honest look at yourself and then begin the healing process.

D. After you have removed them from their old environment, you need to make sure you focus on getting out all of their negative emotions. The root cause to anyone becoming out of control is his or her emotions. Somewhere along the way they developed some negative emotions that sent them in a downward spiral. Until they are brought to the surface and dealt with, nothing else can be put in place because it wont have the right environment for it to “stick”.

2. Wait It Out

The other alternative is to wait it out and let your child hit their rock bottom. The reason this method is powerful is because you allow your child to experience the consequences of their choices. While of course it’s very hard to watch and endure, it can work wonders. Think about it. Look at how many adults in our world wait to hit rock bottom before they make a change:

  • They hate their job and stay in it
  • Have become overweight and are miserable
  • Stay in an abusive relationship
  • Become poverty stricken
  • Any type of addiction
  • Depression
  • Etc…

Most people like to wait until hitting rock bottom before they wake up and realize that it’s time to take action and make a change in their life. It’s unfortunate and not necessary but most of us have a hard time seeing the darkness we’re in until it just can’t get any worse.

If you decide to go this route, here are some steps you can take:

A. Provide a neutral and unconditional loving space – while it may be challenging and heartbreaking to watch your child spin out of control, by going this route you’re not adding fuel to the fire and you’re removing any judgment, fear, and anger so they don’t have more psychological baggage added to their psyche. You truly have to let go, be neutral, and allow them their space to hit their rock bottom. And to be VERY clear, this is not about throwing your hands up in the air and saying, “I give up and I don’t care anymore”. Quite the contrary – you love them so much that you‘re allowing them to go through their experience and will be waiting there with open arms and ready to help them when they’re ready.

B. Tell them you love them with all your heart – You will need to find the right time to have one talk with them (and then let go afterwards) where you express your dying unconditional love for them. Even though it may not seem like they hear you, they do. This is VERY important because when they hit their rock bottom, they will be in a better frame of mind to hear what you said and that will help them toward their process of recovery. What you are doing is “planting a seed” that will take root and give them something to latch on to once they have hit their bottom.

C. Lead by example – Chances are you might have done something in allowing this to happen. No, it is not your fault. But you did play a part in it and you will need to take a close and honest look at yourself and then begin your own healing process. Once your child sees you doing “the work”, it will make it far more probable that they will follow suit. You will need to create a more positive and healthy environment to support their healing process. In other words, “If you build it they will come”.

D. Find someone for them to talk to – If you’re having a hard time relating with your teenager and don’t have the type of relationship with them where they value your opinion, find someone else who can relate with them. People who are going through a hard time tend to connect with someone else who has gone through something similar. By finding someone for them to talk to, it helps them begin their releasing phase and that is the first step in the healing process. Make sure that it’s not a therapist or counselor who is going to analyze them to death. Rather, it should be someone who has gone down the same path they’re on so they can offer them a real world perspective, not a clinical one.

It’s Tough

No matter which path you end up taking, it’s going to be tough and my heart goes out to you. However, your responsibility is to find the positive in the situation and use this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Any time you spend on feeling like a victim, angry, sad, depressed, and so on, it just adds fuel to the fire. This is not just a wake up call for your child, but for you as well. Use this as an opportunity to learn and grow and face your own fears. The sooner you find the positive; the better chances you will have of turning the situation around.

Either way, if you are reading this now then my heart goes out to you and I truly wish you and your family the best in your healing process.

Resources: Help Guide Dr Phil USA.gov

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

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

Money


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

  • What money really is
  • Money versus abundance
  • The negative beliefs associated with money
  • How to teach your teenager to be responsible with money
  • How to teach your child to create a healthy relationship with money
  • A 10-step plan you can explore 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.

Take A Moment

Take a few moments to think about your relationship with money. Do you fear not having enough? Do you think it’s the source of your security and happiness? Is your life mainly focused on making money? Do you think money is evil and do the best you can to stay away from it? How has your relationship with money affected your life?

Overview

This lesson plan focuses on our beliefs, perceptions, and relationship with money and does not go into detail about the technical aspects of finance. While I do talk about budgeting and priorities to an extent, a proper finance course is a different type of class and you will need to get this information from somewhere else.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees you know?”

In the old days, this was the basis of what most teenagers were taught about money. They would approach their parents and the response was always fear based with parents telling their kids that money doesn’t grow on trees. Every parent dreads when their kid comes asking them for money. On the one hand you want to give your kids everything. On the other hand, you struggle with money and can’t afford to give them any; or you have plenty of it and are concerned they may become spoiled.

Regardless of what your situation or circumstances are with money, most people can agree that money can cause a lot of pain and hardship. We become obsessed over money to the point that it can tear families apart. Because many of us were not taught how to be responsible with money and use it in a healthy and constructive way, money management is one of the biggest hurdles people face in our world. So how can you best teach your teenager the responsibilities that come with money?

Money Equals Value

As children, we associate money with mom and dad. This was our source for money. When we needed something we would ask our parents for it. And most of the time, we would get it. So as children we would associate money with asking mom and dad for it. Then as we get older, there is a transition that takes place where all of a sudden, mom and dad don’t want to buy us just anything.

