What to Expect After One Year of Mentoring a Young Adult with ADHD

As a parent of a young adult with ADHD, it’s natural to want to help your child overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. Working with a qualified mentor can make a real difference in your child’s life. Here’s what you can expect after one year of mentoring based on our work at MentoringYoungAdults.com:

  1. Improved Focus

One of the biggest challenges for young adults with ADHD is maintaining focus on tasks and goals. After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have improved their focus and attention span. A mentor can work with your child to develop personalized strategies for improving their focus and help them stay on track with their goals.

  1. Better Time Management

Young adults with ADHD often struggle with time management and organization. After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have developed better time management skills. Our mentors help your child create a structured routine and break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help your child manage their time more effectively and reduce their stress levels.

  1. Increased Self-Confidence

Young adults with ADHD often struggle with low self-esteem and negative self-speak. After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have increased self-confidence and a more positive outlook on their future. Our mentors are trained to provide your child with positive feedback and support, as well as working on transforming negative self-speak into positive self-speak, helping them build their self-esteem and celebrate their achievements.

  1. Improved Communication Skills

Effective communication is essential for success in both personal and professional life. After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have improved their communication skills. Our mentors help your child develop effective communication strategies and build their confidence in social situations.

  1. Progress Toward Goals

After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have made progress toward all of their goals. Our mentors will help your child set realistic and achievable goals and provide them with the support and strategies needed to reach those goals. Celebrate your child’s progress and encourage them to keep moving forward.

Working with our mentors can make a significant difference in your child’s life. After one year of mentoring, you can expect your child to have improved their focus, time management, communication skills, and self-confidence, as well as made progress toward their life goals. Remember to be patient and understanding with your child, and consider working with our mentoring program. With the right strategies and support, your child can overcome their ADHD challenges and achieve their full potential.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

Rising Above ADHD Challenges: The Power of Parent-Mentor-Child Teamwork

Being a young adult with ADHD can be a challenging experience. However, with the right tools and support, you can help your child improve their focus and achieve their goals. One of the most effective ways to do this is by working as a team with a mentor and your child.

Mastering ADHD is all about developing specific skills and strategies that can help your child overcome their challenges. By working with a mentor, your child can learn how to better manage their symptoms and develop strategies for success.

The first step in this process is to find a qualified mentor who has experience working with children with ADHD. At World Wide Youth Mentoring, this is one of our specialties. It’s essential to find someone who your child can trust and build a strong rapport with. Our mentors provide your child with a safe and supportive online environment where they can explore their strengths and challenges.

Once you’ve begun our mentoring program, it’s time to start working as a team with your child. This involves sharing issues with your child’s mentor through emails. Allowing you child and mentor to set clear goals and expectations for themselves, and communicate regularly with you through emails and “Parent Time”. You can help your child by providing your mentor your observations of the effects the mentoring is having at home.

One of the most effective strategies for helping children with ADHD is to establish a routine. That is what your mentor will do guided by your child’s input on a way that works for them. This will be challenging and there will be many false starts. By keeping the lines of communication open with your mentor, you will help the mentee/mentor team know what works based on your observations.

Remember Pavlov! In some ways, all the false starts in the past may make our mentee’s parents respond to any of the “old routines” as a panic-inducing fear that this will not work. If we have our mentee doing 30 minutes of a routine, followed by a break and then another 5 minutes of a routine, we have built the framework for success. It will take a while. However, that success may still look to the parent as nothing has changed when seeing the 15 hours a day of video gaming continuing. (It used to be 16 hours 🙂

Communication with your mentor and asking what they are working on and how it is progressing can keep the Pavlovian pooch at bay.

Raising a child with ADHD can be a challenging experience. However, by working as a team with a mentor and your child, you can help your child develop the skills and strategies they need to succeed. By working as a team with your mentor through emails and Parent Time, you can help your child overcome their challenges and achieve their full potential. With consistent support and encouragement, your child will thrive and succeed in all areas of their life.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

5 Steps to Encourage a Young Adult with ADHD to Try Mentoring for Improved Focus and Goal Achievement”

As a parent of a young adult with ADHD, you know how challenging it can be for them to stay focused and achieve their goals. You may have tried various strategies to help them manage their symptoms, but have you considered the possibility of working with a mentor? Mentors can provide guidance, support, and accountability for your child, helping them to navigate the unique challenges of ADHD.

Here are some steps you can take to encourage your child to consider working with a mentor for their ADHD issues:

  1. Start the conversation: It’s important to approach the topic of mentoring in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Let your child know that you are there to support them and want to help them find the resources they need to succeed. Share the article from MentoringYoungAdults.com with them and encourage them to read it.
  2. Explain the benefits of mentoring: Share with your child how a mentor can help them develop coping strategies, build self-esteem, and achieve their goals. Our mentors provide support and guidance in areas such as time management, organization, and communication skills.
  3. Find the right mentor: It is important to find a mentor who is a good fit for their needs and personality. Our mentors have experience working with young adults with ADHD.
  4. Encourage your child to take the lead: (If they are open to it.) It’s important that your child feels empowered in the mentoring relationship. Encourage them to take an active role in setting goals and determining the areas where they need the most support. This will help them feel more invested in the process and more likely to stick with it.
  5. Just try it one: Sometimes the concern about a commitment can stop someone from trying new things. Let them know it’s ok to try just one one-hour session to see if it is right for them and then they only have to commit to one month at a time.

