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How to Help Teens Navigate the Social Scene

By Sandy Schroeder

If you have one of the four million American teens getting ready for their freshman year, you know how exciting and demanding it can be. There are a million things to do, and almost as many concerns.

Helping them find their way could be easier with some words from a University of Texas professor, David Yeager, who makes the point that everything is subject to change. Today’s crushing disaster can turn into complete successes down the road. When teens absorb that message, they may feel less apprehensive, too.

Learning A Crucial Message

Yeager helped his freshman students absorb this message by completing an exercise that showed them how things can change. The students who completed the exercise were more confident and earned better grades, according to their own reports, diaries and cardio and hormone measurements.

By participating in the exercise, students essentially taught themselves the reassuring information that nothing is carved in stone. Today’s disaster really can be something entirely different down the road.

If your teen seems a little tense over the whole transition, you might spend some time just casually talking about the situation.

How You Can Help

Talking about experiences you have had heading into a new job, or moving to a new state, might help them see how things have a way of working out. You might also enlist other high school upperclassman in the neighborhood who will probably have their own stories of disasters becoming better endings, too.

If you think about it, you can probably recall challenging moments as a freshman in high school or college, or tackling that first fulltime job after school. I remember a few sleepless nights, and very tense interview moments, as I made my way through the system. Later, looking back, I realized I was totally stressed and could have benefitted from some reassurance. If someone had reminded me that things have a way of changing, it might have helped a lot.

I remember vividly dumping a cup of hot coffee the moment I sat down with my new boss in my first job. I was mortified, but he just chuckled and helped me mop up. Then we went on with our discussion, and it turned out to be one of the best jobs and best bosses I ever had.

Do whatever you can to help your teen learn how life has a way of flowing onward with all sorts of surprises. Grim moments can quickly recede when new successes occur. Understanding this could lower tension and make life a lot easier for everyone.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex.

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