It’s important that when this time comes and you want to start to wean your kids off your wallet, you help them understand that money equals value. This is a great time to set the stage for them to learn that they will need to explore and discover what gifts they have to offer the world so they can get paid to do it. It’s important that they associate money with something of value so they can start to ask themselves how they will contribute to society. For more on this read the Career module.

Perception Of Money

Society has a very unhealthy and unbalanced view of money. On one side you have people who define their success in life by the amount of money they have. These are the people who devote most of their life to acquiring things such as cars, a nice house, clothes, and so on. On the other hand, you have people who believe money is the root of all evil so they have very little and struggle to get by. Unfortunately for many, money has become a status symbol for “who we are”. What many fail to realize or have forgotten is that money is NOT real. It’s just a symbol we use to exchange goods and services with each other. It’s a way we vote for what matters most to us. And while there are some deeper issues with how money is being used to manipulate our system (and I will not go into these here), at the end of the day, money is just neutral.

Money Is Neutral

If you want to teach your teenager to become responsible and develop a healthy relationship with money, then the first thing you need to teach them is that money is neutral. Just like a gun, it’s not the gun that kills people; people kill people. It’s not “money that is evil”, it’s how money’s used that can create so much pain. People tend to hand their power over to these symbols rather than accepting personal responsibility for their choices. By telling your teenager that money is neutral and “how” it’s used is what determines the effect, this will help set a healthy foundation by removing any negative definitions around money.

Step 1: Tell your teenager that money is neutral and that “how” it’s used determines the effect.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

One of the biggest challenges is to teach your child that money can’t buy happiness. For most teenagers, their entire life is based around things such as music, clothes, games, going out, and so on. These are all things that cost money. So depending on your relationship with your teenager and what types of values you have instilled in them, this will play a big role in your ability to teach them that money can’t buy happiness (this is especially tough for parents who did not give their kids enough time and used money as a way to buy their love).

One way to do this is by having them watch the Kardashian show on MTV to point out how this family has so much money yet they fight all the time and are so miserable. Then show them images of children playing in poverty stricken countries like India where they have the biggest smiles on their faces but have no TV, video games, computers, and so on. Their entire day is spent using their imaginations to play and because they don’t attach their happiness to “outside sources”, they’re in control of what makes them happy.

By showing them an example of people with plenty of money being miserable and people with no money being happy, this will plant a seed in them that happiness comes from within and that they’re in control of what brings them happiness. It’s very important that you empower your teenager and let them know that their entire life and how they experience it is their choice and not controlled by outside sources like money. Of course, you must also lead by example and not use money as your source of happiness or sadness.

Step 2: Tell your teenager that money cannot buy happiness and that they’re in control of what makes them happy. Teach them that circumstances do not matter and that only state of being matters. They may not get it right away and you will need to repeat yourself, but eventually as they go through their own experiences it will all start to come together like a giant puzzle piece.

Money Vs. Abundance

There’s a big difference between having money and being abundant. The way society is structured is that we only associate abundance with having money. The truth is, we can be very abundant with the things we enjoy about life and not have much money at all. It’s important that you teach your child the difference between money and abundance because you want to show your child that they can get what they want from life and not necessarily need money to get it. And no I am not talking about stealing. I’m talking about the Law Of Attraction.

Some of you might be familiar with The Secret, and others may not and it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you understand that when you’re open to all possible ways of receiving and not “fixated” on money being the only way of getting something, you have a higher chance of getting it because you’re open to it. It’s very important that your child be open to allowing the world work its magic to bring him or her what they need or want in other ways besides money.

Abundance means having the ability to do what you want to do, which means that you need to teach your teenager how to define his or her own success in life and not succumb to other peoples definitions and beliefs. Because of the world they’re born in to, they’re bombarded with messages that to feel happy and successful they need to have lots of money, own a big house, have a fancy car, and so on. The truth is that these things may not be the things that bring them happiness.

For example, I have a friend who loves to surf and this is what brings him the most joy in life. He moved to Costa Rica, has a simple job where he only works twenty hours a week and the rest of his time is spent chasing waves all day. For him, he sees himself as being highly successful because he gets to do what he wants on his own terms.

Another example is when I started producing my own events. In the beginning I was not making a lot of money but I made enough that I got to live and pay my basic bills. That being said, because I was immersed in the culture I loved, my entire lifestyle was based around what I wanted to do. I got to play music, hang out with my friends, write about things I loved, and so on. So for me, I was highly successful because I lived the life I wanted and was doing what I wanted to do. I allowed “other things” to come to me and did not need money to get them.

Step 3: Teach your teenager about the differences between money and abundance. Help them to define their own success in life and to be open to allowing things they want to manifest in other ways besides money.

Money Is Energy

In guiding your teenager to develop a healthy relationship with money, you also want to show them that money is energy. It’s how we vote on what we care about. It’s important to teach your teenager that the way our capitalist system works is when someone starts a business and puts out a product or service, every time we buy it we’re voting for them to stay in business. This means it is everyone’s responsibility to learn about the companies they’re supporting and decide if they believe in what the company is producing and how they’re producing it. There are many companies in the world that are destroying our planet by the way they develop their product or service and by purchasing their item, we’re voting for them to stay in business.

Step 4: Teach your teenager that money is just energy and that it’s one way we vote for what we like in our system.