Working with a mentor can be a valuable resource for young adults with ADHD. By approaching the topic in a supportive and non-judgmental way, explaining the benefits, and finding the right mentor, you can help your child develop the coping strategies they need to succeed. With the right support, your child can learn to manage their symptoms and achieve their goals.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

Mentoring for Mental Health: What Parents Can Expect After One Year

If you are a parent of a young adult who is struggling with mental health challenges, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to support your child. One way to provide your child with the support they need is through mentoring. A mentor can provide guidance, support, and a listening ear to your child, helping them navigate difficult situations and build their self-esteem. Here is what you might expect to see after one year of mentoring, based on the article “How Mentoring Can Help Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges.”

  1. Improved Self-Esteem

One of the most significant benefits of mentoring for young adults with mental health challenges is improved self-esteem. Our mentors help your child build their confidence and self-worth, which can have a positive impact on their mental health. After one year of mentoring, you may notice that your child is more self-assured and willing to take risks. They may be more willing to try new things, and they may be more comfortable speaking up for themselves.

  1. Increased Resilience

Another benefit of mentoring for young adults with mental health challenges is increased resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations, and it is an essential skill for managing mental health challenges. Our mentors help your child develop resilience by providing them with support and guidance during tough times. After one year of mentoring, you may notice that your child is better able to handle stress and adversity. They may be more willing to seek help when they need it, and they may be more resilient in the face of setbacks.

  1. Improved Social Skills

Mentoring also help young adults with mental health challenges improve their social skills. Social skills are essential for building positive relationships with others, which can have a positive impact on mental health. A mentor can help your child develop social skills by providing them with guidance and support as they navigate social situations. After one year of mentoring, you may notice that your child is more confident in social situations. They may be better able to communicate their needs and feelings, and they may have developed new friendships and connections.

  1. Increased Independence

Finally, mentoring can help young adults with mental health challenges increase their independence. Our mentoring program helps your child develop the skills they need to take care of themselves, such as managing their finances, navigating public transportation, or cooking healthy meals. After one year of mentoring, you will notice that your child is more independent and self-sufficient. Being better able to take care of themselves and manage their mental health challenges.

Mentoring can be a powerful tool for supporting young adults with mental health challenges. After one year of mentoring, you will see improved self-esteem, increased resilience, improved social skills, and increased independence in your child. If you are interested in working with one of our mentors for your child, book a consultation today. With patience, love, and support, you can help your child manage their mental health challenges and thrive.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

3 Ways Parents Can Support Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges at Home

As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to watch your child struggle with mental health issues. You may feel helpless, overwhelmed, and unsure of what steps to take to support your child. However, there are several things you can do at home to help your child manage their mental health challenges. Here are three tips based on the article “How Mentoring Can Help Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges” that you can try:

  1. Encourage Your Child to Seek Out a Mentor

One way to support your child is to encourage them to seek out a mentor. A mentor who specialized in working with young adults provides guidance, support, and a listening ear to your child. A mentor can help your child navigate difficult situations, make positive choices, and build their self-esteem. You can help your child find the right mentor by clicking on the link at the bottom of this blog. You can also encourage your child to talk to their therapist or mental health professional about engaging a mentor who specializes in working with young adults and mental health issues.

  1. Practice Active Listening

Another way to support your child is to practice active listening. Active listening means listening to your child with an open mind, free of judgment. It means giving your child your full attention and allowing them to express themselves without interruption. When your child is talking, try to focus on what they are saying rather than thinking about your response. Validate your child’s feelings and let them know that you are there to support them. Active listening can help your child feel heard and understood, which is incredibly beneficial for their mental health.

  1. Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Finally, you can support your child by encouraging healthy coping mechanisms. Coping mechanisms are strategies that people use to manage stress and difficult emotions. Encouraging your child to develop healthy coping mechanisms can help them manage their mental health challenges in a positive way. Some examples of healthy coping mechanisms include exercise, meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, and talking to a therapist or mental health professional. You can help your child identify healthy coping mechanisms that work for them and encourage them to practice these strategies regularly.

Supporting a young adult child with mental health challenges can be a daunting task, but there are things you can do to help. Encouraging your child to seek out a mentor, practicing active listening, and encouraging healthy coping mechanisms are all effective strategies you can try at home. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it, and that your child’s mental health is important. With patience, love, and support, you can help your child manage their mental health challenges and live a fulfilling life.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

How to Encourage a Young Adult to Consider Online Mentoring for Mental Health Support

As a young adult navigates through life, they may face a variety of challenges that can impact their mental health. Whether it’s stress from school or work, anxiety about the future, or feelings of loneliness and isolation, it can be difficult to cope with these challenges on one’s own.

Fortunately, mentoring can be a powerful tool to support young adults with mental health challenges. In fact, research has shown that having a mentor can improve mental health outcomes for young adults, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and increasing resilience.

