“You can’t change people, but they can change themselves.” — Jim Rohn
Tuesday 8:35 a.m.
Is your teen’s irresponsible behavior leaving you feeling helpless? Do you spend all day at work to provide for your family, just to come home and find dirty dishes piled high in the sink? Do you feel like all you do is give and give and that it is never enough? Do you feel like you never have time for yourself or for your spouse?
Hi, I’m Henry Beyer and I’m a teen mentor and the founder and President of Boulder Teen Mentoring. What I am about to tell will be hard to believe, but if you give it a chance it may just change your life.
I believe you can solve your problems with your teen in less time than it takes to:
- Change your bed
- Have a cup of coffee
- Drink a beer
- De-clutter your car
- Water your plants
- Start a load of laundry
- Plan your day or week
All of the above activities take about fifteen minutes to do on average and you probably do at least one of them on a daily or weekly basis. I propose that if you spend 13 minutes of undivided attention once a day with your teenage child, then much, if not all, of your teen’s behavior problems will disappear.
Manage Energy Not Time
How do you typically spend time with your teen? Is it in the car to and from school or other activities? Is it in passing in the morning as you are trying to get yourself and the rest of the family out the door? Or is it only when something goes wrong?
How do you feel when relating to your teen? Are you distracted? Frustrated? Annoyed? Exhausted? At wits end?
Unless your undivided focus is on your teen at that moment any amount of time spent with him will be wasted.
So what’s the ANSWER?
According to Jim loehr and Tony Schwartz, the authors of the New York Times Bestseller The Power of Full Engagement, the issue isn’t time it’s energy:
“Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.”
13 Minutes of Energy Management
Just as succeeding at work, in an intimate relationship and pretty much anything else you do in life require physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy, so does connecting with your teen. “To perform at our best, we must skillfully manage each of these interconnected dimensions of energy.” (Loehr/Schwartz, p. 9) What this means is that when you walk into your house at the end of a long, hard day only to find dishes piled high in the kitchen sink and your teen playing video games or you are called away from work because your teen is being suspended form school, AGAIN, you must manage these four interconnected energies in order to perform at your best in such situations.
Unfortunately at the end of a long day when you are tired, no exhausted from a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do and have energy to do is have a “teachable moment” with your teen because there are dirty dishes in the sink. So instead, you do the only thing you are capable of at that time, YOU YELL!
So what’s the alternative?… Set aside 13 minutes a day to spend with your teen.
Doing this does a number of things. First, it establishes a routine, a ritual that you both can count on.
“The power of rituals is that they insure we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative, enriching ways.” (Loehr/Schwartz, p. 14)
Second, you are connecting for the purpose of connecting. The time spent together is not an emergency meeting to deal with a crisis, thus your energy is focused on your teen rather than on a problem. In fact conflicts and emergencies should be handled separately. The time spent together will unit you and your teen. It shows your teen that your relationship is important.
Third, you know when it is going to happen so you can prepare yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually if necessary. Plus the time is finite so you can remain fully engaged for the entire time. I recommend that you set a timer for exactly 13 minutes. If need be extend the time for an additional 2 minutes but no more.
So What’s Next?
There are only a couple of things you need to get started.
- First, all you need is 13 minutes–we all have 13 minutes!
- Second, decide with your teen when to meet. The same time everyday works best.
- Third, schedule it. Put it on the calender. Put it in your smart phone with an alarm.
- Fourth, get some type of timer and stick to 13 minutes.
- Fifth, meet for 13 minutes for five straight days. Do Not MISS A Day for the first five days.
- Sixth, that is it. All you have to do is take action and do it.
I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. VENT!!! If your not sure you want to contact me, BUT would like to get your frustrations, anger, worry, HELPLESSNESS off your chest send, me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or VENT!!! This is completely confidential and you will not receive an email from me other than an automatically generated email.
P.S.S. Be sure to leave a comment. Tell me what you think. Do you agree with me or do you think I am full of…?