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 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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