Habits of Smart, Effective Teens (In Summer or Anytime) Part I

    Is there such as thing as an effective teen — even if they spend all their waking hours after school on their phone (if you as a parent/guardian let them)?

     Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens has many personal stories in it about Covey’s life and experiences that helped shape his decision-making. One of the books “habits” is to be proactive and make smart decisions. This something that does NOT happen overnight, and some teens would rather just follow with what their peers are doing (when it comes to drinking, driving, carousing, for example).

     Tell them to don’t be “reactive” then — doing things only in response to others, not acting on thier own  (like if they lose the school election, if you don’t let them use the family car, if they flunk a test).

     And what should they do about these negative things happening to them? Should they fly off the handle and pitch a fit and scream? Should they just “blame the world” and adults for anything that goes wrong?

     Teens (even adults, for that matter) need to be resilient, open to criticism, able to bounce back when a problem arises. If they are striving to one day be a responsible, effective adult, then these things are important and it’s important for parents/guardians to help them mature toward this.

     Parents can help a teen grow, like having them help around the house, buying their clothes based on an allowance they help earn. And help them make the right decisions by setting a good example (such as providing home cooked, healthy meals that contain many vitamins and minerals (unlike all that fat in fast food).

     Another “habit” Covey talks about is controling their destiny. Teens should be encouraged to plan for the future.  What are their career and personal goals and how do they plan to set them? For one, they should not be ruled by kids their own age. At some point, teens should actually ask themselves questions like: — What values will you choose? — Will you smoke, drink, do drugs (or not)? –How will you contribute to your community? — Will you prepare for college or a useful trade (welder, plumber, mechanic, dental assistant, hairdresser, etc.), or enter the world of business?

     Also, who will you date?– Will you join a gang (or not)? — What hobby or sport will you pursue?

     Some of these answers entail research, or just some plain ol’ common sense (like not wanting to do illegal drugs or what is in their parents’ medicine cabinet). Covey even feels it is better to have no friends than the wrong friends (which parents may or may not agree with, because teen years are hard without friends). Parents could introduce them to an older role model. Again, that may be difficult to achieve.

     Summertime may be a good time to even discuss a few ideas with your teen about this, though Covey’s book is geared toward teens reading it and thinking about it themselves.

     (GREAT AMERICAN IDEA) For more info on these topics (more to come in another blog) seek out Covey’s book at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/7-habits-of-highly-effective-teens-sean-covey/1100332369?ean=9781476764665

     (If you found this informative, give D. J. a digital cup of coffee at : https://ko-fi.com/dj50772  and see other pages to see her work and what she’s been up to!)


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