Last saturday, with my good friend Lesley Beattie, I attended the Esther Hicks Vortex of Attraction workshop held at The Indigo O2 in Greenwich in London. During the workshop there was a suggestion made that parents could help their children most if they stopped teaching them to prepare for the future and started helping them to focus on the now.
I smiled as I immediately thought of young children at play. Take a moment and picture your children when they were young. They always seem to run instead of walk, they could be cutely intense when they were focusing on something new or carefree and laughing as they played with their friends. They were excited about each day and just wanted to have fun. Such lovely memories.
Now think of your teenagers. They are struggling with hormones, school, chores, the opposite sex, parental expectations, trying to work out who they are and trying to decide what they want to do with their lives. This is a much more serious picture!
I can remember when I was 16 and went to the careers advisor. I was good at maths so I thought the world was my oyster. I couldn’t wait to hear what wonderful and exciting opportunities lay ahead for me. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to be told I could only be an accountant or a teacher!
As it turned out 4 years later I had developed a real passion for teaching. I first taught Mathematics, then Horse Riding at my Riding School and now as I help parents and teenagers live peacefully together I guess my work could still be described as a form of teaching. I love teaching, for me there is nothing more fulfilling than sharing information and advice that helps change lives. It is an amazing job, an honour to do but a calling I did not feel until I was 20 years old.
Now if I have learned one thing as a teacher it is that teenagers learn the most when they are enjoying themselves and the least when they are under a great deal of stress and pressure.
I wonder therefore, may be it would be better to stop adding pressure on our teenagers by associating a happy life only with successful exam results and instead encouraging them to be the best that they can be every day so they can feel good about themselves and become confident. If we can do that then hopefully this post, that I read on facebook, whilst amusing to read, will no longer be true…
“My work prospects were so much better when I was 5” !!!