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Morgan Rich

Life Coach, My Family

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How can we help kids and teenagers develop the deep belief in self they need to feel worthy, to be motivated, to feel confident?

The concept of those who feel a sense of love and belonging are those who FEEL WORTHY of love and belonging is awesome. In the same way, teenagers saying they want to live their passion, know who they are, and live the life they were born to live, is a great idea.

The challenge is that these things are easy to say, but hard to do. I'm curious how we help our young people gain the strength and capability to actually feel worthy, discover their Real You, feel confident, and know who they are.

Yes, Grit is important. How do we learn it? I'm interested in answers beyond, you just commit to it, or just do it, or try it out. Sure, but not the shy kid who lacks confidence or the bully who is insecure beneath the bravado or the lonely kid who feels alone and broken.

If these things were easy, we'd be doing them, but we struggle. How can we help our young people feel worthy, be gritty, see the good and positive things?

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  • Jul 20 2013: This will be an unpopular statement.

    Allow them to fail.

    To much time is spent on keeping youth from failure. In all areas we try to keep students and youth from failing, going to great lengths to do so. We need to allow youth to fall flat on their face in as many ways as possible. As many small ways as possible with some big ones thrown in for good measure.

    Failure is only half of the equation though.

    We also need to support students as they get back up and recover from those failures. We need to show them how to be resilient. Show them that they can survive all kinds of "tragedies" that they face in life and get back up then move forward. Instead of protecting them from failure, we need to watch it happen and help them get back on their feet and praise their efforts rather than just their end result success.
    • Jul 20 2013: Excellent! Yes, controlled failures, mentored recoveries. enable them to learn from their own mistakes. I think this experience is something that does develop grit.

      Dyson has an excellent interview on this topic.

      http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130312-failure-is-the-best-medicine
    • Jul 20 2013: could not agree more - it seems that the american education is afraid of failing students - In the past I was told it would hurt the student
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      Jul 21 2013: Good stuff and I agree. And I want to push the issue.

      Some people experience failure and it crushes them Others are able to use it as a learning experience. What is the difference? What makes one able to use is as valuable learning?

      How do we teach that? What kind of support are you talking about Everett? What happens if they want to get back on their feet, but can't? or won't?
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      Jul 23 2013: Well said. I also came across this teacher who made a great graduation speech, telling his students that they are not special and he really means it. He shows them what the real world is like and urge them to face it and be strong. One of the best graduation speeches ever.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lfxYhtf8o4
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    Jul 31 2013: Based on limited experience so far, I think that structured and empowering mentoring programs offer a real chance at developing the self-knowledge we're talking about that comes along with confidence, self-esteem, and self-worthiness. My "Little Sister" through Big Brothers Big Sisters is a ten-year-old who is shy and quiet but because I was also shy and quiet as a child, it is easier for me to relate to her and try to empower her with some of the things I have learned. As shy children, we built our comfort zones very narrowly and stepping outside of them is often anxiety-inducing. But with a guiding and supportive hand, it becomes easier to step a little further each time we venture into becoming more of an advocate for our own selves.

    A really great film on this is "Bully," available on Netflix. For anyone who is passionate about advocating for children and teens and learning about how to stop the cycle of bullying (and ignite a cycle of empowerment and worthiness), it's a very moving film.
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    Jul 31 2013: Give them responsibilities that make a difference.
    • Aug 1 2013: I give you a +vote because I think that would help. But when I think, "Would that have worked for me," I think I would have found a way to shirk it. (I think I was looking for safety, mainly. And these-days, you'd have to undo the effects of the terrorism syndrome the government is broadcasting).
      Anyway, for your suggestion to work, I'd add - to talk to them about their work, (& the people they're working to help as well).
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    Jul 23 2013: Good question Morgan! 1st you have to want to take on the responsibility of parenting. They are and should be a part of your heart forever. second, pay close attention to your marriage for a successful marriage, a strong partnership is one of the greatest examples you will give your child for a host of reasons. next, be sure both parents establish clear and consistent guidelines and when they question them both parents come to the table to discuss. One important lesson to learn is respect, they respect you as their parent in actions and words. In turn if you show respect again, in actions and words. pay close attention as to when you should begin to let go gradually, let them start managing their life.they'll make mistakes we all do and have. it's how we learn. when appropriate, admit to a mistake as a parent you may have made. they don't come with a set of directions and each child is different. here 's one never ever say "I told you so" to anything. you take away from their life experience try a congratulations you give them back their ownership.
    The family is where it all begins and should remain a safe and loving foundation from which much learning takes place for all members
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      Jul 23 2013: As I was reading your post here, the thing that jumped into my head was respecting yourself. As a parent and partner, you're going to be pushed and made to face the hard stuff.

