Besties with the Bumps

The teenager years are a time to reframe our thinking on failure and struggle...

By Momentous Institute | Oct 24, 2016
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One thing we encourage parents and adults who work with teenagers to do is reframe their thinking on failure and struggle. Let’s be honest - no one likes dealing with the difficulties of teenager problems. It’s nobody’s idea of fun to work with a child after she’s made the poor decision to party too hard, or after a first breakup, or as she struggles to balance schoolwork and extra-curricular work. Teenagers certainly have unique challenges, and most of us would not choose to re-live those experiences.

But we encourage parents to pause and re-think their stance on these struggles. Instead of thinking, “How can I fix this problem?” we can think, “Thank goodness my child is going through this experience. What can she learn from this?” Because at some point, she’s going to need to learn to face heartbreak or disappointment or learn to balance her time or pressure from those around her. And she can learn that lesson now, as a teenager, in the safety of her family’s home, or later as an adult where she may not have the same support.

We call this making besties with the bumps. No, it doesn’t make it any more fun. But thinking, “Thank goodness this is happening while she’s living here with me” can dramatically change the approach to helping her make sense of her challenges and can build up her resilience for future challenges she’s sure to face in life.