This past week, I watched Apple’s WWDC event. There is a formula for events that big to go well. While there isn’t so much a formula for helping students, there are some things we can apply to many different situations in order to form a process that can most often lead to the best results. Our steps have been formed over more than a decade of working with students (7 years as Teen Lifeline), and we keep working to make it better. We get calls fairly often from parents asking how they can get help for their teen. When we get those calls, there are some questions I like to work through that seem most helpful and help me know what information and resources I can offer to be most helpful. These questions are not necessarily in any particular order, but I do typically work through them as I have listed them below. You can decide where you want to start and end in your own situations.
Summer is upon us! Depending on your perspective, this can be the best/worst time of year for an adult in the life of a student. Over the next few weeks, you might see more joyous posts on Instagram from teachers with more trepidatious thoughts from parents. But for the student, this can also be the best/worst time as well. You see, for many students this time of year means freedom. They can sleep until noon (or 3), not be bothered with homework and other expectations, and generally just be free to do what they want. This freedom comes with an unburdening of sorts and a place to just “breathe”.
If you know a teenager who is in the foster care system or who is living with someone other than their parents, you need to listen to this episode! We were thrilled to sit down and listen to the advice and insight Shiloh Jones brings! How do you interact with a teenager who lives in foster care? How can I be helpful and encouraging in the midst of a difficult situation? Don’t panic about foster care – you can be a supportive, encouraging force in a teenager’s life!
When you hang out with teenagers every week who tend to push the boundaries and find themselves in trouble at school, you have learn some new vocabulary pretty quickly! This is the position I find myself in…often. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat in a group, dumbfounded and confused, while the entire room laughs at a word or phrase I don’t know. Teenagers can sometimes have a different language. They talk in lots of letters and seemingly innocent phrases can mean something else entirely!
So what can we do? How do we keep up? What do these words even mean?! If you spend any time with teenagers, you should find these principles helpful (and stick around for our term guide)!