      If you are compromised in your heart, your intention, your commitment - to yourself & then to others, it's going to be hard to respect yourself. If you can't respect yourself - Know Yourself and Trust Yourself - there is no chance that your kids and family will respect you.

      I hope to provide this level of self confidence and awareness in the teens that I coach.
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        Jul 23 2013: you can not know what the concept of respect is unless you see it modeled and practice it. in a marriage, a couple must begin any an all incidences when; "you're going to be pushed and made to face the hard stuff" coming from the foundation of mutual respect. and ya, there are times the best you can do is to agree to disagree. there were times anger reared it's head but never, ever were derogatory words slamming one's character used. all that is an angry ego talking.

        you are so correct that this 21st technology enabling communication to take place via a machine is slowly killing the art of conversation which is a huge part of relationship building. my 3 daughters did not receive cell phones until their junior year in high school, computer time was limited, no video games in the house. when appropriate they were included in conversations sharing thoughts and ideas. I do have to share Morgan that my husband and I started our marriage and family older than most. this gave us an advantage for years teach you much if your are listening!
        thanks for the comment and I am confident when I share that the teens in your life are very fortunate young adults to have you as a mentor, a role model!! BRAVO Morgan.
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          Jul 24 2013: Thank you Mary Ellen. I feel very lucky to do the work that I do. I love it.
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      Jul 23 2013: Another thing. The whole being connected to people via technology is creating a real crisis of what relationships look like.

      I've had lots of teens say to me "I'll talk to them" which means "I'll text them". I now say, go, make eye contact with them and share your thoughts.

      And they get it. Lots of teenagers are worried and scared that they aren't learning how to be in relationships. It's like they get that they can't fall in love with someone via a text message, but don't know what else to do.

      And sadly, there are lots of adults modeling that technology is the way to communicate.
  • Jul 21 2013: Morgan, I am talking about letting kids fail a test in class. Holding them responsible for not completing tasks on time and "failing" to make the grade. I am talking about as many small "failures" that they can have before they reach the age of consent and have to make adult decisions which have lifelong potential consequences.

    Teaching and supporting that is easy. As many positive adult role models touching the students lives as possible. Every one of them saying, "yes, you failed. now what are you going to do?" Helping and guiding them to get back on their feet and supporting them, as they need it, all along the way.

    I will point out that there is a significant difference between "can't" and "won't". "Can't" needs more help and support. They just don't see the solution and are hindered. "Won't" is a personal choice. If you "won't" do it you are choosing to not make a choice to improve or get on your feet. Same level of support, and more, is needed. But at some level the "I won't" has to change to "I can". If that doesn't happen, no change happens.
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      Jul 23 2013: Seems to me that the small failures lead to bigger failures. And that is a good thing. Sounds like what you're talking about is building resilience.

      Those mentors and teachers supporting, but also believing that the student can handle the mistakes, can clean them up, can communicate with the teacher, and such is important. Like that you said helping and guiding, not solving and cleaning up.

      Agreed on the can't and won't.

      What do you think about failing a class? Or not making a team? or other bigger/tougher failures?
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    Jul 20 2013: As a teenager, I want to kindly thank you for the work you've been doing Rich.

    We have got a hard time struggling with both interpersonal and intrapersonal issues to define who we are, how we fit into this world and which is the right way to do. Being a teenager sucks, excuse me for my wording, because nothing is certain yet, and we are too young for half of the things we want to do while being too old for the other half.

    I am a lucky one I love myself a whole lot. But there are many kids out there who don't and that mostly results from the so-called society's standards. Please take a look at the link.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw2ig3gaVe1qaop5oo1_500.png

    So yea most of the fear comes from how people would perceive us. And sometimes it just seems like we are not good enough. And I am not speaking for myself but for many teenagers out there.

    I have a friend who falls into that category. He is a guy with almost everything: plays for a basketball team, drives a BMW, has his own apartment, tall height with 6 packs and quite good sense of humour. The reason he doesn't feel good in himself is unbelievably stupid you know. Just because the good-looking popular girls are not interested in him.

    I really want to help with this problem. But look, as an insider, I don't even know the way out. But for sure that you gotta start by listening, and get to be a friend. But if people can judge each other less, that would be very helpful.
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      Jul 21 2013: You are welcome. And it's Morgan - I'm one of those 2 first name people.

