Each month I invite professionals who work with young adults to share their thoughts on the 12 Steps to Success for Young Adults. This week’s topic is about Teenage success. Each specialist looks at it through their own perspective but what I really appreciate about these people is that they are always looking at the whole client and not just the aspect of their own practice.
The same holds true for any person seeking success. We must look beyond our passing interests and choose to make a difference with our lives for ourselves, our family, our community and the world at large…. Ken Rabow
Janet Penny – RMT:
It is easy to look at our teenaged children and believe that all they are thinking of is their next 20 text messages. Yet, underneath the flurry of their fingers rests the time-honoured jumble of teenaged emotions. These feelings, lodged deeply in their bodies are often just outside the reach of words, making emotions difficult to articulate and allowing confusion to reign.
Teenagers must adjust to their changing bodies and conflicting emotions as they endeavour to make important choices about friendships and school. Accessing their feelings, thoughts and desires will help them guide their decision and uncover their personal path to success.
Massage therapy helps our bodies and minds move from the fight or flight state of the sympathetic nervous system to the calmer, more reflective, self-aware parasympathetic nervous system state. Once our busy minds have quietened, we are better able to pay attention to the deeper knowledge held in our bodies. Once this knowledge is in our conscious minds it can be used for more thoughtful decision making and to understand our emotional reactions. In this way, massage therapy becomes another great tool to help achieve the awareness necessary for differentiating between what we experience and what we feel.
Rahim Habib – Naturopath
In my practice as a naturopathic doctor, I have observed that the following things can help young adults succeed:
- Learn by Example – We learn by observing and modeling. When parents show by example what it is to be mature and responsible, their children shall use this as their yardstick for success.
- Perspective – invite your teen to work in charities, community events, volunteering in a seniors centre, a hospice, etc. This will demonstrate how to use their life for their own benefit and those of others.
- Good habits:
- Sharing healthy meals with the family builds family unity and communication skills. Don’t be shy to invite neighbors or friends over.
- Learning how to schedule and complete tasks.
There’s nothing like ticking off a complete to-do list.
Start having them tick off tasks when they are young.
- Balancing Factors –Exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, or being in nature keeps our mind and body connected and balanced.
It is important for all of us to remember that challenges, difficulties and struggles are a part of life. They add color and meaning to our overall experience and it is these challenges that transform our lives from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
For the better part of 600 years, children between the ages of ten and fifteen would start an apprenticeship with a master craftsman for a period of usually seven years. The family had the first 10 years to help form their child and then the skills of becoming successful in the world were given over to someone specializing in whatever trade the family could make an arrangement with. A portion of these apprentices would go on to become master craftsmen and some became journeymen.
These systems live on today in modified and more humane forms through schools, internships and training systems. There is something to be said for finding a mentor and pursuing personal goals of self-improvement while learning any discipline, be it art, sports, business, science or sock puppets (worked for Jim Henson).
Success requires expanding ones horizons and pushing against the boundaries of our fears.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) said it best:
“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”
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Stay tuned for more upcoming articles from Ken
Friday, Sep 02 Part Two – 12 Steps to Success for Young Adults: Mentors and Goals.
Friday, Sep 09 Texting At Night – The Sleepless Sleeper
Friday, Sep 16 Top 10 Tips for Organized Homework
Friday, Sep 23 Therapist Q&A – Delayed Gratification
All of these weekly articles combine to create a complete system.
To see a list of previous Ken Rabow articles, go to: