In Times of Fear and Sadness, Don’t Rush to Silver Linings
Can we take a moment to talk about teenagers and silver linings.
Times are tough right now and if the conversations I’ve been having with teenagers and young adults on zoom are anything to go by, they are feeling this world ‘situation’ big time. I thought I would share some of the truths teens and young adults are speaking out loud as they imagine months of staying at home doing life in a way that they/ we have never experienced before.
When I hear their words, I meet teens where they’re at, right there with them in the mud. Big time acknowledgement of their thoughts and worries, and we stay there for as long as we need to, because rushing young people to dig for silver linings (when they’re not ready to) is a recipe for ROC disaster.
Giving teens permission to plummet, sit with their truths and build their emotional vocabulary is priceless in terms of their mental and emotional awareness and inner strength now and in their future. ROC and RISE book shares 6 ROC SWITCHES which can gently guide teens towards silver linings, when the time is right.
1. Doubts for dreams
2. Anger for action
3. Worries for wishes
4. Fears for freedom
5. Failure for finding out
6. Stress for soothe
….These only come out to play in coaching conversations when teens are ready. They too need to sulk, feel sorry for themselves, their friends, family and the world. They need to feel flat and sad, worried and stressed in their own way and in their own time.
As the leading adults in their lives, we can gift them the safety net to plummet and in doing so we’re actually helping them build critical habits of resilience – handling the low and knowing when it’s time to start moving back up above-the-line. A slow and steady pace is gold in each and every very personal ROC ride.
A few teen truths…..
I won’t see my friends at all
I’ll miss my math teacher, I finally got one who gets me.
I won’t go to pub or club for months, I just turned 18
My life is sport, now I have zero
My Dad lost his job
My Mum lost her job
What about the homeless people
I’ve waited for 6 years for Head of the River
My last year in high school and it’s sh*t
My parents had to shut their shop
I won’t have sex for months
I miss my Nan and Pop
I always saw my baby cousins on Sundays
I was so ready to travel this year
I’m hopeless at online learning
I’m single and now I won’t be meeting anyone for months
I just got a job, it was so good to be earning my own money.
Finally got my licence and I can’t go anywhere.
I miss my girlfriend/ boyfriend
I was lonely before this, now it’s going to be totally sh*t
I’m stuck at home with my parents 24/7. It won’t be good.
I’m not in many chat groups so how will I go without people to talk to
I was just starting to make friends in high school
I’ve been a boarder for 5 years, now I’m back at home
I hate this, all of this
I feel trapped in my house and I share a room with my sister
I miss visiting my grandma
And we can’t have house parties, they were good and fun
I have no siblings so I’m mostly on my own
My parents are divorced, so my family aren’t all together in isolation
My mum has mental health issues so this is extra tough
Mum and Dad are talking about money heaps and I worry about them
Look on the bright side
It could be worse
Think of the positives
It’s not all doom and gloom
……these comments can cause teens to tame their truths and become robots… saying the right things to please everyone, rather than the real things to build their own resilience, optimism and confidence.
Sitting in the mud takes bravery, but our teens need us to sit in the mud with them. So get your trusty work mud gear on and sit in the dirt for as long as it takes. Your teens will thank you, one day, I promise ♥️xx
Thank you sharing.. it could be exactly what a family needs to read right now 🙏
This idea is shared with teens in Claire’s book ROC and RISE. Endorsed by Maggie Dent and loved by teenagers and their families worldwide.
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