      What happened in your post? There is all that space? Can you change it somehow? Thanks.
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      Jul 23 2013: Ugh. You can't win. It drives me nuts how mean some teenagers are. I know it all comes from insecurity, but grrrrr.

      Listening is so, so important. It's amazing that you can see this in your friend. I'll bet he appreciates it even if he doesn't show it. Might be interesting to ask him about it. "Help me understand why it seems like you have everything, yet you seem to struggle with confidence?"
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      Jul 23 2013: Your link reminds me of a letter from a student who went to Columbine high school. He has some incredible insights about how dreams of teens are crushed. Seems to me he nails it.

      http://www.playhuge.com/letter-from-a-columbine-student/
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        Jul 23 2013: It is the same case for our education system here in Vietnam. I couldn't believe how it is so stupid that the Pedagogical University is one of the easiest university to get in. So basically, the requirement for entrance is so low that all those weak students who have been rejected by other universities could then re-apply here and get accepted.

        We need good people who can bring out the good in our next generation. Most teachers now fail to do it. Firstly, they do not have a passion for their job. Secondly, high school pedagogy requires hard work but is not valued that much. It is true, being a professor in a universities sounds more worthy than teaching adolescent in secondary schools. And in Vietnam, a teacher cannot even make a living out of his/her basic salary.

        But that is the education system that would take generations to change. I remember how I wanted to change it by becoming a politician, but to be honest until now I haven't figured out how yet.
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          Jul 23 2013: Oh, that sounds promising. Do you have an idea how to do it now? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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        Jul 29 2013: Nope I still haven't figure out how yet. How about you? Have you ever wanted to change the education system?
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          Jul 30 2013: Yes. Since forever.

          I think there is an important question to ask yourself, which is do you change it from inside or from outside. Good people are trying to do both.

          I chose the from the outside route, so I started working with teenagers in alternative kinds of settings and helping them wake up and believe in the aliveness they feel inside.

          My wife works at a school that uses the Reggio Emiila method. It's a beautiful child centered approach to educating kids.

          We are both pissed off about what's happening to kids these days and have found different approaches to do something about it. What is your way?
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        Jul 31 2013: Thoughtful and practical, Morgan. I too have worked on this, and do, from inside and outside.
  • Jul 20 2013: 1) Teach them to do, as well as learn. Arts, crafts, trades, sports, Scouts, outdoor activities..

    2) Show them the value in helping others. Volunteer to help the less fortunate, taking care of the elderly or the sick, helping with animals, building shelters, providing food, etc.

    3) Teach them to enjoy and respect nature. Pick up litter, live green, visit national and state parks and hike, jog, bike, and take adventures.

    4) Teach them to take risk responsibly. Life is full of risk. There are good and bad risks. One should not be foolish with the risks taken, but one should not be paralyzed by risk aversion either. It diminishes the quality of life.

    5) Teach them the importance of physical fitness, personal health, and personal hygiene. The focus should be on good health, not just beauty.

    6) Teach them independence. How to cook, how to clean, how to use the bus system, how to read a map, how to use a computer, how to survive in the outdoors, how to survive in the city, and how to take advantage of all the services, resources, parks, and opportunities int he area that they live in.

    7) Teach them to teach others early. They should recognize that by virtue of being older than someone, they probably have the skills to help guide them down the correct path, without force, if the care to do so. Teaching mentorship early also plants the seeds of eventual leadership.

    8) Teach them to value the cultures, diversity, and beliefs of others. Similarly, teach them to understand their own beliefs, investigate the questions they have that need to be answered, and to form their own opinions, values and beliefs based on what they learn.

    9) Teach them that listening can be more important than speaking.

    10) Teach them to work. Pride in work, quality of work, applying skills to work, finding honor and happiness in a job well done. Teach them to work individually and as part of a team.
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      Jul 23 2013: Thanks Robert. Like many of the ideas you share here.

      I substituted, "Help them learn" instead of "Teach them". Feels more like a partnership than my imparting my knowledge on them.

      How does that feel?
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    Aug 2 2013: .

    Tell them that their brain is the most powerful computer today,
    which can solve most difficult problems.
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    Jul 30 2013: Thanks for sharing Robin. Love the story about your making your dad laugh and that moment of presence. Beautiful moment.

    Glad to hear you're on a good way now and that you're noticing the challenges that you're facing.
  • Jul 30 2013: I am 23 years old man. I am burnt out/depressed for the 2nd time already. I had a rich childhood, in terms of money, but lack of unconditional love. My dad have been CEO and worked hard all his life. He had not got any love himself. He have never been vunerable.

    My dad always have to do something. He can never sit down and take it easy. He constantly have to prove himself that he is good enough. It's like his life is a big marathon. What is he running from? His feelings and not beeing good enough, i think. He have told me that he was never educated. He took the "easy path" and worked hard instead. This has always been tough for him when he have been meeting other business people. Because they had 5 years on Yale and he had nothing. So he always felt less, and i've realised that i got that feeling from my childhood. I'm not blaming him, even if it's dark, I have found an enormous strength that the world shall see. My dream is big, I want to change the world.

    One day when he picked me up by car, I realised something (I was 21). We sat in there car and i pulled a joke on him. And you know what? He laughed, and I started to cry. And my father asked "What's up Robin?". It was the first time he had been present in my whole life. It's been really painfull to always live up to his standards. And he was just giving me props when I did something good in sports or in school. My struggle to be good enough is still hard. I have a '3rd degree burn' of performance anxiety. I'll let you have some 'fun' examples:

    1)When beeing hypnosed I have very bad performance anxiety I pretend to be hypnosed but I'm rather very present trying to 'think' what they want me to say.
    2)At massage, I wonder if the masseus are having a good time. Are my muscles too small? Is it boring?
    3)At a therpaist, Am i talking about the right stuff? Should I say something different? I should be funny.

    It's a constant struggle, but I'm on a good way now. When you are conscious about the problem, you are half
  • Jul 21 2013: Parenting with guidance, encouragement and by the parents' own life style as role model, are the most effective education for the children before their teen years. Punishment is not necessary. The worst sin of parenting is neglect.
    Most of the studies showed that delinquent/failed teenagers came from families with little or no parental guidance. By the time a teenager failed repeatedly, then it would be extremely hard to lead him back on track.
    The school does help sometimes, but the chance of success is usually very small. It is far easier to nip the problem in the bud before it's too late.
    The "confidence" necessary for success must be the belief that success should be obtained by hard work and study, not like something dropping onto his lap without spending any effort.
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      Jul 23 2013: In my 20 years of experience working with and now coaching teenagers, the ones in the most trouble are the ones whose parents an all kinds of screwed up.

      The way I describe it is if the parents haven't figured out their own crap, then they aren't stable enough to set their own insecurity aside and respond to other people - most notable their kid. They often blame the kid for their struggles and that is not a winning formula for anyone.

      My sense is that in the Larry Smith video part of the idea is to find your passion early enough that you can make a solid commitment to who you are and (hopefully) avoid having to make excuses for why you aren't becoming yourself.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career.html

      I am increasingly in the camp of, if you aren't solid and are having kids because you're supposed to and not because you really want to, then don't have kids. And if you're needing to maintain your lifestyle and use technology (i.e putting a video on for a kid at a restaurant so you can have your conversation) as a distraction, also probably best to bypass the parenting thing and enjoy your dinners.
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        Jul 23 2013: I too have seen that children in trouble often are connected to parents who struggle in child rearing, whether or not they recognize this. This correlation obscures any causal directions.
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    Jul 21 2013: May be by formulating and presenting a fresh new purpose with state of the art understanding all the science
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    Jul 21 2013: Inspire them by examples. There are several "Self Learners" who have contributed to some of the greatest changes in our world with several hurdles. If they could do it, so can every child/person who can self learn and achievel somethign great...please see this TEdx talk:

    http://youtu.be/a181ctQyGY4
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      Jul 21 2013: After watching your video - - I can feel you man.. Just To tell you .. I have started an Organization named Gyanantar which exactly does the same for the school children ( The Tabula rasa).
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    Jul 21 2013: Respect them, care for them, understand them and impart that to them. What do you think their response would be?
  • Jul 21 2013: The world is a cruel place, there will always be the losers in society.
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    Jul 20 2013: I think by putting them in uncomfortable situations where they can't turn to their rote ways of conducting themselves. Here's where Henry Rollins does this to a kid, some say he's bullying, I think he's trying to make the kid stretch himself and react to ideas and a confrontational style he hasn't encountered before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-xMkHgan0Y
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      Jul 21 2013: Phew. Interesting video. Do you think that Rollins actions had the desired effect? How would you make that determination?
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        Jul 21 2013: Yes, sorry, Morgan, another way to say it is he takes the kid out of his comfort zone.

