“It’s your choice to learn how emotional understanding and resilience can help you become your best self. You decide to focus and embark on the journey.
Not “I’ll try’ or ‘I really want to..’ ‘I decided…’
Emotional Education and Resilience for Teens
Many of our teenagers today are so talented and are striving for good grades at school in science, technology, engineering, math and other examinable subjects. Why are they also suffering at an unprecedented rate from anxiety, depression, mental illness, being bullied, drug and alcohol addiction, suicidal tendencies, loneliness and a sense of not truly belonging?
Here are three possible reasons why:
1. Life across the world has become far more complicated than ever before. Many teenagers are left on their own to learn how to achieve their best, understand themselves, manage conflict, make friends and navigate being part of a group.
They urgently need good emotional intelligence and resilience skills to filter what is, and isn’t, important to focus on. They require care and guidance in how to gain functional emotional skills and resilience for a happy and fulfilling life. There is too much information and life complexity for them to pick up these skills without dedicated education in emotional intelligence and resilience.
2. If teenagers haven’t been exposed to traditional family and group dynamics as children, if they struggle with a mental illness like anxiety or depression, or even if they just don’t have a lot of positive role models when growing up, developing emotional intelligence and resilience can be very difficult.
Young people tend to learn how to manage their own emotions, recognize those of other people and manage them both effectively by socializing.
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” -Daniel Goleman, renowned psychologist and author.
3. Smart technology and social media sites are part of our teenagers’ lives and they strongly influence how they create, share and exchange information. Sharing ordinary life doesn’t often get them Likes or Clicks!
Some teenagers are learning who they are, how to communicate and relate to other people via Snapchat, Instagram, video games and other formats. Much of what they are relating is based on false extremes of sociability, fun, attractiveness, wealth, experiences, violence, winning and even danger. This gives them such a distorted perspective of who they are and what is important ,and of value in life. Is this what we want for our teenagers?
We also see younger children with their eyes glued to a tablet or cell phone in the stroller and in the home. This is no substitute for parents and a solid carer’ attention. It is the role of us, as parents, teachers and counselors, to balance this perspective but how do we do this? No longer can we be casual observers when our kids are learning more about themselves from digital strangers than their families. We need to step up!
“The more screen-time teens consume on their devices, the more revenue the big tech companies make. So, their health, wellbeing, sanity and serenity are nowhere close to big tech priorities. That’s why, their health is in our hands, their serenity is in our hands, and their sanity is in our hands.”
― Abhijit Naskar, Mission Reality
4. Families with children and teenagers need to start spending more time together, even if it has to be scheduled like a date. A relationship cannot survive on its own. It needs nurturing and care from those involved otherwise it deteriorates.
All families will benefit from spending good old-fashioned time together, talking about the day, and having some discussion. All without the interruption of electronic devices! It may be difficult at first. Decide to make it a priority though and you will see results.
“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I here for?)
5. As a society, we have put the need for educating young people in emotional intelligence and resilience skills on the “back burner” in our schools. Piecemeal efforts are being made by well-meaning counselors yet the focus, time and funding are just not there at the moment.
It is little wonder teenagers are finding it hard to deal with constant changes happening in the world. We have upgrades for our software versions to deal with many types of change. We upgrade our cars, our wardrobes, our academic qualifications and we change our diets. We don’t see the relevance of upgrading our Emotional Education and Resilience skills, for some strange reason, despite the fact that our world has become so much more complex.
We are still using the same emotional and resilience skills our primitive ancestors used when they were being threatened by large animals like a T-Rex, or a neighboring tribe. “Flight or fight”. Today a large group of the population experiences these stages when something we aren’t comfortable with crosses our path. This is the first step towards anxiety, and if it is long-lasting, can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
Now, more than ever, there are very few catastrophes, in our own lives and those of nations, that don’t have their origins in a lack of emotional ignorance.
To solve this problem and make our young peoples’ lives happier and more successful, Suzi Stich is offering a skills-based course in Emotional Education and Resilience. The chart below outlines what is covered.
Each module is interactive and can be completed in as little as 60 minutes. Participants will have exercises to do that can be done on their phone or tablet. At the end of the program, they will receive a Certificate of Completion and access to material to help them apply the skills in their lives successfully.
The chart below outlines The 12-Step Process for Teen and Young Adult Resilience. The first step, Mastering your Mind for Success, is mandatory and provides a practical analysis of Emotional Intelligence for teens and young adults.