Hoarding Money

Because of the fears that so many of us associate with money, we have become quite hoarders of money. What’s fascinating about this is that regardless of whether you have a little money or a lot, both sides still hoard money. Our entire survival is associated with money and because we fear not having enough, we’re afraid to spend or use the money we have. By teaching your teenager that money is intended to be spent in a healthy and responsible way, they will not develop a fear around money and want to start hoarding it. By definition (of course not everyone is doing this) money is supposed to have a natural circulation so that it touches all of our hands. Keeping money locked away for fear of not having enough (or for hoarding power) is one of the reasons why the system is so unbalanced.

Step 5: Teach your teenager to spend their money and use it in a balanced way. Saving for a rainy day is healthy. Hoarding because you fear something bad will happen is not.

Budgeting & Priorities

Sooner or later, your teenager is going to have to enter the world and start paying their own bills. They’re going to need to figure out how to balance their budget and make sure that they’re responsible with their debts. This means you need to start teaching your teenager how to start budgeting and setting priorities. Whether you give them an allowance or they already work and make their own money, it’s important that you sit down with them and break out the old Excel sheet so that they can visually see what their monthly income and expenses are.

If they don’t have an income yet, then make a number up so they can play along. Once they start to go through the experience of having to choose how they’re going to spend their money on a monthly basis, it will teach them to become more responsible with it. Most kids lack respect for money because they don’t associate it as being their own. When parents just continue to buy stuff for their kids without giving them a reference point as to what can be spent on a monthly basis, it doesn’t give the child any perspective of how money is created and used.

You must also be willing to allow your teenager to fall down and make mistakes from their mismanagement of money. If they exude poor choices in priorities (obviously nothing too major), allow them to experience that choice so if they run out of money and can’t go to the movies, buy more music, and so on, they feel the consequence of their choice and can learn from it.

Step 6: Teach your teen how to start managing and budgeting money and establishing priorities. You need to be willing to let them fall down if they run out of money. This is important because it helps them to explore their priorities.

Savings & Setting Goals

Teenagers live in the moment so they can’t even see a month down the road let alone a year. It’s important that your teenager set at least one goal that they can learn to save for. Whether it is a car, college or traveling, it’s good for them to learn how to set goals and start to save. The best way you can support them in doing this is by talking with them about their dreams and aspirations. Kids love to talk about big dreams and once you engage them in this conversation, it’s much easier to transition into a talk on how to save money. It will give them something to work toward, be excited about and teach them discipline and priorities. It will also help them understand that $50 – $100 every month is a big deal because it can add up over time.

Step 7: Help your teenager set one goal that they can work toward by setting aside savings on a monthly basis.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are our worst and best friends because they can get us into and out of trouble. Once again, I want to point out that credit cards are neutral. It’s how we use it that is good or bad. That being said, giving credit cards to teens and young adults can be frightening. While it’s important that your teenager learn how to build a healthy relationship with credit cards, make sure you feel that they’re showing great signs of being responsible with money. A safe way for teenagers to start off with credit cards is as follows:

They should only use the credit card to act as a debit card so that they can pay off the full amount each month. This way they are growing their credit and not incurring large interest.

You don’t want your teenager or young adult growing debt. They don’t have the frame of mind yet to handle that especially if they don’t have the ability to make a proper salary yet.

The best way to ensure your teenager does not go out of control with a credit card is to make sure you have taught them that money can’t buy happiness. Most teenagers and young adults who get into credit card trouble are addicted to shopping (especially girls who want to buy clothes).

Step 8: If your teenager or young adult can acquire a credit card on their own, teach them the best way to start off is to pay it off in full every month. And make sure your kid is not associating their happiness with “stuff”; otherwise a credit card could be a recipe for disaster.

 Don’t Leave It To The Schools

Unfortunately many parents assume that the schools are responsible for teaching their kids about how to manage money. And while some might offer a class here or there (unless your kid is in college learning finance), what schools are teaching is very basic and has very little to do with setting values or developing a healthy and balanced relationship with money. In a recent study reported by the University of California, teenagers are shown to be spending a combined $179 billion dollars a year. However, a national standardized money management test was given to teenagers in the same year and the average score was 48.3 which is a failing score.

The report also noted that:
High school seniors have very little experience in managing money.
Students ages 16 – 22 have never taken a personal finance class.
Two thirds of students admitted they would benefit from such a class.
Nine percent of students in high school and college are already in debt.

So don’t assume that the schools are going to teach your kids how to manage money. They won’t. Heck, our government and schools can’t even manage their own budget so what makes any of us think they’re the best ones to be teaching our kids? They aren’t. This is your responsibility.

Step 9: Don’t leave it to the schools to teach your teenager about money. Take a very proactive role. Get help if necessary.

Projecting Your Fears

Parents get themselves into trouble with their kids when they project their own fears because of their relationship and past experiences with money. Because our survival is based on money, our culture has developed a sick and distorted relationship with money that is deep rooted in fear. These distortions can be broken down into two different perspectives:

1. If You Struggle With Money
If you have come from a background of struggling with money, then chances are you use fear and lack as the foundation when speaking to your teenager about money. You probably say a lot of things like, “We can’t afford it” and “I don’t have money”. Unfortunately when you approach the situation from a negative place like this, you are projecting your own fears of money onto your child and teaching them that money should be associated with lack.