        Yes, I think they did, but it was probably delayed, the kid probably woke up the next morning and said oh gee that's what I should have said there, that's what I should have said at that other place, etc.

        The only way to know would be to ask the kid, but I probably wouldn't hunt him down to ask him, I might not care quite enough. I just know I've had similar experiences, for instance I often call in from home and talk on the air on talk radio shows, and sometimes I get tied in knots on these shows, the hosts are so clever and you're so conscious of trying to please the thousands of people listening. And yet it's a good experience, afterwards I think about the conversation and what I might have said better and I slowly get a little smarter and better at thinking on my feet and more confident.

        Some would say Henry is bullying the kid but knowing a lot about Henry he is a pretty humane guy under some roughness. If you don't follow him, he's at henryrollins.com. He's a fantastic writer and sometimes very interesting speaker.

        Obviously one would want to be careful with kids, and people in general, some would take to this style better than others, it would be a fine line. But I would think that even though there are some initially hurt feelings, some people will realize in the long run that it's kind of edifying, like I did with talk radio.
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          Jul 23 2013: I'm interested in how we can support people to get to the place where they are strong enough to take that kind of feedback, not get crushed by it.

          Your being able to jump on that show, screw it up, and go, "oh, that was a great learning experience" is pretty amazing. It takes confidence and a strong sense of self to turn that thing around. It awesome. And I LOVE those kind of learning experiences for myself, they've been the most powerful of my life.

          But, they were done with a caring and thoughtful energy. There was awareness of being pushed to the edge, but not over it.

          In this video, my read of the kids body language is that Henry pushed it too far. It was hard at 3 minutes. At 9 it felt like too much,

          I don't know Henry, glad to hear that you think he's a humane and thoughtful guy. Made me want to go check him out more.
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        Jul 23 2013: well, part of it is that I don't always screw it up, in fact I've gotten on the air over 200 times, most of them are at least somewhat successful, even the unsuccessful ones aren't terrible, there's still some exchange of ideas. One recognizes that it is after all just words, and one is somewhat anonymous on these calls. I think one reason I don't mind failing is that I always try my best, as long as you try your best you don't have to apologize to anyone, perhaps that's something to teach kids, just try your best, then you don't have to apologize if it goes less than you hoped.

        My second cousin, Amy Van Dyken, is a full-time national radio show host here in Los Angeles. She first came to fame by winning six gold medals in two Olympics.

        I don't see Henry taking it too far because he never gets any significant reaction from the kid, it seems to me you'd see some anger or something from the kid if Henry was taking it too far. I will say that the punk rock milieu is a little rougher than other milieus, perhaps kids who aren't so punk rock might want gentler treatment. I maintain that the kid woke up the next morning and felt good about the entire experience.
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          Jul 23 2013: I totally get that you are able to have that experience of using your radio appearances as learning and making you better. You have enough confidence/experience that you trust yourself to either do it well enough or be able to handle a big mistake.

          It's a mistake to assume everyone can do the same. Or that it's easy. Or that just anyone can feel good about doing their best.

          I think it is something we should teach kids, and that's the question, because I see lots and lots and lots of people not able/willing to step into those places and handle the difficulties of the world. How does it take to create that level of confidence/belief in self?
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        Jul 23 2013: Well, I suppose one way might be to role-play with kids, do a little acting improv (if you notice, Morgan, I live in Glendale, California, about two miles from Hollywood, and we're always talking about acting around here.) You might ask kids what situations they find difficult and then play those scenes out. For example, a kid might feel uncomfortable about asking their teacher why they got a "C" on an essay. So you could set up an improv where the kid has gotten a "C" on an imaginary essay and has to approach you, the teacher, to ask why they got the C, and you're belligerent, you don't have time for them, you have papers to grade. And see how they handle it. Or perhaps they bought a gallon of milk and when they got home it was spoiled, and now they've come to see you, the grocer, and try to get their money back, except you don't want to give it. Heck, they could even call in to your imaginary radio program, and you're the host, and you strongly disagree with their point of view, how will they cope? I know these are all potentially rough on people's egos, but in an improv they're somewhat safe and you can discuss them and see how they went. I think they could build confidence. But is the ordinary kid comfortable with doing an acting improv?

        The other thing that comes to mind is Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see." If you're challenging yourself and building your self-confidence, you can share that experience with kids and inspire some. And you can make the point that sometimes you fail but you always do your best, and it will resonate because you are living it.