If you’re looking for ways to support a young adult’s mental health, here are some reasons for a young adult to consider mentoring online:

  1. Benefits of Mentoring: Talk to your child about the benefits of mentoring and how it can help them with their mental health challenges. Share this article from MentoringYoungAdults.com with them and encourage them to read it.
  2. Research our program: Our mentoring program is specifically designed for young adults with mental health challenges. We provide the resources and support that can help your child build resilience and cope with stress.
  3. Encourage your child to take the first step: Once you believe that our mentoring program seems like a good fit, encourage your child to take the first step and reach out to the program. They can start by filling out an online application or sending an email to the Ken Rabow at Ken@WWYM.org.
  4. Be supportive: If your child decides to pursue mentoring, be supportive and encouraging. Offer to help them set up a quiet space for online mentoring sessions, make sure their computer is set up for a Zoom call and remind them of the benefits of having the right mentor.
  5. Celebrate progress: As your child engages with their mentor and begins to make progress, celebrate their micro-successes and encourage them to keep going. Remind them that it’s okay to ask for help and that they’re not alone in their mental health journey.

Mentoring can be a valuable resource for young adults with mental health challenges, and it’s important to encourage your child to consider it as an option. By starting the conversation, investing out mentoring program, and being supportive, you can help your child build resilience and cope with the challenges they face. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help, and your child deserves all the support they can get.

When you a ready to see if Mentoring Young Adults is the right step for you, click here.

“Mastering ADD: Helping Young Adults Improve Focus and Achieve Their Goals”

At Mentoring Young Adults, we understand that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can present unique challenges for young adults. We believe that mastering ADD is all about understanding how our mentees process information and how they focus. By developing a personalized approach, we help our clients overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.

For many of our mentees, one of the most effective ways to manage ADD is by first learning to focus on things that interest them. We believe that by engaging in activities that they enjoy, our clients can improve their attention span and develop better focus. This is a critical step towards minimizing attention challenges and improving overall performance.

For some where focused attention training needs more, we help parents investigate the aspect of managing ADD through medication. For the mentees requiring more, we work with medical professionals through their parents to find the right medications and create daily routines to incorporate those meds. By doing so, we help our clients manage their ADD symptoms and improve their ability to focus and concentrate.

At Mentoring Young Adults, we understand that managing ADD can be a long and challenging process. Our mentors are committed to providing ongoing support to our clients, helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, and we are dedicated to helping our mentees achieve just that.

Mastering ADD is all about understanding how our mentees process information and how they focus. By developing personalized plans that cater to each mentee’s unique needs, we help them overcome attention challenges and achieve their goals. Whether it’s through engaging in activities that interest them, building focus or medication management, our mentors are dedicated to providing ongoing support to help our mentees rise above their challenges and achieve their full potential.

Click here to book a free 15 minute consultation.

How Mentoring Can Help Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges

Mental health issues are increasingly common among young adults, with conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar issues on the rise. These conditions can be difficult to explain to others, especially when there are no visible physical symptoms. At MentoringYoungAdults.com, we understand the challenges that mental health issues can pose for young adults and their families.

Our mentoring program is designed to support young adults with mental health issues, focusing on their strengths and challenges rather than just their labels. Through the medical health direction we receive, we work closely to ensure that our mentees are receiving the appropriate therapies and medications, and we provide additional support to help them manage their conditions and live fulfilling lives.

We also understand the importance of involving parents in the mentoring process, especially when it comes to supporting their child’s mental health. We work with parents to help them understand their child’s condition and how mentoring can help them rise above their labels and develop strategies for supporting our mentoring work at home. We also help parents work with what medical professionals proscribe to create routines and checkups to ensure that their child’s therapies and medications are supported by our mentoring program.

At MentoringYoungAdults.com, we believe that every young adult deserves the support and guidance they need to manage their mental health and thrive. With our mentoring program, we provide a safe and supportive environment for young adults to develop the skills and resilience they need to navigate the challenges of mental health issues.

Click Here to Book a Free 15 Minute Consultation 

Young Adult Depression and Life Coaching

How can we transform young adult depression? One of the things I hear more often than anything else as a mentor for young adults is parents asking for help with their child’s school failures, depression, low self-esteem video game (and/or pot) addiction.

Often the depression seems most prevalent on both the parent’s and the potential Mentee’s (the young adult in question) mind. What I often say to this is: “Most of us tend to remember things in reverse order”.

Reverse Memory Syndrome with Young Adult Depression:
When a Mentee has a “discussion” with his or her parent for the bazillionth time about why they stay up so late, the parents tell the young person why they are doing it and why it’s wrong. Their child tries to explain what is really going on. Neither side listens. Voices raise and finally the Mentee tells the parents to do something that is anatomically impossible. That’s when the parents say: “We just tell you how you need to be more responsible about going to sleep at a good time and all you do is shout and scream and curse at us”. That is reverse memory syndrome. The escalation and the accusing gets lost as a factor in the final result.

Reverse memory syndrome is often the reason why the depression is foremost on the minds of the people who contact me with the issues stated above. Let’s deconstruct the actual order of events for these clients and parents contacting me.

When Millennials were magic.
This generation is the first one that was told that actually everything they did was perfect. They were the best crayoners; the best howlers; the best poopers; and everybody got a medal when they “competed”… (you wonder why they think they’re magic).

For this particular group, they were able to pull off acceptable or really good marks out of their butts at the last minute at school and of course, Mumzy and Dadzy told them “they were magic”!!

