One of the biggest problems that I see with both parents and teens is catastrophizing. What if I told you, NOTHING has gone wrong?!
Nothing Has Gone Wrong, Even When Your Team Loses!
The idea for this episode came to me while I was watching a bowl game with my wife.
Pitt and Michigan State were playing.
Pitt was winning most of the second half and it looked like they’d cruise on to victory pretty easily, but with less than 3 minutes left, everything changed.
Michigan State drove down and scored a touchdown, went for two, and went up by 3.
I’m sure Pitt fans were worried, but there was still plenty of time for them to drive down and score, . . .
. . . Until Pitt’s QB threw a pick-six and Michigan State went up by ten.
But, there was still enough time for a little hope, until . . .
Pitt failed to recover the kickoff, giving MS the ball with only seconds left.
The TV showed excited Michigan St. fans and devastated Pitt fans. Some even looked to be crying.
Then the TV showed a dad, a Pitt fan, and his son who looked rather devastated and disappointed.
Only, the dad looked at the son with compassion, and sorrow for his son’s disappointment, but with an understanding that nothing had gone wrong.
I don’t know what was going through the dad’s head, but he looked totally calm, cool, collected, maybe a little disappointed, but as if nothing had actually gone wrong. In fact, he’s just been able to enjoy a pretty awesome game with his son.
But that look that he gave his son was so powerful.
To me, his look said, “Son, I’m sorry you’re upset. I’m upset too. It’s hard to lose, but you’ll be okay. I promise, and I love you!”
Catastrophising Is Scary for Both You and Your Teen
Recently I was at the dentist getting some work done. I needed my mouth to be numb. Unfortunately, for some reason, my nerves are slightly different and that makes it difficult for dentists to get my mouth completely numb. On this specific occasion, my dentist, trying to get my mouth numb, directly hit the nerve, which really hurt. Instantly there was a patch of my face that turned white.
I couldn’t see my own face obviously, but the look of fear on his face had me worried. He then told said, “That’s bad!” and proceeded to tell me that he’d never actually seen this happen and we’d need to keep an eye on it.
I wasn’t scared until he was scared.
Sometimes as parents, we show up like my dentist and think, “Oh no. That’s bad.” Which causes us to feel fear which changes how we behave.
As herd animals, our teens are able to sense when you are scared, and that’s scary for them.
Ultimately, catastrophizing is scary for both of you.
Be Your Teen’s Tom Brady
One of the examples that I use when it comes to being positive and optimistic is Tom Brady. Before everyone called him the GOAT, people used to call him the Comeback Kid.
It’s because he had a knack for coming back and winning games on the last drive.
I want you to imagine how he must be in the huddle.
Confident, calm, and a crazy little grin on his face like he knows something that nobody else knows.
I’ve heard stories of him being calm, complimentary, and laser-focused in the huddle.
His way of BEing impacts everyone else in the huddle.
What if, when things “go wrong,” you could show up like Tom Brady in your teen’s huddle?
What would your calmness and confidence convey to your teen?
How would they start to feel?
Trust that Your Teen is the Winning Team!
Have you ever heard the saying, “Everyone wants to be on a winning team”?
You want to be on a winning team, your teen wants to be, everyone wants to be on the winning team.
Help your teen know that they are the winning team by you choosing to believe and trust in them, their capability, and their resilience.
Call to ACTION!
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