If this is the case, then you need to go through your own healing process with money so that you can build a healthy and centered relationship with it. Otherwise, you will transfer your own fears onto your child and they will end up repeating the same pitfalls you have. The most important thing you can do is use positive words about money. Instead of saying “We don’t have money” or “I can’t afford it”, tell your kids that “I would love to buy this for you but our money has been spent on other priorities”. This is a more accurate and healthy statement. It teaches your teen priorities without being negative.

2. If You Have Plenty Of Money
If you have plenty of money, then your main concern is that you don’t want to spoil your kids and have them associate it with how you love them. Chances are you have seen or experienced first hand how money can spoil kids and make them lazy and unmotivated because they can get whatever they want. You don’t want your kid to believe they can always rely on you to help them out of a situation. How would they ever learn to become self-reliant? However, if you approach your teen with this fear, it can affect and distort your ability to teach and guide them in a neutral way. Many parents in this type of scenario are either too harsh with their kids (“Find your own way!”) or too lax about it (“Do whatever you want”).

Many parents who spoil their kids are doing harm and such a disservice to their kids because they never end up maturing. They become destructive with money and end up associating it with love and self worth. The first thing you want to make sure of is that you never use money as a way to associate your love for your child. This can do a lot of damage to them because they will become addicted to money and needing stuff as a way to feel loved.

In teaching your teenager to become balanced with money, you need to help them make their own money and find their own way but in a loving and constructive way. Where parents get into trouble is when it comes time to cut off their kids, they do it in a harsh way (almost like a slap in the face) and it sends the kid in a downward spiral where they want to “get back at the parents”. Make it a fun and playful game where they are “coming of age” and you want to help them understand that it’s time for them to become more responsible and find their own way in life. Maybe you give them a small allowance in the beginning and help them establish a budget.

At some point you must stop buying them stuff or they will never leave the house! Your teenager must slowly but surely feel they’re going to be living on their own and that it’s time for them to take action and become responsible for themselves. This means you may have to let them fall down every so often if they make poor choices. But remember, do it with love and grace and not an “I told you so” mentality. They need to know you’re still there for them and love them and at the same time, they’re becoming their own person.

Step 10: Don’t project your fears and negative beliefs about money onto your kids. Teach them that money can be used in a positive and constructive way and that when used appropriately, they can develop a healthy relationship with it.

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

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

Marijuana


In this lesson we are going to explore teens and marijuana. In it you will learn:

  • Why your teen will probably try it
  • How it effects the mind and body
  • The importance of focusing on your child’s state of being
  • Why there is not much difference between marijuana and alcohol
  • How to best approach the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teenager
  • The importance of not making it a big deal

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

Names: Marijuana, pot, weed, ganja, herb, green, 420, and too many to list.

Concern Level: 5

This is the most common “drug” and it’s actually not a drug. It’s a plant and the “bud” is the flower that grows out of the hemp weed. Technically our forefathers grew it in the US along with tobacco and it was a key component to the US economy until the lumber industry realized that hemp was far superior and easier to grow than trees. Thus it was decided to launch a smear campaign against marijuana to have it outlawed. Don’t believe me? Look it up!

More then 50% of Americans have tried smoking pot at least once and it’s the most common drug of drugs that are now legal in ten states for medicinal purposes (and very close to being legalized nationally).

What It Does

Smoking pot can get you high for about forty-minutes. It makes you relax and slows everything down (similar to a depressant). THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana and is what gets you high, is assimilated through the bloodstream once smoked. The effect is that you get high and feel “stoned”. In many ways it’s similar to drinking a glass of wine and feeling buzzed.

Why Your Kid Will Like To Do It

It’s a social drug in that people get together, hang out, talk, and smoke pot usually in combination with drinking alcohol (or not). Your teen will probably do it the first time because they want to fit in. Everyone else is doing it and they won’t want people to think that they don’t belong. The reason it’s important for you to talk to your kids before they do it is that if you’ve built a solid relationship and they’re not pissed at you, the first time they’re offered marijuana, they have a higher chance of turning it down. However, if they’re already mad at you and you’ve already judged them, then they think to themselves “might as well!”

The Truth About Marijuana

Smoking marijuana is fun. It makes you laugh and brings you in the moment of life. It heightens your senses so that listening to music or watching a movie becomes much more enjoyable.

The Downside Of Marijuana

1. Laziness – It makes people more lethargic and lazy. It should be noted that what it really does is bring up or “heighten” an existing characteristic a person already has. If your child is not lazy, you don’t need to worry about them becoming lazy while smoking pot because it’s not in them.

2. It’s an escape – Many people enjoy pot for the same reasons they enjoy alcohol, to escape their problems. Instead of facing issues they decide to smoke pot because life seems just fine on pot and problems are temporarily forgotten. That being said, people watch TV, eat sugary foods, play video games, and so on to escape their problems so the escape has less to do with pot and more to do with the type of individual.

3. Anxiety – If your teenager has insecurities or emotional issues, they may panic and become anxious because once again smoking marijuana enhances a person’s existing personality. Many people are nervous inside but can hide it well. When they’re smoking pot, it will come out.

