Peer pressure is something all of our children have the potential to be influenced by. This can be particularly true once they reach their teens. As parents, we hope our kids won’t succumb to pressures to be or do things that don’t serve them, but the reality is that teens want to fit in with their social group. And this can mean being faced with choices that may be hard to resist.
One of the phrases I heard often from my three kids as they were growing up was, “All the kids do it Mom.” “It,” referring to many different scenarios and activities. I’m sure I wasn’t privy to all the choices they were given, either.
By teaching our kids at an early age about their own Internal Guidance System (IGS) we help them access their instincts, which will guide them to their highest choices.
Granted, kids aren’t always interested in their highest choices, but this practice of listening to their internal self, and at least being aware of it will show them they always have a choice.
Each of us has our own IGS that guides us to our best choices and no two people’s match. We want to teach our kids to follow their own IGS and not ours. This can be a challenge, as we often don’t trust our kid’s choices. However, it is essential for their personal growth by learning to trust what they are feeling. As adults we learn to clarify and fine tune who we want to be in our lives by occasionally making choices that aren’t in our best interest. This is also true for our teens.
A few ways you can help your kids be aware of their IGS is to encourage them to pay attention to their feelings. If they feel good about any given choice, then this choice will serve them in some way. If they feel bad in any way then this choice won’t serve them. It may sound simplistic, but our guidance is not designed to be complicated.
A few ways to encourage your teens to focus inward and learn to trust their IGS:
~ Know they have a say in what they do. Speak their truth. Know they matter.
~ Allow others to make their own choices without judgment. This doesn’t mean it has to be the choice they make.
~ Pay attention to what feelings come up when considering any choice. Are they feeling fearful, happy, or sad? Their feelings are their indicators.
~Befriend their guidance by holding the intention of noticing it regularly. Being constantly aware of it is an important first step to using it.
~ Know their guidance is unique to them and doesn’t require the approval of anyone outside of themselves.
~ Notice how situations turn out based on whether they listened to their IGS or didn’t.
The teen years are a time of growth and self-discovery. We don’t have control over the choices our teens make, and much of the time, aren’t even present when they make them. What we can do is help our kids learn to make the choices in life that will keep them on a positive path. Remembering too, that we achieve more clarity by sometimes living things that didn’t feel good to us and perhaps weren’t our best choice.
Teaching them about their own Internal Guidance System will enable them to live their best lives.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.