Until they weren’t magic anymore.
Fast forward to the time when pulling marks out your butt (beside being non-hygienic) no longer works for our magic client. What comes next? False epiphanies.

Most of the people I meet have at some time come up to “issues” that blocked them in their lives. When natural talent wasn’t enough anymore. At that point, if they come up with “gee, I better learn some new study habits and work harder” I never get to see them. However, if they go for the false epiphanies: “My magic is gone”, “I am stupid”, “The world is not safe” or “If I choose to fail and I do… then I’ve won”, that’s when they are getting into choosing bad coping mechanisms.

What are those coping mechanisms? Self-medication (Video games or pot), anxiety, negative self-speak (low self-esteem) or depression.

Being careful with issues such as young adult depression.
There are thee kinds of depression that one comes across as a mentor for young adults.

1) Situation-based depression where the client’s constant failures and inability to find a way out lead to depression.

2) Negative self-speak depression. Where the mind has stopped being a motivational force and has become the worst in-your-head parent constantly leading to you towards self-defeat. This requires learning to retrain the mind through mindfulness-based exercises (meditation, visualization or things like yoga).

3) True clinical depression; a chemical imbalance requiring mental health professionals to do what they do best and help find the best way to get back that proper balance.

When it comes to clinical young adult depression, a Mentor’s job is make sure that a good mental health specialist is onboard, chosen by the family and that we help make sure that this label is not all that the client becomes but is a new starting point to help that client find their personal powers.

For situation-based and negative self-speak based depression, we begin with choosing goals, the challenges to those goals and the first indicators of success, creating micro-successes through daily routines chosen by the Mentee and with the Mentee in charge. The Mentor’s job is to let the client walk every step of that journey and simply help them out of dead ends in a way that speaks to the client.

We teach the Mentee organization skills that makes sense to them in incremental stages. How to pick the best times to succeed in adding studying into their lives when it seemed impossible before. They learn how to advocate for themselves with teachers, school staff and parents (seeing both sides of the equation). This can really change things in young adult depression.

We work on finding the mindfulness-bases system that best works for them
Deep Breathing, Visualization, Meditation or, for some, Prayer. The client starts in five or ten minute increments. Beginning by doing the work first with their mentors and slowly being able to do it on their own over time. This is the beginning of self-motivated empowerment.

The big take away.
Everyone tends to see things in reverse. Become a detective, free of judgment and go back and look for false epiphanies, coping mechanisms and most importantly, seek out people outside the family to help Mentor the child and the family to find that person’s true magic. It is there, waiting to be found.

How Life Coaching Young Adults can make profound change.

Life Coaching Young Adults is an alternative way to help young adults with depression find a new way forward. Instead of focusing on what is not working, we help the Mentee create practical goals in their lives.

Once they begin working on these goals, the challenges to these goals and the first sign-posts of success, they are training themselves to look for  solutions (with the help of our Mentors) and make consistent micro-successes. These micro-successes help build up an earned self-worth the reduces depression and, in fact, builds up positive self-speak to believe that with work and trial and error, they can succeed in life.

Ask for a free 15 minute consultation.

Check out the payment options and see if one is right for you.

Interested in mentoring young adults? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Know a young adult in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Mental Illness in Young Adults – The Lesson

Do you know where you were when you heard that Robin Williams had died?

I do. I felt like I had lost a family friend. Back in the day when TV meant something, Robin was a breath of fresh air, even on Happy Days.

Mental illness in young adults affects so many families and yet so few feel safe talking about it.

He even made the Fonz look cooler. Then there was Mork and Mindy. His Johnny Carson appearances, including being one of the last two guests to be on Carson’s show.

Robin’s love of Jonathan Winters helped a whole new generation learn about a brilliant, improvisational comedian who had a great influence on Robin. From The World According to Garp, The Fisher King, Good Morning Vietnam to Aladdin, Robin grew and brought us along with him with kindness, humility and a never-ending well of creativity.

Then one of my troubled teen’s parents said to me:

“You know, Robin seemed a lot like your clients” and it hit me. He did seem a lot like my clients. Creative people. Sensitive people. People struggling with life. Some with Aspergers. Some with Bipolar or other mental health issues but they had one advantage that Robin did not (I really wasn’t going to say me, please)… they had not learned how to succeed in life. They were stuck and nothing before our work had worked. The work which did help them was being mentored to use their talents to rise above their challenges. To have a mentor that could discuss their private fears free of the “real world”, friends and family. That is sorely needed when dealing with mental illness in young adults; an impartial ear.

Of course, this made me happy and hopeful for my clients but very, very sad for my lost family friend. Robin. Through his successes, his genius, his drive to push himself into new territories, Robing played the old magician’s trick of misdirection. We were looking at the wrong hand while the other was suffering.

There are three things I will take away from this.

1) Those who can should decide right now to mentor our troubled Millenials. Millenials with addictions, those with anxiety, those with mental illness and those with learning challenges.

2) We must be ever-vigilant to also mentor the Millenials who seem to be successful but underneath the surface are also suffering. Those with the same issues and more who are good at misdirection

3) In a world filled with divisions, hatred, war, gatherings of people wishing to cut off the head of democracy, we must counter that with love for all people, find those young adults who might fall under the thrall of hatred and calls to war and help these Millenials to find how to be great from their powers of kindness, grace and charity. Honor the differences. Mental illness in young adults is not the end, it’s a call to action to help find their greatness beyond the labels.

Here is what I promise to do.

To help mentor young adults with mental illness, I intend to train 1000 mentors by the year 2020, to help young people, focusing on young adults in inner cities and underdeveloped nations to offer the three things I have just mentioned. This I so vow.

Interested in mentoring young adults with mental illness? Click here.

If your child is in serious mental health crisis, please look into it immediately. This link is a good staring place. Click here. When things are more settled, life coaching can be a great addition to a complete program.

Teen Life Coaches offer success tips

So here we are. A new school year. New clothes, new books, new gadgets, but most kids are walking in with exactly the same old labels. No. Not Calvin K. I’m talking about: ADHD; Depression; Anxiety, Slacker, Stoner etc. As a mentor for teen life coaches, I have a few suggestions to transform this year but…
First, let’s start with a quick pair of definitions:
Mentor; one who guides his/her charge.
Telemachus: one who seeks the help of a Mentor to make their way “out there”.

In the world of Teen Life Coaches, the best ones are Mentors.
At World Wide Youth Mentoring Inc, we have worked with countless young people who have made great changes for the better in their lives. Changes where they were responsible for their successful outcome. Teen life coaches can be the vehicle to having someone guide them in whatever challenges they take on in life.

Most systems of “repair” seem to be focused on the symptoms.
Many systems use the deficiencies to define the whole of the person. Statements such as: “I’m ADHD”. Hello, my name is Skeeter and I’m a stoner.” “I’m such a (fill in the blank)” ring throughout the school hallways.

To those who spend so much time on their symptoms, know that good teen life coaches would suggest you reflect on the following: We amplify what we focus on, in word, thought and action. The more frequently we are defining ourselves by what we lack, the more we allow our inner thoughts to validate those beliefs in our million micro-decisions of the day. Teen life coaches are here to help you build your inner-voice to one of support.

We cannot underestimate the amount of people who are in denial about their personal foibles.
I am not suggesting self-delusion as a the road to success. I encourage you to (and by extension those you mentor) to “own” their challenges as well as their strengths, but please do not let yourself be defined by them.

Every young person I have ever met has the ability to be successful in every aspect of their lives, even school ☺ That may seem like a bold statement but the truth is, evolutionarily speaking, if you are alive, then you are doing something right. But to move forward, the Telemachus must find their own personal way towards success.

Teen Life Coaches; know this!
Each Telemachus has in them the seeds for success and the challenge is to find the proper system for that particular person. What you need to bring to this system and how you can determine when your “Telemachus” is ready for your mentoring.

A questions to all parents: Who knows your child better than you do?
They do. They may not “know” it or share all of it with you but your understanding of your child is based on history. More than likely, theirs is about right now and tomorrow. The past is often the same place where broken toys reside. Rich and meaningful at one time, but now it is mainly of use for stubbing toes and tripping us up.

Secondly, to the Teen Life Coaches:
It is in the future and the now that one must re-learn about your Telemachus.

You, the Mentor must bring an open mind, humility and the presence of mind to NOT JUDGE.

Finally: To the Telemachus.
You are not your label(s). Not the ones your parents gave you, the ones “professionals” gave you, the ones teachers or peers gave you nor the ones you give yourself when you feel lost.

Live each moment as a new creation.
Learn from the past and set a course for a new future. This is the job your Mentor should join you in but remember, it is YOU who must be in command. Use your courage to venture forth, your wisdom to assess, your determination to soldier on in the face of setbacks and your faith to learn from those around you.

Now go out there and kick some butt!

Know someone in need of teen life coaches. Want to find the right one? click here

Know someone would like to become one of our teen life coaches? click here

Basketball, Autism ……… and Deception

As a life coach for teens and young adults, I work with all sorts of people in their teens and twenties. I learn from all of them. One of my most powerful learning lessons came from a 13 year old client with Autism, who allowed me to see the dangers of people in power trying to “do the right thing”. I am pleased to share with you now the inner workings of one the most interesting minds I have ever met.

My name is Stephen. I am a creative, charismatic, wise, 13 year old who gets good grades and I’m autistic. Yeah, I said that. No, I’m not some dysfunctional shmoe sitting on a couch with my coach translating all my words. I’m a guy who has something to say, who happens to be autistic.

Let me tell you a story.
It’s a real story about truth, deception and the school I used to go to (you know who you are). One day last March we had an assembly telling us about the “special” basketball game that was going to happen one week from then.

Our principal told us that we would be facing a “pro” basketball team made up of grade sevens, eights and high school kids and that it was supposed to be just for fun.

Our team was mostly grade sixes. Pretty young. Not very experienced. Kind of noobs and it was a fairly small basketball team made up of kids with different levels of Autism. I hadn’t signed up that year because I thought I had enough to do with karate and had done basketball and soccer the year before. The last year we hadn’t faced another school, though.

The team started practicing and my friend found out who the other basketball team was and he was pretty confident that we were going to get demolished. I thought they were going to get demolished too, but as it turns out what happened was even worse!

On the day of the basketball game
, we walked into the school. It had massive hallways with lockers on both sides. At least it was massive compared to what I was used to.
We walked down a few flights of stairs and went to one of the three gyms in the school.
This gym was gigantic. The basketball nets were very high with a score board up top and bleachers for us to sit in .

I went to sit down on one of the middle bleachers only to find out that the opposing school basketball team was even bigger than I expected – high schoolers galore and even huge grade sevens and eights.

They started by introducing the teams and all the players.
The teams set up and we began the first quarter. On the very first play our team got the ball and went to the other team’s net. They were just standing all around shooting the ball over and over. They kept missing and then trying again to the point that it became ridiculous. Me and the teacher beside me made a joke that our team was camping and roasting marshmallows. Game-related chuckles ☺

After that our team eventually scored and the game continued. The same thing kept happening. We scored most of the goals while the opposing team would score the occasional points. It was in the third quarter that I realized what was really happening.

One of their players passed the ball to our player. That was when I got it. I knew why our team wasn’t being demolished. When our players were “camping” the other team wasn’t fighting back because the other team was being easy on us. We were lied to. Deceived. It was then I realized the truth. This wasn’t just for fun. It was to deceive us to make us feel good about ourselves.

It made me feel angry. It made me think I was lied to probably every other time we had played. It made me doubt all the victories I had achieved in the past. It made me feel that it was all for nothing.

I asked the teacher next to me: “why is the other team being easy on us?” The teacher said “I’ll talk to you about this afterwards” and the way he said it to me made me feel that he wanted it to be secret. That he didn’t want it to ever be known.

Now many teachers at my old school may argue that they weren’t “technically lying”,
but it doesn’t even matter. They used a form of deception on students that they knew would never figure it out. As one of those students who did figure it out, I can tell you: I’d rather be told I’m weak in something than to find out later that I had been lied to about it.

The Moral of the Story;
You can have compassion for people without deceiving them.

Try to find teams that are balanced and equal to each other and if that’s not possible, then switch the teams around, put some of the monster players on our team and some of the autistic players on their team. Then all the players would learn to cooperate with people that they aren’t quite used to working with.

Honest and realistic compliments and criticism would be much more effective and tolerable by people like me.

Afterward by Ken.
I was probably the fifth person that Stephen had shared this story with and the typical response Stephen had heard was that he should just let it go. My response was; “let’s write it down, figure out a moral and share it with everyone”! Now I’m asking you to please share this with parents, teachers, schools and every person who truly wants to help people in need, using respect and honor as their guidelines.

Please share with us your own inspirations and I’ll get Stephen to write back ☺

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Anxiety – The Quiet Demon

4:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. My day off. I hear my cellphone (that I forgot to turn off during our family nap) make the sound it does when someone has left me a text.

It’s Victor (not his real name). An amazing guy. Brilliant. Funny. Some coping issues and he is texting  if he can talk to me. “Ken can I talk to you for a little later in the evening if you can I want to talk to someone about a fear and your the best person”.

I have worked on these sorts of things many times before but each time is unique. Every person’s anxiety is different. I pick up the phone and we talk.

Since he has been very young he has had this recurring fear. A fear that comes back several times each year. Sometimes an event can trigger it. Sometimes it just seems to happen. On those terror-filled days and sleepless nights, his parents are helpless to release their child from his terrors. They keep trying but nothing works.

We spent close to an hour on the phone. We had worked on breathing exercises in the past. We had also done some visualization exercises to help Victor focus his mind towards positive thoughts. We mixed those up with some simple talk about his fears. His concerns and how they felt in his body when they would begin to appear.

Speaking with someone new on this subject seemed to help him a bit and he asked if he could come in with his mom the next day and work on the issue.

On the next day I met with Victor one on one first. We worked on a breathing technique where he put one hand on his belly and another on his chest. I had him focus on having his belly move on the breath without having the chest move and to breath in on a count of five, hold the breath for a three count and then breath out on a count of five.

This had an immediate effect of letting him focus on something new. (There is more to the intake as to why I knew that diverting his attention would work).
We then added EFT (Emotional freedom technique). I don’t use this on a regular basis, but I really like the idea of having Victor doing tapping, focusing on breathing, and stating affirmations based on what he really wanted to focus on and had been avoiding.

All this brought him to a more relaxed state. At this point we brought in his mom and we determined that Victor should offer three things that his parents could do when he was anxious at night that would be helpful.

This avoided all the frustration on the parents part of trying different things that didn’t seem to work. It also avoided the frustration on victors part of feeling that his parents were diminishing his concerns.

We now have a short-term and long-term method of dealing with this and so far things are improving.

None of what I am saying in this article is meant to be anything other than a case study and to show parents and young adults going through anxiety that there are many ways to deal with these things.

New choices must be based on what works for the client. The big question is; are they visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. I find that a great deal of these people are kinesthetic and that is why something that they feel has to be used versus talk therapy to get them to change their “reality”.

I just want you to know that there are alternatives.

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Schizophrenia in Teens and Young Adults

Schizophrenia in Teens and Young Adults is often a kept secret by the families dealing with a young adult with Schizophrenia.

So many people feel shame when given a mental health diagnoses. I am here to tell you some of my most outstanding clients are young adults with mental health diagnoses. Mental Health diagnoses including Schizophrenia in teens and young adults.

