Parenting teens is such a difficult challenge these days. In my first article I wrote about the benefits of Postive Journaling. In this article I thought it might be helpful to talk about how to make the “problem” a positive experience.
Quite honestly, its very easy to focus on the problem especially when the problem feels overwhelming or difficult to solve. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in thinking and asking the question “How is this problem improving my life”? Oftentimes, just being human, we tend to “awful-ize” and “catastrophize” the current problem or dilemma. For example, its easy to think, “why is this happening to me?”.
Unfortunately, if you take that track, you will likely go to the negative part of your brain, and the answer will generally sound something like this, “because I cant ever get a fair shake” or “people are just difficult”.
In doing this, (asking yourself negative questions), you draw from the negative part of your thinking, and the answer will undoubtedly be negative. If you ask yourself positive questions, you will be more inclined to pull from a postive source, and chances are, the answer will be more positive.
Its easy to fall into negative thinking and look at the problem negatively. But! the good news is, there’s always something good that can come out of a problem. Here are a few examples:
** I am learning to handle my challenges better.
** I am learning more about myself in this process.
** I am learning how to spot red flags and warning signs.
** I am learning what I am made of.
** I am learning necessary living skills as I tackle this challenge that I find so difficult.
So, as a parent, your abililty to learn this skill can then be transferred to your teen. As a parent, when your teen comes to you with a problem….and they undoubtedly will…you can ask them the simple question. “How is this problem making your life better?” They then will begin focusing on the positive, not the negative.
“Focus on the solution and the solution gets bigger. Focus on the problem and the problem gets bigger.” Said another way…”Focus on the problem and the solution gets smaller. Focus on the solution and the problem gets smaller”.
“Building OpTeen-ism in Your Teen”