Utilizing Resources To Empower Your Teenager And College Student | Natalie Borrell and Alison Grant | Episode 48
As our kids grow up, they’ll need to handle more situations, meet more challenges, and achieve more goals. This means they need to learn how to find and access the resources available to them. But how do they learn this skill? What is available? Mighty Parenting podcast hosts, Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler, talk to education experts Natalie Borrell and Alison Grant about how to empower your teenager by teaching them how to recognize the resources around them. Since one of the most under-utilized resources in teens’ lives is adults, they also dig into the true meaning of networking and share a simple method for teaching our teens to reach out and build relationships.
Questions to raise when our child doesn’t get the positive response they hoped for from a conversation: What do we need to do differently? How do we approach this again? Do we let the issue die?
High Points of the Discussion About Utilizing Resources to Empower Your Teenager or College Student:
Many of our teens have a hard time advocating for themselves, or even knowing what they need help with. They are missing the skills, confidence, and tools to be able to get what they need. They will do a surface level search, take one step, and get stuck. They don’t understand how to pull back the layers and that there are more options.
When shown there are more options, kids are relieved and excited.
Teaching these skills is the same process for kids with learning challenges or neurodiversity but we need to add in some additional steps for them.
Parents shouldn’t just make the lists or find the resources for our kids. We need to meet them where they are and support them in building the skill set of seeking out resources. If they can do it alone, let them do it and bring it back. If they can’t do it alone yet, you can do some with them, let them do one partially by themselves, then let them do a little more and a little more. This lets them build the confidence that they can do this on their own.
Parents may not have a relationship where this works well. You can get another adult they respect to have this conversation with them. It can be perceived differently and not be perceived as nagging when it doesn’t come from mom or dad.
Whenever your teen comes to you saying, “I’m stuck” or you see they are stuck, it’s time to have a conversation about finding resources. What’s something you want to work on? What part of your life do you want to work on?
People in your kid’s life are great resources. We have to help our kids see that people are multi-faceted. Aunt Jane is more than your aunt; she may have a job, she may be a baker, etc. There may be a connection to something they want to learn about.
It’s important to say thank you before you say please—show gratitude and respect. Think about how you can contribute to other people’s lives, build your relationships. Smile at them, have a positive conversation, do a favor, make an effort, any way that you can make a positive social or emotional contribution.
Some teens are very anxious talking to adults—some can barely make eye contact. The first step is to figure out their comfort level then help them take baby steps. You can help them role play, use email, etc. You want them to work their way up to having a confident, face-to-face conversation.
When you are out in the world with your child, let them ask the questions, fill out the forms, and have the conversations with the adults they interact with in the world. Ie. Making hair cut appointments, talk to the receptionist, talk to the doctor or dentist, talk to the clerk, librarian, etc.
Questions to raise when they don’t get the positive response they were hoped for from a conversation: What do we need to do differently? How do we approach this again? Do we let the issue die?
Natalie has 11 years of experience working as a school psychologist in a public high school. Her areas of expertise include working with students who have ADHD, executive functioning weaknesses, and other learning differences. She coached high school and competitive cheerleading for 8 years and this is where she realized that she had a gift for connecting with teenagers and motivating them to be the best version of themselves. Natalie earned her Academic Life Coach certificate in 2015 and founded Life Success For Teens in 2016.
Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 2004, her masters degree in school psychology in 2006 from Michigan State University, and her Educational Specialist Degree in 2007 from Kent State University.
When she is not coaching students, Natalie can be found traveling with her family, reading cookbooks, or binge watching episodes of Friends. One of her favorite part of coaching is getting a text or email from her former students.
Alison Grant Bio
Alison joins the LSFT team with 15 years as a Family Consumer Science teacher at Willoughby South High School. As a teacher, Alison has advised groups including Student Council, Teen Institute and Class Officers. In recent years, she has been part of a initiative to develop a mentoring program that assists freshmen in the transition from middle school to high school. Alison has coached dance, cheer and tennis and in 2011 was named Adele Knight Teacher of the Year. Alison earned her Academic Life Coach certificate in 2017 which allowed her to help students realized they can be successful inside and outside the classroom. Her favorite part of coaching is watching a student have a moment when everything clicks and their hard work has paid off!
Alison earned her bachelor’s degree in vocational education from Kent State University in 2003 and her master’s degree in educational administration from Ursuline College as well as a masters in school counseling from John Carroll University.
Alison lives in Willoughby with her husband and two daughters Maggie and Gwyneth. When she is not spending time with her family, Alison enjoys crafting and taking snapshots of her family’s adventures!
Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler are entrepreneurs who help people live better lives. After creating DASIUM they realized they could help parents avoid the challenges and pain they experienced. Mighty Parenting is what families need to get real, relevant information about raising teens and parenting young adults in today's world.
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