Top THREE Tips for Teen Success

Show up messy!

Show up imperfect!

Just show up!

Woody Allen once said, “80% of Success is showing up.”

As kids, we showed up to school consistently and graduated.

As adolescents, we showed up each time we applied for jobs, eventually getting one in our field.

As parents, we showed up for every single tooth cutting through.

No matter how old our kids get, we keep showing up as parents even when they push us away, lost in their phones, their rooms and their social lives. We don’t always get it right because we have a condition! It’s called being human!


When you stuff up, do you own it or do you try to cover it up? Do you model what you’d love to see in your child one day when they’ve matured and become an adult?

As a counsellor and coach, I see a lot of teens and adults who are ‘products’ of parents that tried to protect them from the world. They did this by not discussing the ‘negative emotions’, the hard days and the challenges that bring you to your knees because we should all focus on the positive. Conflict – OMG do not show the children that we sometimes disagree and stand up for our beliefs! These children learn that acceptance is conditional. I have to display the ‘positive emotions’, talk about happy things, paint happy pictures with bright colours, write stories about unicorns and castles and go along with what other people say because conflict is to be avoided especially with adults/people in power otherwise I’ll be labelled as rude, be punished and made to feel less because I’m going through a psychosocial developmental phase of developing my own identity ready for when I leave the nest.

I’m not saying we discuss marital problems or the restructuring at work that may lead to retrenchment. It does need to be age appropriate and relationship appropriate. What I am saying is that when we have someone at work that treats us/others poorly and we discuss it over dinner, they can learn about how to handle bullies, to speak up for themselves & clever ways of dealing with the bully. We’ve all had the self-centred friend that thinks the world resolves around them. When we discuss how we need to move some people from our close friends circle to the friends circle or the outer acquaintances/shared interest circle or perhaps end the relationship, we teach our children a method for sorting people into appropriate categories which then determines what we share & confide, how we determine who we trust with what!

In this way we show up with examples of what goes on the real world and how we deal with it. We model epic flops in our attempts to deal with things so they learn even adults make mistakes. We dust off and we show up again! We make mistakes okay, a natural part of life. We recognise that a FAIL, (First Attempt in Learning), is merely a sign that we need more practice. We don’t expect to be Tiger Woods the first time we hit a golf course, or Michael Jordan nailing the very first shot… but somehow we expect it in the more difficult human relationships with all the intricacies woven into the complex tapestry of human relationships!

OUTSTANDING PARENTS EMBRACE THEIR IMPERFECTIONS using them as opportunities to teach our kids that:

  • we all make mistakes
  • we all do things we regret
  • we all make poor choices
  • we all have STRONG emotions – that are neither good nor bad. Some are just lighter and easier than others. They are merely indicators, like warning lights in a car, that something has changed.

After unashamedly sharing our perfect imperfections, the things that unite us as humans, regardless of our age, we have an opportunity to SHINE:

  • to show up and clear the air
  • to explain why it was wrong and how we wished we’d shown up
  • to apologise and ask for forgiveness

In this way, we teach them that they too have ‘the human condition’ and when they FAIL (i.e. had the first or tenth attempt in learning),

  • we will continue to show up for them
  • we will continue to love them and
  • we will continue to support them.

Wouldn’t the world be beautiful if we all knew that no matter how many times we failed, as long as we attempted to fix it, we’d continue to be loved, valued and supported because we belong!

Julia Williams

Partnering with Parents to raise happy, confident, resilient t(w)eens

Graduate Diploma in Counselling,

Trauma Informed Life Coach

Diplomas in Early Childhood and Primary Education, Bachelor in Education

Current Blue Card

Phone: 04500 001 486

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close