        Preparation usually helps self-confidence. Once I planned to call Mark and Brian, a very popular comedy show. I knew it'd be difficult cause those guys are just crazy, so I talked about it with a friend beforehand, what might Mark and Brian say, what might I say back? It helped.
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      Jul 21 2013: Amazing video ,... Thanks .. vdo says - "Are you scene conscious?, you take care of your scene. You imagine you scene ? wooohhhh .. ultirior
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        Jul 21 2013: yes, did you follow my point, shishir, I think Henry's trying to take the kid out of his comfort zone, make him think a little harder and better. Would you agree, or do you see something else in the video? Sorry, I don't recognize the word "ultirior" that you used.
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          Jul 21 2013: His intentions were -Existing beyond what is obvious or admitted; intentionally hidden motive behind his act" ...
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        Jul 21 2013: I'll have to think about that one, shishir, I think you're seeing it a little different than me, I think Henry is more trying to get the kid to think about himself and his life, where it seems to me you think Henry is just trying to learn about the kid. Maybe I'm wrong.
        Here's another one in the same spirit, also with Henry but older, let me know if you like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIhyZaA8yqo
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          Jul 21 2013: To me, it was more of your statement in the very first comment of yours saying- The true purpose of henry was to push the kid to the original point of that kid, I m sure the kid would have done a significant thinking of his true self after this episode.
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          Jul 23 2013: I'd say possibly. But, as I said above, my read of his body language is that it got pushed beyond where he he would have done significant thinking and might have hit him too hard. This might make the "recovery time" quite long, where it could have been a hammer tap instead of a full swing with a sledgehammer.

          Also, might depend on the kids support structure. Does he have a place to lean into, feel safe, and process, or is he going to have to process and work through that one alone?
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    Jul 20 2013: It doesn't happen in the teenage years.

    If your child does not already have this sense of worth in early childhood, then you are in for a fire-fight that you won't win.

    If your child has self-worth by virtue of early-childhood nurture, then the deviation years of bad-company in teenage can be tolerated - they will return .. and become whole after an excursion in the hell of those who have no nurture.
    As a parent, you have to step back .. if your child returns from teenage he/she will have saved souls .. if you interfere, then it will all be in vein.

    If you failed your duty in 0 to 24 months, it will be returned to you .. and you will have no one to blame except yourself- least of all your child.

    I'd start by not abandoning your child for fashion, media or career. As most in the west do.

    Sow the whirlwind .. then reap it.
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      Jul 20 2013: Yup, That early childhood time is certainly an important time.

      Lets say that I was struggling when my kids were born, trying to figure it out. It took me some years to figure my own crap out, but I started making progress. A mom with post-pardum depression. Got more authentic. Learned to listen better. Figured out that paying attention to my kid is important.

      I somehow escape the fashion, media, career traps.

      When I hear that it's too late, that I missed my chance to do right by my kid, I lose some hope. I fall into blame. I feel shame. It makes me lose motivation to keep trying.

      I can easily imagine this scenario. What do I do then? I like to think that there is still something that can be done. What do others think about this?
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        Jul 24 2013: You can make a few mistakes .. kids are resilient up to a point.

        But the main thing that makes it all so hard for us, is the erosion of community.
        This manifests in the on-going isolation from our family and our tribe.
        From birth, the child is removed from the mother, wrapped in an isolating blanket, and often abandoned in a plastic baby-holder for hours .. this reduces maternal bonding.
        The father is discouraged from having any contact with mother and child.
        The father will be gone from the family for most of the day to do a "job".
        The woman will be expected to be back at "job" within a week or 2 of birth.
        The child is abandoned in "childcare" which is an income shifting exercise from the childcare worker to the parents. But the cost is the family bond.
        Then the child is abandoned in a thing called "school" to indoctrinate further isolation.
        Then we live in cities where we are obliged to live with masses of strangers - we develop an impersonality .. a deadness .. and rarely know our neighbors.
        Our families are compelled to fragment to various parts of the city or country, with the destruction of family bond completed by university and finally, career.
        The familial instinct becomes replaced by "job" where our new tribe is fully harnessed to the agenda of the corporation.

        The main detriment is the destruction of the tribal nurture of mother/child. This contributed to post partum depression. In soume cultures they still maintain a shadow of tribal nurture through the custom of the doula, but they are marginalised.

        All we can do is to be aware of this process and avoid it as much as possible.

