You watch your teen with learning disabilities struggle, and you would do anything you could to help them overcome their challenges. Perhaps you have been working with the school system for some time refining the IEP to meet his or her needs to make learning more attainable at school. But, constantly feeling behind, perhaps “stupid,” and not mainstream like the other kids have caused your child to withdraw and develop what appears to be anxiety and depression. Not only that, you’re not confident the IEP is all that effective.
Teenagers with learning disabilities are often subject to bullying. They may get put down by peers, teachers, and others in the school system. Low self-esteem comes with this. Once that low self-esteem takes hold and “I just can’t do it” rolls in, they fail in school. Research suggests these adolescents often turn to drugs and alcohol. Frustration, sadness, even shame can lead to a dangerous place.
THAT WAS EVERY DAY. THEN, COVID HAPPENED
Now more than ever, your teen with learning disabilities is experiencing feelings of isolation, helplessness, worthlessness, coupled with less structure and academic support.
Think about what repeated “failure” over and over again does to your child.
Where is a parent to turn?
A tutor can be helpful academically during a pandemic. But, teens with learning disabilities most often don’t have the right support. A tutor is a resource but is not the kind of support that addresses the teen with learning disabilities’ self-esteem, interpersonal skills, or the life skills to help them grow up and become a healthy adult.
Therapists can be hard to find these days, let alone the right therapist that resonates with your child, with an increase in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and domestic abuse during this pandemic.
But, lacking self-esteem in the first place due to a learning disability does not necessarily mean your adolescent requires treatment. Teens with learning disabilities often are struggling, not because of an illness, but because they do not yet have the skills they need in order to handle life. These kids need somebody to help establish a mindset and approach to the challenges.
Let’s look at the difference between therapy and mentoring. Therapy is for the treatment of psychological disorders, whereas mentoring guides your teen through development, finding direction, and becoming a healthy and capable adult.
So much of what a teen with learning disabilities is struggling with is growing up. Often times this is more so than any mental illness. Our education system and society emphasize “what are you going to do” and what boxes need to be checked to have the instruction and training for that job.
Most teens, but especially those with learning disabilities, struggle with having vocational direction in the first place. The constant pressure to figure out what they are going to do kills any motivation for the day-to-day. Often, adolescents with learning disabilities will tell a story of themselves in a very limited space.
A mentor can walk your teenager through the steps of finding real DIRECTION in their life, starting where they are at. We begin with asking who do I want to be and who is going to help me get there, rather than what do I want to do.
A mentor can teach your teen how to live their lives with a positive approach. That having learning disabilities does not have to be limiting; instead, they learn differently. Your young adult can then begin to orient themselves towards their possibilities and not their limitations.
COVID is especially isolating for your teen, who learns differently. I am here to support, listen, and teach direction to your struggling adolescent. Contact me if you would like to discuss mentoring for your teenager.
Homework not done, take away the phone, homework gets done.
Next week… homework not done, take away the phone and video games, homework gets done.
Next week… homework not done.
Parents, are you running out of viable discipline options? Do you feel like the only thing you can do is take away technology to create changed behavior? Does that work? Or is a pattern emerging of the back-and-forth dance described above?
I’m used to talking to parents, whether in my articles or in my sessions with them, about how to help their teenagers make stressful adjustments we’ve all had to make at some point in our lives. What qualifies us to teach our teens is that we’ve been through it before and have gained wisdom from lived experience. But what about the things we haven’t figured out yet?
As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The same is true for your teen. Though we may know what’s best for our kids (or at least think we do), we can’t make them do it. They have to want to do it themselves. In other words, they have to be motivated. In today’s article I share five tips to help your teens get–and stay–motivated.
One of our most sacred roles as parents is to prepare our children for a successful future. What success means to each of us may differ, but we can all agree that resilience, flexibility, and adaptability play a large role. How, then, do we weave these qualities in our kids?
On an afternoon I’ll never forget, one of my teen clients walked through the door, dropped into a chair, and proudly stated that he had discovered the key to happiness: weed. It’s his medicine, he says, and it makes him feel good. If he could only get a medical marijuana card, everything would be solved.
Co-authored by Dennis Charles, author of Word Of Mouth: Networking To Take Your Business Into The Stratosphere
When you push aside all the technology, all the gadgets and apps and filters, you’re left with a simple truth: we’re people who like to connect with other people. We’re social creatures, always have been and always will be. Connection brings us love and happiness. It also brings us success. No matter what you want in life, chances are a person will make or break it. A new job? A person will make the call. A new business? A customer will make the difference. We may advance by the minute, but in the end we’re just people connecting with other people.
Great friends are hard to find and important to keep. You know this from experience. But it may not be as clear for your teen. High school is a difficult place to find people who will bring value to your teen’s life. There is so much emphasis on social groups that it’s tough for teens to be themselves, both outside and inside these groups
“My child looks sad and walks with his head down, hiding his face with his hoodie.” Parents say this to me all the time. “I don’t know what to do, what to say, to make him feel better. What should we do?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.