Ep 12 A Simpler Way For Your Teenage Daughter To Be Happier

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A Simpler Way For Your Teenage Daughter To Be Happier | Ep 12

Show Notes

Hey Parents,

Can one magical moment in time make your daughter happier?

I believe it can!

Welcome back to Episode #12

Where we’re going to get a little personal for the sake of guiding your daughter around the proverbial dark hole – a life lesson that wasn’t exactly graceful for me.

I’m going to begin by asking you kind of fiery question – and you’ll understand why once we get this conversation going.

Is possible that your teenage daughter is too stubborn to change?

Well, I certainly was.

And blurring the lines between loyalty and certainty didn’t help me, either.

Because here’s the thing about growing up – sometimes we get stuck in our own thinking.

We believe …I’m this or I’m that OR I’m good at this and terrible at that.

In my case, my stubborn pride kept me thinking … I’m a loyal person.

And loyal people stay in relationships and make them work.

But, as you probably know, life and relationships don’t really work that way.

And when things didn’t exactly go well, I did what so many teenagers do.

I spent countless hours hoping, wishing, and thinking “if only” the circumstances were different, then I’d be happy.

And “if only” this person would just see things my way, our relationship will work out.

Well, it’s probably not surprising to hear this relationship was a complete roller coaster.

Until one day, when my magical moment came along.

Thankfully, one of my greatest mentors, my mom, shared a short story with me.

It was Portia Nelson’s Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.

I may have been more annoyed than grateful, but this little book was the catalyst that nudged me to:

  • Take responsibility for the choices I’d been making in my relationship
  • And acknowledge it was time to change – change MY behavior.

So, if your teenage daughter is:

  • Ignoring or short cutting her needs
  • Constantly making excuses to justify some of her choices
  • Or lingering in a relationship where she feels disrespected and undervalued

You’ll want to read this together …

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost … I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I fall in … it’s a habit.

My eyes open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

The End.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Honestly, looking back, I’m not sure how many times I walked right into the deep hole before I finally decided to go around, and eventually, chose a completely different path.

What I can tell you – is that once I realized,

Even though being loyal is a lovely trait, my stubborn beliefs skewed the big picture.

What I was really needing was

  • a sense of certainty that things would work out
  • And that amazing feeling that comes from true love and connection

So now, I ask you … what would you do?

Is your daughter open to looking at habits that may be keeping her from what she truly wants and needs?

If she’s ready, here’s some intel on what helps my clients create positive change:

First, Worry on Paper

Your mind is designed to be busy, so give it something productive to think about.

Simply put, anxiety is a perceived fear.

And fear is something that’s happening in real time.

It can be hard to tell the difference in the moment.

So, write down what’s on your mind.

Make two columns:

On the left, list the facts.

These are the things you can prove to be true.

And, on the right, identify any assumptions you might be making or any “what if’s” you might be stuck in.

And, as Mark Twain reminds us, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Second, Enlist Your Future Self

Summon your creativity, indulge in your greatness and write down what you’re going to do to build the life you deserve.

Design your best day by completing this sentence:

When I get up in the morning, I’m going to ____________________________________________________.

Now, describe your best self by identifying 3 non-negotiable habits:

Every day I’m going to ___________________________________because they feel good and motivate me.

Lastly, choose ahead of time how you’ll move the needle when old patterns come up:

If I notice myself in default mode or on autopilot, I’m going to ___________ in order to disrupt the old thoughts and create new, productive ones.

Grab a Buddy

I’ve probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, go ahead and grab a buddy.

We all know that making a commitment to create positive change isn’t an easy endeavor.

So, if your daughter thinks she’ll be more productive with a buddy – go ahead and enlist a safe, trustworthy friend and answer these questions together.

It’ll be helpful to have someone who’ll walk alongside you and nudge you when you doubt yourself or if you get a little weary.

You’re only human after all.

And we’re certainly stronger when we support each other.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

I’m excited to connect with you all again next Tuesday.

Podcast Resources:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson

Cultivating Resilient Teens Podcast