        Most important is your love for your child. Express it as much as possible . that is the only healing of the family.
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    • Jul 20 2013: Hi Deepak Behl:).I am glad to read your comments which is from yourself experience.I think love between parents and kids are so deep,normally we just take it as grant...be conscious the love is the most important.

      On summer holiday, my daughter likes me to accompany her to swim every afternoon.It is my pleasure to go together with her,although I don't know swimming, I think it is the best time for me to be together with my kid.

      These days I need to take part in a teaching course trainning.So this afternoon I told her to go alone then I would go to swimming pool to meet her when the trainning was ended.But when my teaching course ended,it was getting to rain...I hurried to the swimming pool,didn't see her there,and I was so worried by the heavy rain:does she know to keep herself in safe and find a shelter to ward off the heavy rain?And I totally forgot I was in obstacle of the heavy rain...

      When the rain stopped,I saw her.She said to me at first:mom,I worry you I was thinking if you knew to find a shelter to protect yourself.I was so touched by my kid's words...
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        Jul 20 2013: What a beautiful moment. How thoughtful of your daughter. What a great effort you make to be engaged with her! Go you!

        I'm intrigued by the space where we hope our kids can figure things out. Will she find the rain cover?

        I think it's a place to trust. They can figure it out. They can handle themselves in the world. When they feel trusted then they learn to trust themselves.

        It's similar to the old "don't talk to strangers" deal. If my kid gets lost and doesn't talk to strangers, they will remain lost. Or as they get more scared the wrong stranger will see the vulnerability and that's not what we want. I want my kids to trust people. And learn to trust the right people. I practice with my kids - would you trust them? Why? Why not? Then I get a sense of what my kids are thinking and how to trust them.

        And I want to live in a world where we can and do trust strangers.
        • Jul 21 2013: Hi Yes,Dear Morgan Rich.My daugher said she watched the coudy sky then went to my parents' home to avoid the heavy rain.She did take umbrella...

          Yes,being parents,how much we expect our kids to handle themselves well around the world.I did worry if she could deal with strangers or if any bad strangers saw the vulnerability to do any bad thing on her...

          That's really a good idea to teach kids how strangers they can probably trust.Thanks for sharing it to us:).

          Yes,I want to live in a world where we can and do trust strangers too:).cheers
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    Jul 20 2013: The sense of self worth develops since we are little and the way how our parents(our significant others)teachers,friends treat us have large impacts on how we see ourselves when we are young.If a kid is ingored and treated poorly most of the time by his/her parents, there's less chance that he/she feel certain about his/her worth.The good thing is if thats what"breaks"him/her,he/she can be"built" by the reverse of that behavior.That is for us to love,encourage,and empower...ect.Kids and teenagers are not different from adults in terms of needs( to be heard,seen,and cared...think about the Maslow needs of hirachy(or another needs model developed by William Glasser if you like and you can brainstorm a list of things that people can do to make them feel belong,loved ,respected...ect)

    I just had a conversation with several teenagers who complained about how their parents cared about their performance after a exam instead of how they are/feel during it."what thing do you wish parents do?""I wish that they could ask how do I feel or if I feel nervous when taking the exam.simple as that."

    Just some thoughts
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      Jul 20 2013: Yes. Those kids are saying, "please see me. Here I am. I don't care about grades/marks. I want to be appreciated for me, not my performance in school."

      This is where the shame Dr. Brown comes from. I think there is an intelligence in the kids knowing that school (again, I can only speak for the US here) isn't getting them what they want. They aren't motivated because the see that it's a charade. They are begging for something real, for some adult to come along and say, "that desire in you to be seen and understood isn't weird. It makes total sense. And I bet there is more behind that too."

      But too many adults just ask, "how are your classes? Where are you going to college?" And we miss the person asking, begging, to be seen.

