Changes are apparent in kids every summer at SuperCamp academic summer camps where counselors teach learning and life skills that help them know themselves, like themselves, and learn better. During our more than 25 years of running these summer programs we have learned lots and lots about teens and their problems—and how adults can help them through those sometimes rough years. Here are some of the most important and easily utilized things we've found . . . 1.
A great communication tool for building relationships with teens is, Tell me more. If you get one of those dead-end responses to a question like How was your day, try Tell me more. 2. When teens have been hurt by something someone said or did to them, try asking them How do you feel? Tell them that how we feel and think about ourselves is a CHOICE. We can't control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it.
Then ask How do you CHOOSE to feel? 3. To help teens build self-esteem, acknowledge every effort. When your teens make an effort and complete something, stop for the high-five before urging them on to the next task. 4.
When you see FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real) in your teens, acknowledge it and show that you understand. Then ask What's the worst that could happen? and What's the best? 5. Excelling in school starts with an I CAN attitude.
A fast way to I CAN and I WILL is when students discover how they learn best and apply the appropriate strategies for their learning style to their school work. People learn differently—some of us are better visual learners, some are auditory, and some are kinesthetic learners. How do you learn best? 6.
Physiology affects learning. Our mind, body, and emotions are all connected—change one, you change them all. Remind your teens to walk tall into every class (even the most dreaded), sit tall at their desks, and look and listen. Soon they will be able to remind themselves with Adjust your physiology! 7.
If your teens are struggling with low motivation, help them find their passions—and the accompanying motivation—by asking them, What would you do—today, tomorrow, or in the future—if you knew you couldn't fail? 8. If your teens are hitting the inevitable "bumps" on their road to success, remind them that Failure Leads to Success! with the suggestion, forgive yourself, learn from your "failure," recommit, and keep moving toward your goal! 9. Help your teens to understand that they need to take ownership of their dreams—no blaming, no excuses, no justifying, no giving up.
If it's to be, it's up to me! 10. Remind your teens that Speak with Good Purpose applies to what they say to themselves as well as what they say to others. They can use this to correct those voices in their heads that tell them negative things about themselves.
SuperCamp summer programs fill up fast. Go to http://www.SuperCamp.com now to learn about enrolling your son or daughter while spaces remain. Age-specific programs are available for students in grades 4-12 and incoming college freshmen. At the website, you also can get a free eBook that gives you an inside look at what works with teens from a world leader in youth achievement, SuperCamp co-founder Bobbi DePorter.