TED Conversations

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: 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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