Understanding Teens

11032563_10206338672094849_1241745451_oI am a very lucky yoga teacher who has the opportunity to teach wonderful teenagers the lifestyle tools and benefits of yoga.
Casting your mind back to your teen years it is interesting to notice exactly the things that we needed to learn, be taught and realise about ourselves.
Through teaching and connecting with this magical age group it has enabled me to understand today’s teens and the thought processes of our next generation.
They don’t always need to talk
The years between 11 & 19 are the most challenging years we will experience in our lifetime. Changes in our physical body are huge and with those changes comes a whole load of other stuff. Much of it confusing and frustrating.
Because of these changes teens listen a lot– to everything ( see point 2) but may say very little. This can be due to not wanting to stand out, worried about their opinion or just that they want to be quiet.
A quiet teen is not an unhappy teen. As mothers, teachers we want to know EVERYTHING that is going on with them but remember this-they may not want to share it. Not because they are hiding anything but because they want some privacy, or are unsure how to put things into words- AND THAT IS OK!
They listen to everything
Choose words kindly. The anxieties of a teen are different to those of an adult so if they express a concern over their weight for instance a response of ‘don’t be silly, you are fine’ is not going to cut it.  These are genuine worries that they have, and at the end of the day, a worry is a worry, regardless of what someone else’s opinion may be.
Be mindful of everything you say, they will pick it up.  I grew up in a family obsessed with size & weight, consequently so am I and have had to spend energy and time to learn to accept everything that I am.
Pushing your opinions onto someone else is never acceptable, therefore be careful what you say.  Things can easily be misconstrued so always be honest, open and non judgmental of their worries, concerns and opinions.
Allow them Freedom
That inner struggle of too old to be a child and child like – too young to be adult and serious!!  Oh these are challenging times.  As teachers and parents we are here to guide.
Think of the barriers that run down the side of a bowling alley to prevent the bowling ball  from rolling into the gutter and missing all the pins.  Within the barriers the ball is free to roam and bounce as it likes eventually reaching the target.  Likewise we are there to prevent them from falling into the gulley at the side and miss their goals, but we create clear boundaries so they are safe and free to experience what they need to in order to grow and mature.