A Note From the L.A. Teen Therapist
The holidays are an opportunity to invite the teenagers in your life to reflect on who they are, and what they value. – Sandra
With the gathering of friends and family to celebrate the closing of one year, and the start of a new one, the question that readily comes to mind to ask is “What are you grateful for?”
Inviting this type of discussion is about more than just instilling your values in the teen. It is about opening up your teen’s mind to the possibility that discussions like these enhance their experience of life; with gratitude being a habit that allows the sweetness of life to be savored, over and over again.
Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations allow teens to participate in family traditions, as well as observe the interactions of multi-generations. This is a wonderful time for teens to interview the oldest members of their family and learn about their early history, perhaps even hearing stories that would be lost forever if not passed down to this generation.
Sometimes, teens may feel awkward around relatives they see infrequently. It can be helpful to initiate fun activities like badminton, soccer, Apples to Apples, the Ungame, Life Stories, or Jenga. Another option is to set up a video camera and let teens direct an interview of the family members. This could be a fun new tradition–with the goal being the preservation of precious memories of their loved ones through the years.
With the changing of the calendar year comes the opportunity for teens to visualize the coming year in the way they wish to see it unfold. Would they like to be more focused at school, eat healthier, make new friends, try out for a new sport, learn to drive, earn more privileges, or even get a job? Invite your teen to dream about “what could be”… and then help them create a roadmap to follow.
In closing, I invite you to consider how you might participate in the holidays this year in a way that role-models to your teen how to fully engage in the spirit of the season.
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