4. “Munchies” – Your child will get really hungry and if they have issues with their weight it will add more issues because while high they can eat twice as much as they normally do.

5. Boredom – This is the ONLY reason I’d prefer kids not try pot too soon because many people do it when they’re bored. This is not healthy because when we’re “bored”, we need to spend our time using our imagination to do something creative such as learning something new or even reading a book. In my opinion, if there is any caution to using pot, doing it because you’re bored would be it.

Approaching the Situation

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

“I know if you want to smoke pot 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. If you are going to try it now, here are some of the pros and cons of doing it (then discuss the points I mention above along with any other research you find once educating yourself on the subject). Also, if you’re going to try it please do it somewhere where you’re safe and don’t drive or do anything where you will harm someone else. If you do decide to smoke pot and 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.”

Remember, the most important factor is not just what you say, but “how” you say it. If your child senses fear or anxiety from you, then they will pick up on this and it will rub them the wrong way. If you come from a neutral and fair state of being, they will sense “strength” and “power” from you and it will open the lines of communication. It will also make them want to take into consideration what you have to say.

I recently spoke to a 13-year-old boy about marijuana and he was so excited to talk about it. It was a “big deal” to him and he wanted to talk about the fact that it was legalized in California. I could sense that he really wanted to try it and that he thought it was “so cool”. As I responded to him I spoke in the same way I would speak to any adult about it. I didn’t react to the fact that he was interested in it and I gave him both sides of the pros and cons of marijuana. In the end, I just talked to him about what his choices could mean and that it really wasn’t a big deal. Afterwards, I could sense that his eagerness to try it dwindled. Not that he wouldn’t ever want to try it, but the “taboo” cool symbolism tied to smoking marijuana had dissipated and in some ways he lost interest.
Again, it’s what I mean about remaining neutral and exploring their curiosity from a fair and balanced place. When you do this, you remove that “taboo” cool factor from it and then it’s not a big deal to them. The more parents and “adults” make things a big deal, the more curiosity the child will have in wanting to try something.

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

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

Lying


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

    • The root cause of why teenagers lie
    • How to create a healthy relationship so they won’t lie
    • The importance of facing your fears as a parent
    • What to do if you catch them lying
    • A sample talk you can have with your teenager

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 And…

be honest with yourself about the type of lying you do. Unless you are the magic 1 – 3% of people who never lie (good for you if that’s true!), then chances are, at the very least, you tell small white lies here or there. If you do lie or have lied, why did you? What were you afraid of that you couldn’t be honest with the other person?

Now ask yourself this: What do you want to teach your child about the importance of being honest? What kind of values do you want them to have? Do you want to have the type of relationship with them where they can tell you anything? Are you prepared not to parent them with fear? How can you keep them from resorting to lying? Write down what comes to mind.

Why Kids Lie

Nothing upsets a parent more then when their child lies to them. It damages the trust and it’s always in the back of their mind, “Is he or she lying to me?” This is the real reason parents can’t stand lying. They have to become detectives and decipher their child’s code, which gives parents more work to do. How can you lower the probability of having your child lie to you?

All kids lie because they fear retribution. In other words, they’re afraid to tell the truth because they think something bad will happen to them if they do. In the US we have a famous story about our first president George Washington who chopped down the cherry tree and when asked about it, told his father the truth. He’s always been held up as a role model because he had the character to tell the truth and face his fears. Unless you’ve taught your child to face their fears with integrity, then they’re going to lie. Here are the three main reasons kids lie:

    1. They did something wrong.
    2. They want to do something they know you don’t want them to do.
    3. They want to create a distorted reality for themselves of who they are.

Lets take a closer look at some solutions for each one of these:

1. They Did Something Wrong

This is the most common reason teenagers lie. Of course they don’t want to get punished or lose privileges. If your child has done something “wrong”, it’s an opportunity for you to allow them to fall down and then spend the time to explore their choices and actions. If you just punish them and don’t use it as an opportunity to correct the behavior, then they will fear making mistakes in life and will always try to “cover their tracks”. Your child needs to feel that they’re not going to be put down every time they make a mistake. As outlined earlier, mistakes are inevitable for teenagers so they need to know that you have created a space for them where it’s ok. You then need to take the time to explore the situation so that they can improve upon it the next time.

Here is a sample talk you can have with them:

I want to talk to you about why you lied to me. You did something wrong and even though I don’t like it, I want you to know that no matter what I still love you and that you do not need to lie to me. I don’t expect you to be perfect so it is ok if you make mistakes. You have to get used to the fact that just because I don’t want to see you making mistakes does not mean I don’t think you will. I want to have the type of relationship with you where it’s ok if you make mistakes because then we can take the time to learn from them together. So please come to me and be honest. I promise I won’t freak out. At the same time, you need to understand that you may need to suffer the consequences of your choices and actions.”

As a Neutral Parent, you need to hold up your end of the agreement and not freak out! You need to learn how to hold your ground, set boundaries, let them suffer the consequences and not overreact.

