Ms Ritu Verma lays stress upon a parent’s role in the Family System to help teenagers learn lifelong healthy behaviours. In doing so she proposes to develop new habits as the “family’s way of life.” In a lighter tone she suggests parents to RAP dance with their teens i.e. to be a Role model: to do what you want them to learn, Attune with them: recognize moods and emotions and adapt own response in accordance and finally Practice: Repeat as often as possible.
Saying Thank you and Practicing Gratitude
“ Stacey is a 14-year-old. In social situations, she feels anxious; her body tenses and she finds herself reaching for her phone in order to relax. However, through the simple practice of saying thank you and performing gratitude, Stacey was able to slowly ease her anxiety and felt that being with people, in reality, wasn’t that hard.”
Like a chain reaction, teen problems are all connected to one another. When faced with self-esteem, peer -pressure at school, body image issues, teens can become distressed, frustrated and even result in self-harm. In order to relieve the stress, teens resort to drinking and smoking. So what can help them to go through these times? Managing their emotions.
Saying thank you and feeling grateful helps us to have positive emotions, feel good about ourselves, and can lead to good quality relationships. In all my therapeutic sessions, I guide clients to learn ways they can feel gratitude.
Client testimonies: “ I feel more together, grounded and at the moment”.“ There is a feeling of calm”.
It’s a science that feeling gratitude and compassion enhances mind-body connection leading to an immense increase in self-awareness.
What can Parents do?
Celebrate moments with them
Finished a term, achieved a level of proficiency in French, accomplished learning a new music piece, or simply having a good week – these are all small and simple moments to celebrate with a movie, pizza-nite or ice cream treat to ignite self-confidence and joy within your children.
Show appreciation to small things around you
“ What a lovely day, we are blessed to have it.” “ These flowers smell so good.” “What a delightful colorful vase!” Pronouncing your in-moment appreciation and sharing emotions are great seeds for compassion.
Keep a family board
Once a week or during weekends keep a board in the living room where everyone can write what they felt “thankful for today”.
Make it a family rule to say thank you
After occasions like festivals, dinner-tea parties, send thank you cards signed by everyone in the family. Remember that our own feelings of gratitude can rub on our teens.
Donate, do Community work, Talk at the dinner table
For compassion- a small donation to community causes, doing family community work a few times a year, discussing acts of kindness by others at a dinner table, talking about disadvantaged people in the world, seeing movies/tv series/documentaries with them that underscore helping others.
Books recommended for you and your teens:
2. Words of Gratitude for Mind, Body, and Soul by Robert Emmons and Joanna Hill
3. Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons