Oftentimes parents and educational professionals can mistake the need for therapy over development of skills to grow into adulthood. That is what mentoring does for your teen. Meeting them where they are, listening and working together to become WHO they want to be.
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Todd Kestin, LCSW, creator of Life Skills Mentoring, shares his personal experience with what it is like to be a teen with learning disabilities. Understand the story your child who learns differently is telling inside their head and find out about a little known resource that can help.
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Stay tuned to Life Skills Mentoring videos to learn more about teen mentoring and how it is different than any other resource for kids with LD.
46% of college students in the U.S. end up graduating; that’s less than half. As a result, many parents find themselves pondering over what went wrong with their maturing offspring. But, degree or not, that college debt is not going anywhere, so is that hard-earned money a waste of investment?
It very well could be, at least, without additional or alternative, practical ways of preparing your kid for university before they leave. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with financially supporting as a parent, but your cash could be better spent on seeing that your child is ready to succeed on their own.
Supplementing The College Fund
A straight-A student in high school is not necessarily one in college. This is the first time teens live on their own without supervision. There are many other obstacles than those of academics that can turn university life upside down.
Here are four accessible suggestions to ready your pre-graduate:
But What If College Isn’t For Them?
Believe it or not, no matter where you came from, college isn’t for everyone. And while it may seem like it to you, it is not the end of the world In fact, with the right life skills in hand, it might be the beginning of a whole new wonderful world to take an alternate path. Just because your young adult does not attend college does not have to mean they will live in your basement for the rest of your life.
In fact, research firm Wealth-X found in 2016 that nearly a third of the world’s billionaires didn’t have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, numerous studies confirm that higher self-confidence and self-esteem predict a higher level of happiness According to clinical psychologist Barbara Markway, Ph.D., “Self-confidence is linked to almost every element involved in a happy and fulfilling life… including less fear and anxiety, greater motivation, more resilience, improved relationships, and a stronger send of the authentic self.”
Who wouldn’t want that for their child!? When you can have that kind of self-awareness, it is much easier to find your path.
The fifth and probably the best way to prepare your pregraduate is to invest in a mentor that can teach your teen relationship skills and develop the confidence to take on the world. Not only are you ensuring that your finances and efforts are put to use, but this is also an excellent opportunity to ease the pre-college jitters of you and your teenager. Being fully prepared for adulthood, no matter what path is chosen, is the best gift you could give, so neither of you has to look back and wonder, what happened there? Instead, take pride in your contribution to your baby’s successful future
There are countless options out there for you and your teen, contact me to start a discussion!
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.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.