Very often these young adults suffered in their early years with “voices” that they could control. At some point those voices became more and more challenging. What happens in a great deal of the people I see is that at some point, the young person couldn’t handle the voices anymore. They seek a way out and often chose to use some sorts of drugs to escape how they felt.

What happened then?

The voices had an effect they hadn’t expected. It disinhibited them and the “voices” had the upper hand. These young teens soon to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia had an “event”. They then ended up being hospitalized.

If they were lucky, they ended up with a great Psychiatrist who knew their meds. That psychiatrist took the time to find the right medications for this young person. For the first time in a long time, these young people feel that the voices no longer have a grip on them.

Voices? I don’t hear no voices!

One of my clients who had been through that whole process (we only work with people dealing with mental illness once things are stabilized) preferred we didn’t call it “voices”. He call it either controlled thought or uncontrolled thought. For him, Schizophrenia in teens and young adults was about control over these thoughts. They are still there but he has control now.

What then for Schizophrenia in Teens and Young Adults

The world is their oyster. Once they realize that we are not limited by labels, they are free to work with our Mentors for Young Adults and pick goals and long term things they wish to do. The have no limitations but we do find that we have to build up their abilities to work in the mainstream world more slowly and cautiously. Schizophrenia in teens and young adults is no longer a stop sign to success.

You are not your labels.

If find those given diagnoses with Schizophrenia in Teens and Young Adults incredibly compassionate and understanding of others with issues. They tend to have more patience to help others and the ones I have had the honor to work with are a credit to their communities.

If your child is in serious mental health crisis, please look into it immediately. This link is a good staring place. Click here.  When things are more settled, life coaching can be a great addition to a complete program.

 Check out Ken Rabow’s blogs on mentoring young adults. Click here

Know a young adult in need of mentoring? Click here

Interested in training to be a professional mentor for young adults? Click here.

ADD/ADHD in Teens and Young Adults – The Easy Diagnosis

Why is it that’s diagnoses for ADHD have gone up by multiples of a 100 in the past two generations?
There’s no question that it is easier to medicate a problem then it is to change a way of thinking.

Before I go on to share an alternative treatment that I’ve used with great success on a lot of teens and young adults who have been told that they have ADHD, let me say that for a certain percentage of people, medication can have a profoundly transformative effect.

Here’s the odd thing; 9 out of 10 people who come to me, claim to have some form of ADHD. What I often find are creative, inquisitive, multi-tasking minds, bereft of discipline.

How do we help young people who have been trained through the use of Internet, online chatting, texting, video walk watching, done all at the same time while gaming to not focus and supposedly “Multitask” to learn to focus?

We first have to understand is that the human mind is incapable of multitasking. What we do is, in effect, jump back-and-forth from one area of interest to the other virtually training our minds to be deficient in a linear attention span.

We have a natural ability to focus on things that grab our attention. But there is a natural ebb and flow to that ability. Filmmakers have used this ability and played with it through the use of tension and resolution. Just watch an Indiana Jones film for the brilliant use of tension and resolution (the calming scenes and the high-energy scenes) for how the push between these two forces to keep our interest.

In this art is the key to our own ability to enhance our attention to anything for longer and longer periods.

A Case Study

First Contact Email:

Ken: hi there. I am (name withheld)’s partner and we spoke back in the summer about my son “J”. “J” is still struggling and he has said that he would meet with you. Unfortunately, he will only be home from late today until the morning of the 27th. Is there a day you could meet with him before Christmas and then if that works, continue with Skype sessions when he returns to Queen’s?

“J” did very well in high school, getting straight A’s but always had attention problems. When he reached grade 10 he started smoking pot and his marks went downhill from there. He suffers from low self-esteem and never seems to finish what he starts. He takes on too many projects and then gives up when the going gets tough.

Now in University, he keeps having to let go of courses to not fail them. He started with five courses and is now left with two, of which he is getting a C- average.

First Session:

“J” and I met and there was a good connection. I noticed that as long as I changed gears (in ideas and themes) every six to ten minutes, “J” was focused and completely “there” for every part of the discussion. When I showed this to “J” he was extremely pleased with himself as he had completely bought into his inability to keep his attention on any one thing.

We created a study regimen in three 5 to 15 minute sessions with 15 minute breaks in-between.

Six weeks (12 sessions) later
The study regimen is at four 5-30 minute sessions with 5-15 minute breaks in-between.
“J” is generally keeping to 25 minutes of solid focus and his tests are coming back in the high 70’s, low 80’s and one 87.5!

We have also used visualization exercises as a way of getting control of his thinking process. Staring with a seven minute mp3 used 4 times a week and progressing to 12 minutes a day.

Finally, “J” has minimized his coffee intake and his chocolate intake (of his own choosing). In his particular case, this has seemed to have a very positive effect.

Tips for Teen School Failures Transformations

For the students suffering Teen School Failures:

So, your coping strategy to avoid teen school failures is you’ve been hoping and buying into “the dream” that somehow, by keeping your science book under your pillow, it will all seep in. Or maybe, they will have some information on the Peloponnesian wars on the Family Guy marathon. How about, “I study best under pressure”? Or that tried and true classic “French is easy! All you have to do is sound like Inspector Clouseau when you say “duz yor dogue bat“? (“He’s not mah dogue“).

