Many of the teens with whom I work individually in private practice have a diagnosis, such as Auditory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or their grades are slipping due to the trials of adolescence. Most of these teens have a high IQ and many of them walk into my office expressing low self-confidence and the statement, “I’m stupid” is common. While strategies and techniques are employed to improve teens’ grades, the real power lies in improving their self-confidence by facilitating their connection with their awareness, which has been minimized by trying to “fit-in” and do things the “right” way.
The outstanding teens I see in my office are frequently judged as different and don’t seem to “fit-in” with the “norm.” In my perspective, they are different because they are sensitively aware of the energy of other people and their environment. Additionally, their awareness of what is true for them is cut off in order to fit-in with the expectations of parents, peers, and teachers and they believe some of the judgments thrown upon them because that is how this society seems to work. If you don’t “fit-in,” something is wrong with you. A weird twist, teens cut off their awareness to accept the limited perspective, aka, the judgment. For example, if a teen is challenged in Alegebra as reflected by “poor” grades on assignments, she may judge herself as “stupid in Algebra.” In fact, the significance placed on grades add to the teen’s pressure to meet parent, teacher, and college admissions expectations. Yet, when connections are made that Algebra is simply one method to expand on critical thinking skills and emphasing other areas where the teen demonstrates “academically acceptable” critical thinking skills, she often has an “A-ha!” moment. She relaxes into her awareness that there is nothing “wrong” with her and the judgment, “I’m stupid in Algebra” seems to vanish. As a result, the teen has greater access to her creativity and often has greater ease with problem-solving in Algebra and then, there is another “Aha!” moment. Given tools and enough of these experiences, teens’ grades not only improve; their self-confidence soars!
While all of the teens who have stepped foot into my office have been an inspiration and joy to me, there is one 14-year-old who has shown me the extraordinary gift of her awareness and her different. Academically, her grades had plummeted and of course, her self-esteem was at a critically low point. She didn’t fit-in socially. She was often verbally bullied as well. Yet, when listening to her expressions, her awareness was phenomenal. Together, we made connections so that she experienced the “Aha!” moments of being aware of what was true for her. Over time, she no longer bought the judgments and conclusions as truths of her. She felt empowered by her gifts, her creativity, her love for others and no longer played the role of victim. From my experiences with her, the first BE You tiful tee-shirt was created. So much more to come with the online store, Questionable Teeze and my vision for teens!