In the last 30 years the greatest negative influence I have seen imposed on our beautiful young Teenagers is SHAME.
I know I have only just recently blogged on this subject but I believe it is the GREATEST STEALER of of our Teenagers' CONFIDENCE, IDENTITY AND DESTINY. It comes like a masked THIEF and robs, steals and destroys what is rightfully theirs.
Watch a 3 year old run around giggling, carefree with no inhibitions and not a care in the world, and compare them to the 15 year old, only 12 years later, who has no self esteem and who's self worth is so depleted that self harm, depression and withdrawal from life sits weightily upon them. This IS NOT OK!
What goes wrong?
We are not separating the training of their BEHAVIOUR from the CHARACTER of who they are as PEOPLE. The two are very separate things: BEHAVIOUR is about attitudes, conduct, actions and performance, whereas CHARACTER is about personality, strengths, style, spirit and nature.
Parents and schools in particular (yes I have witnessed it in many classrooms and assemblies) talk about the PERSON as being wrong rather than the BEHAVIOUR.
To AFFIRM is your Teenager is to say "I LOVE who you are but your behaviour is unacceptable".
To undermine them is to say "You are out of order".
I have heard so many stories of children being publicly humiliated in a classroom setting: "Look everyone how silly Johnny is." "Oh how irresponsible you are." "I wish you'd grow up."
All the above statements are directed at the PERSON rather than the BEHAVIOUR. Change our wording and we change the outcome of self worth.
We have no idea what are children are being exposed to each day. We don't understand how much the world is undermining their confidence in who they are - and this is all coming at such a vulnerable stage in their lives when they are trying to find their own unique IDENTITY. Added to that - when shame is carried it is silenced and so very rarely spoken of.
TOOL FOR THE DAY:
Rub a little Lavender or Wild Orange under the soles of your TEENAGER'S feet when they come home today, or gently massage a few drops on the back of their neck. The oils have terrific healing properties for stress and emotion, and the action of you taking time to gently tend to their needs is an action of LOVE that will go a long way...even if no appreciation is shown!