2. They Want To Do Something They Know You Don’t Want Them To Do

All teenagers will want to start doing things that you may not want them to. As long as it’s not illegal, you need to lay the foundation for your teenager that their behaviors in acting responsibly will determine their freedoms. However, you need to start letting go of being in control. Most parents seek control of their teenager (and kids feel this) so they feel they need to lie to you to get what they want. You may need to take an honest and open look at the fact that you’re too strict. Or, if they’re not acting responsibly, you need to look at the fact that you’re not helping to teach them to be more responsible. A teenager’s freedom and ability to push their boundaries is completely related to their ability to exude responsible behaviors. You need to set a strong foundation in the relationship so that as they become more responsible, they earn more freedoms (even the stuff that scares you). Once you create a healthy foundation with them, they won’t feel the need to lie to you when they want to do something.

I cannot emphasize enough that you need to start letting go of parenting them with fear. When kids feel you keeping them on a “fear leash”, they will lie to you and it will create conflict and distance in your relationship with them (rebellion).

Here is a sample talk you can have with them:

I know there are things you may want to do that I may not approve of. What you need to understand is that the best way for you to gain more freedom and trust from me is by behaving more responsibly. When I see you act like an adult by picking up after yourself, doing your homework, communicating effectively, and following through with your responsibilities, you can gain more freedom and trust from me. This does not mean I’m going to let you do anything. But it does mean I will trust you more and you will earn your right to do more of the things you want to do. Please do not lie to me about these things otherwise I will trust you less and then it makes it much harder for me to let you do these types of things.”

It’s very important that you make it clear that if they want to do things an adult can do, that they need to behave like an adult. In these instances, I recommend that you sit down with them and create a list of things they want to do that you’re not sure about or feel comfortable with. Then create a system in which they can earn their right to do these things. Make it visual for them so they can see that:

If you want to do X, then I want to see you behave in this way or accomplish these types of tasks. Your mature behaviors will decide on whether you can do these things”

Facing Your Fears

One of the main reasons parents have a hard time with allowing their kids to do things is because they are afraid of what can happen. Now, I am not saying that you should just allow your teen to do whatever they want. This is a tricky subject because there are so many variables and types of circumstances (i.e. what your kid wants to do). That being said, it is important that you as a parent be honest with yourself by asking this question: “What is the worst that can happen?” Most parents conjure up false realities in their mind because they are being driven by fear. When this happens, the parent behaves irrationally towards their teen and this is where a lot of conflict can start.

Because many parents came from strict upbringings, they think it is “normal” for them to be overbearing or controlling. This is a good opportunity for you to end this cycle of parenting and be fair with your teenager. Rather then using your upbringing or fear as a barometer, use your child’s behaviors as a way to determine if something is ok for them to do. Unless what they want to do is truly dangerous, you might need to loosen up your grip and be open to them doing some of these things so long as their responsible behaviors reflect their maturity and ability to do so. If they do not, then rather then just telling them “No”, you need to talk to them about how they can do them (once their behaviors mature).

3. They Want To Create A Distorted Reality For Themselves Of Who They Are

Sadly, many adults still do this type of lying and it starts at an early age. Whether teenagers are not secure with themselves, excited about life, or seeking attention, this type of lying is running rampant on our planet. It stems from self-worth and feeling good about themselves. If you find that your child is lying about weird or silly things that don’t even make sense (“Why are they lying about this?”), it’s because they’re trying to create a distorted reality because they don’t like the one they’re in.

If this is the case, you need to help them feel better about who they are. The best way to do this is to make sure they are doing things in life they REALLY enjoy. If your child is doing what they love in life, then they will feel good not only about themselves, but about life as well. This is all about positive reinforcement and showing your child that they can get the love and attention they seek from something positive. In many ways, this type of lying is the early stage of a “cry for help”.

Here is a sample talk you can have with them:

I’ve noticed that you’ve been lying about small things about yourself and I wanted to let you know that you don’t need to do that. You’re such an amazing person and you don’t need to make things up to feel more important or special. I promise that you have a very special and unique gift to share with the world and that once you discover it you won’t need to tell lies to make yourself or your life more interesting. What I want you to do is write down the three most exciting things you love about life and then we will take some time to explore them together.”

Keep in mind when you talk with them they’re going to feel very vulnerable since they’ve been caught and are now “seen”. They may shut down and it might look like they’re not paying attention. They hear you! Your main focus needs to be on helping them explore themselves so they can find something they’re really interested in and dive into it. Once they do this, they will have something real to talk about instead of feeling like they need to make something up. This will require a great deal of work on your part.

Probability Factor

Whether it’s as simple as they lost something, going out with a friend, staying out later, ditched school, or other poor behaviors you disapprove of, your teenager will only lie to you because:

  1. They fear retribution.
  2. They want to test their boundaries with you.

If you want to minimize the chances of your child lying to you, you need to come up with a more constructive way of handling these situations with them. The only way you can do that is by understanding why they’ve done it and why they feel they need to keep it from you in the first place (they want to do something they know you disapprove of). Once you can isolate each situation and work it all the way through to find a balanced solution, then you can begin to resolve these challenges in a way that is more healthy.

Will my kids never lie to me?”