      I agree that the need is the same for adults, but do you think that there is a responsibility of adults to be "further along" than kids, so we can be there for them when they need us? Like an elder or mentor?
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        Jul 20 2013: Morgan,I appreciate your sense of respnsiblity to walk along side kids and support them when they need.Yes,being present with teenagers is important,especailly for kids with behavioral issues.and they can benefit from mentor teaching skills that could help them deal with the challenges they face as teenagers.
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      Jul 20 2013: Ah, love. Yes. I'm curious how would you say that we give love? What can a parent do to make a kid feel loved?
  • Jul 20 2013: Children will learn things and feel worthy by having some sort of experience. An experience comes from anywhere in life, but we tend to ignore them because we don't think they are worthy. But what makes a child feel that they are the ones who are powerful is experience.
    The best experience would be real activity such as volunteer works. For me, I found myself volunteering when I actually gained hope and strength for what I want to do.
    Other people around a child cannot do the whole thing for a child because a true feeling and achievement comes from a child himself/herself. However, adults can tell the child about any story that had ever affected himself/herself. I think a teacher talking about how he/she became what he/she is now is probably one of the best ways to help students gain strength for what they will do in the future.
    Another way of having experience indirectly is reading books. Many of students today do not enjoy reading as much as those in the past due to the developement of technology. But for decades and centuries, our ancestors had emphasized and have been emphasizing reading. It is a true fact that had never changed. Children would see the world with broader perspective when they become enjoyable readers. I surely believe these things would help kids gain hope and strength for what they truly want to do.
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      Jul 20 2013: Experience for me was so, so critical. Being a kinesthetic learner who didn't do well in school, being in the world was critical. But I also know that it takes more than just the opportunity, because when you bang into the world good things happen, but also hard things happen. LIke failure, mistakes, bad choices, etc.

      What can we do to make it so when these things happen young people are ready to get the lessons that it sounds like you got?
  • Jul 20 2013: Just trying to cherish life I can be.
    I think who can feel worthy of love and belonging experience not decide by environment and outside of motivation,but the most is inner-nituvated,life is a process for people to enjoy,and divided into a few period to experience and grow up.

    I observed teenagers and recalled myself experience,I started to be aware lots of meaningful things in life not by outside of world but innerworld thinking,the thinking action not been pushed by anyone but self-consciouse.Maybe my teachers or parents did have the same expection you mentioned here when I was young.Because they told me everyday about'study hard,no pains no gains...lots of motivative words.But I have to say:I didn't feel happy to keep study hard but all for exams,that's the most tedious time for me.

    Sometimes I joked together with my students:how much I wish I could be as young as you were,and as knowldgeable as I were now,because being young is so good.Then my students tried to please me,they all said:come on,Miss,you are young...Lol

    And my daugher is going to be twelve soon.How much I expect her to focus on chinese,english,math subjects' learning,to keep thinking not just listen...But I have to say I worried too much about that,She watches Cartoons from japan a lot...meanwhile I being a mother,I remind myself:be patient waiting,trying my best to do what I can be a mom...
    So no worry,just keep going...
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      Jul 20 2013: Good for you being a thoughtful mom and thank you for spending time with kids. I keep thinking with my kids (and the kids I work with), the way that they will learn to believe in them selves is if we believe in them.
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    Jul 20 2013: As this talk has had 1.7 million views, a lot of people seem to think the speaker has an interesting take on your question: http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career.html
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      Jul 20 2013: Thank you Fritzie, I'm excited to take a look. I will check it out and get back to you.
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      Jul 23 2013: I'm curious about your reaction to Larry's talk. How did you see it as a take on my question?

      It feels like it gets to the heart of what I am asking. How do you gain the strength to be able to say "unless" and stop making excuses? In the same way, I'm down Brene saying "those worthy of love and belonging are the ones who think they are worthy of love and belonging."

      Oh, great, just say unless. Or just think you are worthy.

      Um, my reflection is that it's harder than that. It's been so for me, and I see others struggle with it. And so I get curious. How can we help these go from ideas, hopes, goals, to people's reality?
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        Jul 23 2013: I offered the talk because it has appealed to so many rather than because it is the way I talk with or work with young people.

        I take a strategy of showing by words and actions that kids are capable. If you get to know kids and give them chances to succeed at things they value and at things they did not realize they could do, these strategies build a belief in self, motivation, and confidence. If kids are never challenged or given responsibility, they do not know they can rise to challenge. If kids are held to higher standards than are reasonably accessible to them or are presented only challenges that are beyond them, without chance to see and feel repeated success, they will not feel capable or the value of perseverance.

        In teaching this is about the right level of "cognitive demand" and considering "the one of proximal development." It must be tunes to the kid rather than to an average across a heterogeneous cohort.
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    Jul 20 2013: We can do worthy things for them to see and experience. We can demonstrate grit for them to observe. We can do good and positive things for them to emulate. We can say all those things less and do them more.
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      Jul 20 2013: Agreed. Walk the talk.

      Who said, "who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear who you say you are."

      When I led summer camps, I'd say over and over again. They are going to watch you and do everything you do. What you eat. What you wear. How you talk. How you treat people. More than anything else we do, we've got to show up the way we want them to show up. We play 100%, they play 100%.