Teen Tornado. The messy work of self identity and how we can help.

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     I love working with teens. I have spent the last 4 years working in a middle school. Middle school? Can you believe it? The two years of my life I would never want to live again and I choose to go back!? I tell the kids all of the time, "It can't be that bad if all of these teachers and staff chose to come back here, year after year."

     But really,I meet so many great kids. Some are so obviously great right from the moment you meet them. Some….well, let’s just say, it takes time and patience to earn enough of their trust to let you in, But man when they do, there is nothing like it!

     I met this young girl while she was in middle school. She was so nice, she had a great sense of humor and was so very thoughtful.

I found out through other teachers that she was very disrespectful in class

-Flipping teachers off

-Cursing at them and other students

-Getting into fights

-Dating a new boy every week, and when I say dating, I mean really getting involved.

     When I heard of all this, I recalled the funny and even sweet girl I had come to know. As I got to know her better, I learned of so much messy in her life. She was really developing her identity in the midst of utter chaos.

     There is a quote in our Staff room that say “The kids who need love the most ask for it in the most unloving of ways” This about sums it up!

     So many girls today struggle with confidence, bullying and appropriate self expression in a world where so much of our private lives are public. The internet has opened up our eyes, our homes and our lives! This is not an internet shaming article though. This is they new world, the way we live now. No amount of shaming or guilt will change that. Keep in mind, the teen girls (and boys) of today, only know THIS world. Building your identity takes time, energy, awareness, knowledge and knowing it is not only possible but it is in our own hands!

What can we do to help these teens?

It starts at home. Connection. It can be so hard sometimes to stuff our ego and treat teens like lesser beings (they really can act like it sometimes). Just remember, they are young people developing their identity through choices. They need us the most at this point and we often respond by pulling away when they do. If you are overwhelmed by the idea and do not have a clue where you can start, you can get a FREE copy of & Ways to Connect with a Teen.

     Seek out help! It takes a village after all. Use your resources, programs, family and friends. Mentors should be available at the ready!. It doesn't even have to be a formal arrangement. I remember sending my 16 year old son to his grandparents out of state recently to get some time with Papa. He and his Papa are close and there has always been mutual respect and love in their relationship. His parents (all four of us in his blended family) were just to invested in the outcome of certain choices he was struggling to make at the time. We most definitley would have tried to sway him one way or another. Papa would surely be able to keep his needs and desires at the focus! And her did! Find people you trust and let them help with support and/or a listening ear.

For girls there is also Worthy Warrior Tribe. It is an 8 week group coaching program.

What is covered?

🔥Education on how each choice we make develops our identity

🔥Expression of self, appropriately

🔥Empowerment to make the choices to create the identity the want for themselves.

     Not sure how she will respond to this group? I am pretty sure we have all thought, “Yeah! This will be great! My teen will love it!” Then it crashes right before our very eyes. It can feel so disheartening. Well, you can try a FREE and no obligation 60 minute Teen Transition Strategy Session for your teen or even you. Talk with me and see if it can be a good fit?

     I also have limited space to make custom packages for you or your teen (boy or girl) for so super focused individual work. I have seen what a few positive tweaks and interventions can do to change teens hearts and focus! It is such a beautiful transition!!!

     Most importantly! Know that you are enough and doing the best you can! If you are reading these blogs and seeking help and support, you are doing great work! Plant the seeds, water them and harvesting often comes much later.  I have a FREE Guidance to Goal Facebook group for parents too! You can join the online community!

The Cost of Connecting With Your Teenager

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Do you want a closer relationship with your teen? I hope you are ready, it comes at a cost.


     I hear so many parents pleading to be involved in their teenagers life. Parents want to know what is going on and how they can best help them. Parents want to know when their teen is hanging with the “wrong crowd” and know when and how to teach the lessons as they come across the choices and consequences. Parents want to make sure teachers are being fair to their teen, friends are not pressuring them to do drugs, have sex, smoke, drink or party and most of all, just to know that they are safe!


     If you are one of these parents, you need to recognize that this closeness and involvement take work and it comes at a cost. As if you didn’t think you could be more emotionally invested in their lives, you can.


If you want to be involved in your teens life keep in mind…


  -You will not get to make their choices for them.

Instead you have to be witness to the choices they make, the ones you agree with and the ones you despise. There will be times you cannot “teach” them by words and lessons you provide, or your own experiences. Like I have said before,

“Let appropriate and powerful consequences help you teach your children”

We call them “natural consequences” and they feel anything but natural to us as parents.


  -You may learn that they are not perfect.

(yes even though you say that you know they are not perfect, it can still shock you how imperfect they really are)..


  -You may come to know just how often they are at fault for consequences in their own lives.


  -It might come to light that your teen has a negative influence on someone else’s life.

The very things you hammer in and draw a line about might be the thing they are influencing others into.


  -They will likely show you the worst parts of yourself and their other parent.

You know, all the things you both worked so hard to grow out of and overcome. Prepare to get TRIGGERED!


  -You will celebrate greatness with them, but conversely, your heart will break with theirs when trials hit hard.

You get invested in their relationships and you go down when they fall apart as well. Don’t forget that it is still not about you. So, your heart will break and you will grieve the losses as well, but they are not your losses. You will need to put these feelings aside and focus on helping your teen get through it and grieve on your own or somewhere else.


     We know how worth it the experience is to parent and be involved with your teen and be” in the know” of their life. Just prepare yourself (if it is even possible) at the very least be aware that it comes at a cost. The price is worth it but if you really want to make a positive impact on their lives, you must know that it is only and impact and guidance you can give you cannot control the actions and often not even the outcomes.


*Written through the tears of a mother.


Want that connection anyway? Good for you. It is worth it! If you do not know where to start you can get your free copy of "7 way to connect with a teen".