Now, this doesn’t mean that even if you are the perfect therapist/coach/parent/guide that they will never lie to you. We all have our ego, which kicks in our defense mechanisms and puts us in reactive mode when something bad is going to happen. If you take the time to resolve what your teen is going through and do this without the use of retribution, it makes it less probable that they will lie to you down the road. Another way to look at is like this:

If you become a great parent does it mean you will never react to your teenager by yelling or barking orders? Of course not! You’re human too and depending on the situation and timing (at home when things are calm or at work with a million things on your plate?), the way you respond or react to your child will vary.

The same goes for them. Sometimes they wont lie and other times they will regardless of how much great parenting you have done. Why? They have egos and fear/survival mechanisms too. People lie all the time and it stems from fear of some form of retribution. These fears are part of our survival mechanism and because your teenager is just starting to learn about their ego and fear, they will likely lie at some point.

Parents Don’t Have Time

The real challenge here is the fact that parents don’t have the time that it takes to truly resolve challenges their kids are facing. Good parenting is about taking the time when each situation arises and working through it so that you work toward building a strong foundation for that type of situation. Grounding kids or taking away privileges is the quick and easy way out for parents to solve problems. Here is a perfect example of how the lying starts….

Step 1 – The teenager does something wrong or wants to do something the parent does not want to allow.

Step 2 – The parent reacts and freaks out or doesn’t allow them what they want.

Step 3 – The parent tries to resolve it to a certain extent but because they’re so stressed out and have little time for this they either:

    1. Punish their child.
    2. Take away some privileges.
    3. Respond with a command of sorts that does not allow the child to be included in the decision making process.

Parents generally use one of these three solutions as the easy way out of “truly” resolving the issue at hand.

Step 4 – The next time something happens where the teenager feels like there is going to be some sort of retribution, they lie to cover it up so that they don’t have to suffer the retribution (or think that they do).

Then you click the “replay” button on this analogy and it just goes on autopilot until the situation hits rock bottom.

Building A Strong Foundation

Whatever “mistake” your child makes is not because they’re dumb, lazy, or weird. It’s because being responsible is a new experience for them. It’s during the teenage years that they are beginning to form their ability to be more responsible. This means that you need to make the time in some way shape or form to help them establish a pattern of becoming more responsible. Once you put the time in with them and they learn what they need to learn, it becomes an established pattern and you will see that they’ll do things better.

How long can that take?

Years, depending on how good you are at guiding and teaching them.

If you do not have the time or lack the skills to teach your child these skills, get some in person help. Otherwise you will be on a merry-go-round ride that never ends and keeps getting worse.

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

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

Hurt Feelings


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

  • The importance of teaching your teen about their emotions
  • Why it’s so important your child learns to not take things personally
  • 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.

Take A Moment

Take a moment and think about how you deal with your own hurt feelings. Do you internalize them? Do you allow them to make you angry? Do you take things personally and let them weigh you down? Do you know how to let them go in the moment so that you’re not taking them with you for the rest of the day?

Now ask yourself this: How do you want your teenager to grow up and deal with hurt feelings? What would you like to teach them so that they can have a healthy approach in dealing with these types of situations? Write down your goal.

Overview

While some of this is covered in the lesson on Conflict and Communication (this is available in our private members area), I want to separate this particular issue because it causes so much pain in peoples lives especially when so many don’t know how to address it. When individuals create drama in their life or are faced with certain challenges, it always tends to boil down to hurt feelings. Because so many of us lack effective communication skills, we either react and vent our emotions on someone else and hurt their feelings; or we are insensitive and have “loose lips” and say things in ways that don’t take others feelings into account.

Conflict will always be a part of our life. You can’t avoid it. Unfortunately no matter how nice a person is or how they may keep to themselves, no one can control other people’s behaviors. What we can control is “how” we respond to them. There will be many times that you will have to address your teenagers hurt feelings and it’s important that they learn now how to deal with them so they don’t internalize it. When we “respond” to someone’s behaviors, we are in control. But when we “react”, we are not in control and this is where a vicious cycle of hurt feelings can start.

Taking Things Personally

One of the most important lessons you can teach your teenager is not to take things personally. The sooner they learn to separate what others do or say from having to do specifically with them, the better they will be able to deal with communication exchanges in a healthy manner. We have a tendency to take things on as if it’s “our fault”. If another person has some sort of issue (even if they direct it towards us) it’s not ours to take on even if they’re trying to tell us it is.

Most people don’t like to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions so they direct blame toward other people. Or, people lack good communication skills so they say things in a way that can hurt our feelings. When we take this on ourselves, it can develop into issues like insecurities and self-doubt. We will fear future engagements with people because we develop a deep rooted belief that every time we get involved with someone, if it turns sour, we will be blamed or told off.

What to Do

When your teenager is faced with this issue, it’s important to sit down with them and explain what is happening and why it’s happening. Paint a clear picture as to why the other person is venting on them and although they may have had a hand in it, everyone is responsible for their own choices and actions. You need to tell your child that they should not take it upon themselves and feel that they’re at fault. Yes, you should teach them how to use this experience as a way to honestly look at their part in the matter. However, they don’t need to internalize it and let it bring them down.

