Category Archives: Building Positive Skills

Why YOUR Behavior Matters SO Much to the Youth in Your Life

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you are probably a little tired of hearing “be a role model.” It’s usually our first go-to with any behavior we want our teens to adopt. We’ve mentioned it for encouraging creativity, tolerance, healthy eating, exercise, compassion, adaptability, positive stress management, healthy relationships, honesty, money management… okay, you probably get the

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Teach Teens the Competencies that Employers Want

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently put out a report in 2020 called Workplace Basics: The Competencies Employers Want. A person’s qualifications for employment are generally defined by a combination of their education, their experience, and their competencies. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that workers use in their jobs and are essential to an employee’s

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Teaching Teens to Stand Up for Themselves in the Right Way

For some teens, standing up for oneself is intimidating. They might worry that they will lose social status or that the other person will be angry or not like them anymore. On the flip side, some teens have no problem standing up for themselves but have trouble responding in a calm, non-confrontational way. They come across as hostile. Neither style

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Instilling Gratitude During Difficult Circumstances

2020 might seem like an inappropriate year to be talking about gratitude. So many things have gone wrong this year, and so many people are suffering. However, studies show that people who are grateful, appreciative or thankful are happier, more satisfied, and healthier overall in their lives than people who are not – even during crises! Finding things you are

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Helping Teens Develop Self-Awareness

“Self-awareness” is the ability to accurately: recognize and identify your emotions, thoughts and values; judge your own performance, strengths and limitations; understand how your feelings and thoughts influence your behavior; and respond to different social situations. The term encompasses quite a bit, but it’s really about being able to see yourself objectively. Research has shown that people with high self-awareness

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Developing Empathy in Youth

With our nation experiencing intense divisions ranging from politics to face masks to racial injustice, developing empathy in the next generation is more important than ever. Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

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Talking to Teens about Racism in America

As protests take place around the United States, worried parents of all ethnicities struggle with what to say to their teens. Conversations about race, police brutality, violence, and injustice are extremely difficult. Unfortunately, because those conversations are uncomfortable and because we want to protect our children from seeing the worst in our society, so many of us tend to avoid

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Crisis is Opportunity for Youth to Build Resilience

When asked what characteristics in people create success, experts often include ‘resilience’ on their list. Resilience means coping with adversity in a positive way. When stress or trauma strikes, a resilient person still experiences anger, grief and pain, but they are able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. Problems in life are inevitable. Resilience won’t make your problems

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Help Teens See Themselves As Part of the Solution During Crisis

One of the reasons difficult circumstances are hard to deal with is because we feel out of control. When we don’t know how to “fix” something or what to expect next, our fear increases. In fact, studies have shown that people who feel in control of their lives report better mental health, fewer physical pains, and faster recovery from illnesses.

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Developing Good Judgment in Teens

We all want our teenagers to have good judgment. Every parent hopes their child will make positive choices that demonstrate respect and responsibility, that protect their safety and well-being, and that lead them to future success. So the question becomes this: how do we develop good judgment in our youth? Judgment is the ability to analyze and evaluate situations in

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How to Cultivate Leadership in Teens

We can all agree that leadership is an important quality for successful adults. Good leadership is vital to the success of every business and venture. But even if a person is not in a leadership role in their workplace, leadership skills are still helpful because they inspire others to success, ensure goals are accomplished, reduce conflict, and build connections with

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Teaching Teens What a Healthy Relationship Looks Like

Having healthy relationships is a vital part of a person’s overall wellbeing, and our teens are no different. Teens need positive connections with parents, family, peers, teachers, coaches, and other authority figures. The problem is that, since teens don’t have a lot of life experience, they often don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. This can become a big

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Promote Kindness in Teens

The values that children believe are important to their parents have a significant impact on their development. In fact, in a study released in November 2016 by Arizona State University, researchers discovered that children performed better in school – both in grades and behavior – if they believed that their parents valued kindness over personal achievement or success. Ironically, the

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Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Youth

Conflict is part of life. We can’t hide from conflict or wish it away or pretend it’s not happening. It occurs in families, friendships, school, work, neighborhoods, and our society in general. It is unavoidable, but it does not have to be negative. Conflict can be used to create positive change and strengthen relationship bonds if it’s managed properly. Good

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