Top Tips for Positive Teenagers

by : Sue Atkins

There are two types of people in the world- the proactive and the reactive. Proactive people take responsibility for their lives whereas reactive people blame others and suffer from "victim-itis." Proactive people make things happen whereas reactive people let things happen to them.

So one key skill to develop in your teenager is to help them take responsibility for their own happiness and direction in life as this helps them to be in the driving seat of their life and not just a passenger.

The way you can help your teenager develop being proactive is to be a role model yourself and to watch the language you use to describe things happening around you. Reactive language takes power away from you and gives it to something or someone else. It's like giving the remote control of your life away to someone else, whereas proactive, positive language let's you choose which channel you want to be on.

So this week just pay attention to your language and notice how you react in different situations and get curious about yourself.

Here are some ideas for using more positive, proactive language that you and your kids could have fun re-framing.

Change your reactive language of "I can't" into more proactive language of "There must be a way I can do this"

From "There's nothing I can do" into "I wonder what the other options are?"

From "I have to..." into "I choose to..."

And away from "I ought to..." into "I want to...."

And finally from "That's just the way I am" into "I know I can do better than this."

Proactive people who are not easily offended, they take responsibility for their choices, they think before they act and they bounce back when something bad happens and they always find a way to make things happen. They focus on things they can do about something and they don't worry about the things they can't control.

So you can see how important it is to develop this "can-do" approach and attitude to life in your teenager.

While you can't control everything that happens to them you can teach them how to control how they respond to what happens to them.

There are things you can't change - like the weather, the colour of your hair or who wins the FA Cup but helping your teenager to focus on what they can control - like their temper, the words they use and their attitude to their circumstances can help your teen experience more balance, more inner peace and a sense of being more in control of their lives.