IN HIS book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey describes some defective habits employed by teens.
One of them is the way they react.
He goes on to say that teens often blame their problems on their parents, teachers or boy/girlfriend.
They take little or no responsibility for their life.
The good news is there's a way to combat this - by teaching our teenage children how to set goals.
Covey writes about teens not having a plan in mind.
He describes how many teens fail to think about the consequences of their actions and decisions.
The third of seven habits, is putting things off and leaving things until the last minute or running out of time completely.
I'm sure most of you reading this will be nodding in agreement and maybe even remembering back to your own defective habits as a teen.
So how do we help our kids not make the same mistakes we did?
How do we set them up with effective habits?
As a teacher and therapist, the skill I see lacking most in adults and children, is emotional intelligence and the ability to set and achieve goals.
The ability to be aware of our own feelings in differing situations and to be able to self-regulate or manage behaviour are two of the most fundamental skills needed in life.
Without those, we blame, react, resent and behave in order to meet our needs.
When we can regulate and manage our emotions, we are better able to set goals and feel motivated enough to achieve them.
We begin to take responsibility and plan and get things done.
The greatest gift we parents can give our children, is to raise them to really know themselves. As they move through the teen years we become life-coaches.
It's our job to help them dream and plan and break things down into achievable steps.
Most importantly, they need to watch us doing the same.
They are watching far more than they are listening to us.