Well, we know how this ends up. You’ve received your mid-term marks, some of them squeaked by and some of them looked like you had a chimp take the exam (and not that clever one from Rise of the Planet of the Apes).

You have two choices to deal with teen school failures:

Plan A: Continue to see your school future flushing down the proverbial toilet and say (to whomever you choose to blame) “well, if you believed in me more I’d do better,” or make a new plan. Let’s try Plan B, shall we?

Plan B is about knowing your strengths, knowing your limitations and building on micro-successes. Successes so small most people won’t notice, and you will get the time you need to believe in yourself without being overwhelmed.

Let’s face it, if you’re in this pickle, you are facing teen school failures, your study habits are probably non-existent

and your parents’ expectations are something like: since you have so little time left you should be spending every waking and sleeping moment studying till you can’t stand it, then sit and study some more.

But you know and I know that faced with that option you’re sure that your head will actually explode (like that guy in Scanners) and if you could have done that (minus the exploding head part) you would have already done that. So, that ain’t happening.

Here is how to build a last-ditch effort to save your exams and create better possibilities for the following terms.

Five simple steps to change your exam destiny and avoid teen school failures:

1) Do something you can hold yourself to.
You may catch yourself saying things out loud that you know you will never do (“OK, I won’t work today but tomorrow I’ll do twice as much!”) Try figuring out what you can actually do; Maybe two one-hour sessions with a 10 or 15 minute break in between. When you are working on something and you start to be really annoyed by it, go do something else for a while and come back to the offending subject later. It will seem less annoying.

2) Push it.
It is important to come back to it. You are teaching your inner-self that you can go further without the head exploding type of incident. Try adding 10 per cent more time each day until you get to a study time that is just too much. Then go back to the previous day’s study time. (Basically 10 per cent less.)

3) Poke into your “comfy time.”
At this point, you have figured out when you will do your study time each day and I’m guessing the rest of your home time is made up of all the stuff that drives your parents nuts. (Because you aren’t spending every moment studying.) Let’s call this time your “comfy time.”

Just a little suggestion:

Somewhere in the middle of that time, go back and work on one task, taking up either five minutes of time or one problem. Then you can go back to comfy time. This may not seem like much to an outsider, but it has so many benefits for you. First of all, if you can do this (tell yourself that it really will take just a little time and don’t let your inner id-self take over) you are beginning to take control of your future higher-character traits. Second, some part of your brain will believe that it has to stay on guard brain-wise, and will keep all the new info in your noggin’ with a bit more clarity. Third, there are benefits that no one can explain to you until you have done it — but it really helps.

4) Push some more.
On a given day, ask yourself the following: will an extra half-hour of gaming change my life? Because an extra half-hour of studying can.

5) Do it for yourself.
You are the main one who will benefit from this process. Do it to feel better about you.

Now, for the parents,

here’s the hard part for you: it is so easy, as you see the exams coming around again and seeing your child about to make the same mistakes as last time, to freak out and try to strong-arm them into study submission. This never works. Never!

It might work one time but there can be no follow-through, and what will happen when you aren’t there anymore to strong-arm them? Show them these five steps and then (here’s the hard part) let them make their choices. Right here, they have the keys to make differences that won’t be stellar, but will be incremental, self-empowering and permanent.

One last thing to the students:

Your job in life is to rise above the people that came before you. It’s OK to do that. The best way is by challenging yourself and the easiest way to do that is in micro-movements of success. Pretty soon, it will be your standard equipment.

You can do it!

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Teen Anxiety – Fear of Fear Itself

Teen Anxiety: So many young people come to me these days with different levels of fears.

The effect of these fears range from stopping them from succeeding all the way up to almost complete debilitation. Teen anxiety is rampant.

Teen anxiety = Fear. These are some of the fears I come across in troubled teens and young adults on a regular basis:

Fear of failure;
Fear of humiliation;
Fear of large crowds;
Fear of sleeping alone;
Fear of learning to drive;
Fear of life itself and basically fear of seeking new adventures.

The clients who come to me with teen anxiety have tried all sorts of things to overcome these fears:

Talk therapy, medication, CBT, hypnosis and all traditional and some non-traditional modalities.

My success rate in overcoming these fears is between 90 and 95%. It has very little to do with me or my process but it has everything to do with tapping into the inmate positive powers that rests within each and every person.

Daily Routines to overcome teen anxiety

I cannot deny that teaching some breathing techniques, some grounding techniques and some visualizations to create a “safe place” no matter where they are or what is happening is of great benefit, but the real transformation comes from taking whatever talents/strengths they have and starting a daily routine that involves doing the things that they have a connection to: (Writing, playing an instrument, dance, photography, Etc.).

Using something that they feel a connection to, we create a daily routine that helps them focus on the strength and power of doing something on a daily basis, rather than focusing on their fears. Each challenge is seen through the lens of how can we get back to their daily routine, free of judgment.

Rising Above Teen Anxiety

After a while, the client learns how to take any situation, analyze it and figure out a way through the challenges.

We then incorporate the strengths of current success to approach medium to minor fears, slowly building up the skills of: solid foundation, belief in oneself, good communication skills (Within and without), and “true grit”.

By focusing on what works, we teach these young people that you amplify what you focus on.

The fears are approached from every angle possible in their newfound confidence helps dissolve those fears.

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