I don't think any of us - not a single one of us moms of teens - ever sets out to create a young adult with no or low resilience. However, the day we added the step of the rough draft to the mix of life, we learned that was exactly what we were doing.
Raising Resilient Teens
So, here is an interesting fact about me. When it comes to the whole process of project creation and editing all the drafts, I actually enjoy people tearing my papers and projects apart and then the process of recreating it even better. Happy. Place. However after seeing my kids reaction the first time we marked up their rough draft, I am betting that has not always been the case.
The first time my kids submitted rough drafts for correction there were tears and yelling about how "it was a great paper" and "just fine as it was" and "all we see is the mistakes!" Now, keep in mind they were around the age of 10 and we may have been a bit zealous in our editing abilities but...
LOL, we were just beside ourselves!
Apparently in all the encouragement and "your perfect just as you are" talks, we forgot to help them understand there is always room for improvement.
Thankfully over the years they have gotten use to expecting dad's red pen to find the mistakes and help make their paper and projects even better.
Why this matters.
- For one it helps them begin to understand that it is ok and not a bad thing when they aren't perfect. Talk about a burden reliever, right?!
- But secondly, it's a great step to help prepare our teens for adulthood by knowing how to handle constructive criticism in work and life.
Imagine if the first time your teen (then young adult) gets constructive criticism is from their boss?
The boss swings by and say "this is ok, but I need you to change xyz and then get rid of all these other things."
I don't know about yall but our teens would not have handled that well. There would have been tears, feelings of rejection and who knows if the project would have ever gotten done.
However, by training them to process and move forward with constructive criticism, they can respond with, "Ok, I will get right on it!" and have confidence with a given direction to finish the job.
I even think that by taking the time to help them see room for improvement in their projects and ideas, you are setting them up to be a good team player. I mean, who wants a team player who always thinks they are right and their ideas are perfect as is?! Not this gal. ;)
Do you see this struggle in your home as well?
If so, I would definitely recommend making room for the rough draft conversations in your family life to help beginning building their resilience muscles.
A great one we ask in our family is "what is one thing you could have done better today?"
Yep, you guessed it, at first our teens couldn't think of a thing, but as we continued asking that question (weekly) they have begun to mental note things that didn't go so well and how they could of done it better.
It's been good for us parents too.
It's good for our teens to see us share our imperfections and how we might handle the situation better next time. It's also helps us notice the present moment and not want to say what we could have done better but instead what we did do better.
Those are great moments, my friend.
If the struggle is real for y'all as well, I hope you consider adding this question to your family discussions too. Resilience, just like all the other life skills is gained over time by growing that muscle. So, stay the course and I think you will be happy with the outcome!
If you are looking for other life skills to help prepare your teen for adulthood, come join our group, Raising LIFE 101 PROs
On the journey with you,