By Alex Urbina
After 17 years of service delivering one of the most powerful, emotional and inspirational leadership trainings for teens in the world, I have learned a few things.
I have learned that most teenagers don’t ask for help when they really need it; most of them don’t even know that it’s needed and therefore won’t reach out.
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They stuff their emotions, disconnect from the people they love the most and act like nothing is wrong.
I have learned that most teens have been negatively affected by family experiences, such as separations, divorces, arguments, expectations, judgments, comparison, enabling or something simply innocent like being overlooked, underappreciated or not being acknowledged enough.
I have learned that all teens have underlying self-esteem issues from the at-risk to the smartest, most talented, spiritual and happiest leadership academy kids in the world.
I have learned that teenagers will adapt to their surroundings and conditions and will go into a survival mode, not ever letting you know that at night they cry themselves to sleep.
They will wake up and put on a smile for you and act as though everything is fine. If you ask them if something is wrong or ask them to share, they will assure you that there is nothing wrong and fake their way through it.
But then one day, they will show up (if they are lucky enough) to one of my trainings or a training like mine and cathartically release years of emotional baggage: the guilt, resentment, sadness, fear, shame, doubt and the self-limiting beliefs that taint their emotional and spiritual growth.
I have learned that most parents have absolutely no clue that this is really going on or that there is a way to cause a shift in their teenager’s ability to learn how to move through their emotions faster and healthier rather than bottling it all up inside.
Most teenagers are living life unconsciously, with no sense of self-awareness and or personal power whatsoever.
I have learned that teenagers, when given the opportunity with someone they trust, will open up and discover the underlying issues that really cause them to shut down, check out, disconnect, be lazy, not care, talk back and all of the other defiant and behavioral issues that parents complain about.
I have learned for teens that don’t exhibit the common behavioral issues have other interpersonal issues that are hard to notice, because either their parents have never been taught what to look for, or they are focused on other things that have become more important than noticing the warning signs that their teens are starting to show.
I have also learned that teenagers are only a product of their environment. Al the low-self esteem, doubt, fear, anger and resentment had to be created somewhere and in relationships with someone.
Parents should start taking 100 percent accountability for the way that their children are showing up in the world and the choices that they are making rather than acting as if their children just one day all of sudden woke up and decided to be less than powerful, loving, confident, passionate and fulfilled.
Most of all I am learning that children are really inspired and willing to change when their parents are willing to take responsibility for their parenting and commit themselves to be a more effective mother and father.
Alex Urbina is one of the leading experts on Teen, Parent and Family Relationships. His vast experience in human potential and personal development has made him one of the premier Family Life Coaches in Personal Transformation and an international trainer.
Alex’s experiential Life Leadership Trainings are being implemented in various schools, youth organizations and Transformational Centers in the country, helping empower people to discover their personal power and realize their full potential.
Alex is a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and has a weekly radio show called “ Life Leadership” brought to you by SCVi Charter School, on your Hometown Station KHTS AM-1220 every Monday at 1 p.m., to continue to educate yourself on teen and family relationships.