…We can do much better.I hear that teen anxiety rates have doubled. Or are we just identifying it better? Either way as a society who would rather pay for guns than education who are we kidding? Bullet proof backpacks? Teens are taking matters into their own hands. If they vote, the Millenials can change the world. IF. The expression “ok boomer” should catch on like a match to a flame.
We need a kick in the ass, us boomers. We talk the talk but we don’t walk the walk. So here are 5 ways our teens can learn to manage and thrive in our ever crippling environment of fear.
1. Equanimity is a term taken from buddhism that means putting your mind in a neutral balance and simply observing what is. I often tell kids instead of escaping with vaping they should be reading, learning and making mistakes. The longer you avoid stuff in your young adult life the harder it will be to catch up later. That’s why I love this TED Talk about setting up your 20s for success. Tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you don’t care for calculus. Get your head in the game. Our kids are so coddled they forget how to experience discomfort. Going out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow up! Find out who and what you don’t like so that when the right mix comes around you can recognize it!
2, 3. Communication and Talking. If your parents are pressuring you tell them you need some space. Then get it done. I know it’s dark and cold where we live but what else do you have to do. Doesn’t it feel good to expand your mind naturally? I love learning. I remind college kids to realign with their intention, just like my yoga teacher says. Put your mind and body in sync so you can focus. Meditate and stretch and slow down and make decisions. Break it down and learn at your own pace. Go to academic support or office hours or counseling. Meditate. Your major doesn’t matter. Taking care of yourself matters.
4. Compassion is when you think first about others. Is when you serve others. Show up for others. Unlike our current leaders we need gun control NOW, healthcare for ALL, and college DEBT FORGIVENESS. How can the next generation support the economy if they have no money? Young boys have to learn over and over the definition of CONSENT. Young girls have to take back their power by bearing witness and coming forward like so many courageous ones have done before.
5. Resilience. Pick yourself up and keep at it. Imagine a world where you never failed. Now imagine all the times you did screw up. Didn’t you learn so many new things? How to deal with bureaucracy, how to pay a parking ticket, change a tire, pick the right mate, organize a party or write a paper. If you can’t fix a problem or conflict or deadline how will you manage at work one day? I have been doing therapy for a group of kids who got in trouble at their local prep school. I feel for them. But where is the prevention program at their school. The tenet of community psychology is primary prevention. These programs are way more effective than the aftermath of a scandal.
Why don’t we try a national day of healing and turn our attention to the countries whose people are happy. See Michael Moore’s Sicko for where we can get policies that improve our quality of life.
It’s not rocket science.
When people care more about each other than they do about money, the world becomes an easier place to just be a kid.