You can say something like:

I know it sucks and doesn’t make you feel good when people act like this. You probably think it’s your fault but it’s not. While you do play a part in it, it is not entirely on you. The reason why this person is speaking to you in this way is because they lack proper communication skills and don’t know how to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. They’re taking their frustration out on you. The best thing you can do is to let it go and don’t take it personally. Just know deep down you’re not to blame and that this person has their own issues that they need to deal with. If it affects you negatively go somewhere where you can be alone and shake it off or scream really loud so you do not take on their emotions. At the same time, you do need to be honest with yourself and use this as an opportunity to take a close look at your responsibility in it. Is there is something you may need to improve on with how you communicate or do things?

By doing this you are encouraging them to not argue back with the person (adding fuel to the fire), while at the same time not internalizing the other person’s emotions or taking them on which causes their own painful issues. In being fair, you are also making sure that they are being honest with themselves about the role they may have played. This is also a good opportunity to teach them self-responsibility for their own choices and actions so that they’re not blaming others for their issues.

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

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

Hard Drugs


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

  • The different types of hard drugs
  • The two types of addictions to be aware of
  • What it means if your child is using them
  • How you can best approach the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teen
  • Why I am very sad if you need to read this lesson

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: Crystal Meth, Crack Cocaine, Heroin, PCP

Concern Level: 10

I’m not going to spend too much time on explaining what these drugs are and what they do as these truly are “bad” drugs. I rarely judge anything but these particular drugs are literally bad. I consider these drugs the “devil drugs” as it brings out the absolute worst in any human being and takes them to hell. More than anything, I’m SO sad when I hear of anyone doing this type of drug because their state of being must be at the lowest place imaginable. I really hope that no parent has to endure their child doing these and pray to God that no one is even actually reading this lesson.

What It Does

Basically, any of these drugs completely destroy the body physically, mentally, and spiritually. It does not matter which one it is, they all destroy the person who is taking them and it’s a very dark place to be for anyone who has chosen to do these drugs.

Why Your Kid Chose To Do These Drugs

If your teenager is doing any of these drugs, it means they’re in a really depressed place and are using the drug as a way for them to see and feel their depression. What most parents fail to realize is that it is not the drug that caused the problem. All the drug does is reflect or represent an emotion that was already there. No person regardless of age or situation would “just” do meth, crack, PCP, or heroin for the sake of doing it. If your child is doing any of these drugs, they came to a point in their life where they were so miserable, angry, or unhappy that they just said, “Fuck it, I don’t care about life anymore” and decided to slowly kill themselves by doing these drugs.

By choosing to do the drugs rather then just killing themselves; they don’t actually want to die but it’s a huge cry for help. Please listen! Remember, do not focus on their behavior (taking drugs), focus on their state of being and “why” they are taking these drugs. The drug itself is a symbol for their inner state of being. If they are doing these types of drugs it is a reflection saying, “I have nothing to live for”.

What To Do

First you need to understand that you have lost your child and whom you are speaking to is not them. They’re not literally possessed but they’re not themselves either. You’ll be dealing with two major issues here:

1. Emotional and mental.
2. Physical addiction.

Emotional and Mental

If your child is doing any of these drugs, you need to act quickly and get to the root cause immediately. First you need to understand why your child has chosen to do these drugs from an emotional and mental perspective. What are they running from? What feelings are they not facing? What are they angry or sad about? You need to sit them down without anger or judgment and remind them of how much you love them and that you will do everything in your power to get them off this drug.

This is one of the few circumstances where I recommend that you actually intervene and “control” the situation. Remove your child from whatever environment they’re in that’s supporting this behavior, put them in a positive one, and deal with the root cause of the issue.

Once again, I cannot emphasize enough how you must be loving and non-judgmental. Any anger expressed on your part will just add fuel to the fire. This means you will need to understand how to have a sense of urgency without panic or being reactive. I highly recommend (if you can afford it), having your child in a warm tropical type of environment as these drugs are very “dark:” and the sunlight and positive atmosphere will help. Rehabilitating the emotional and mental aspects of doing these drugs can easily take one to two years so be brave, loving, calm and know that whoever your child is right now, it’s really not them. You may (or may not) have had a role in your child getting to this point and you will need to be honest with yourself about that. If you do feel you had a part, you will need to work on healing your relationship with your child because these types of drugs are literally a call for help.

Remember that no matter how much they hate you for intervening and they may say outlandish things, they are not themselves. You’re going to have to be brave for the both of you.

Physical Addiction

Hopefully you’re able to nip the issue in the bud before they have become physically addicted. If not, then you really have no choice but to put them in a clinic (find a positive one) because they will be going through withdrawals and they will need 24/7 supervision until they have passed this phase. It can easily take a few months just to address the physical addiction.

Remember, this all boils down to a “belief” and if your child is on these drugs it’s because they believe life is not worth living. You need to help them see that it is until it becomes their own belief.

If you’re living this right now, my deepest prayers go out to you. At the same time, there is a silver lining to this in that many people use other substances that are a lot “slower” in how they deteriorate. With hard drugs, it at least provides you an opportunity to address the issues immediately.

Either way, you will need good help. Find someone positive and not fear based. Many boot camps and clinics are absolute jokes and can actually make the situation a lot worse. As cheesy as this may sound, your child needs a lot of love. And my guess is that if you are experiencing this, so do you.

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

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
Copyright © 2012 Parenting Teenagers Academy. All rights reserved.