Why Avoid Advice to Teens?

What’s good for one teen is rarely good for another. Teens long to be valued for who they are as individuals.Teen talents are often hidden and unused in high school. What do the above three statements share in common?

Advice is rarely the best way to engage, inspire or energize teens for a variety of reasons that relate to their awesome brains.

Avoid advice

The opposite of advice giving includes the following:

  1. Ask teens what they hope to achieve at the end of the situation.
  2. Invite teens to suggest what specific support they are looking for.
  3. Let teens know you value and care about their unique ideas.
  4. Help teens to reflect how their talents might be tools to solve the problem.
  5. Encourage teens to describe how they would advise a peer in a similar situation.

Another view

Not that it’s easy – but it’s worth the extra effort. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member who always you gave tips or suggestions from your best self – you already know the value of seeing and speaking to another from their best views. Expect miraculous results!

Why not ask questions that will show you the best ways to support a person?

Empathy questions

What advice substitutes have you tried or used successfully to support teens?

Most people long to be understood or valued simply for who they are – and especially by people they care about. Understanding teens involves empathy, or an ability to see situations from their unique vantage point.  More than not – we offer advice from our own viewpoints, without the empathy it takes to understand and support teens.

For that reason, we tend to ask two-footed questions that actively involve teens in their own solutions, while learning ourselves from insights they offer.

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If you are looking for further activities and tips to engage teens in ways that show you value their capabilities – do visit my TpT site and be sure to let me know how I can support your brain based supportive learning tasks for teens.

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