The Future of Parenting in America: Why I Joined the John Maxwell Team
You Can Successfully Parent Teens
You can successfully parent teens even in the midst of a culture that is facing very challenging times. The problems that our youth are facing today are catastrophic. Teenage suicide is at an all-time high. Other obstacles against are youth such as bullying, both in person and online; internet and online addiction; teen hookups; substance abuse; teens watching TV and video game violence; and eating disorders like anorexia can be overcome with the right tools. As a person of faith, I believe my children are protected; however, along with my faith, I have to take action.
Being a part of the John Maxwell Team is the action step I took as I looked for ways to raise an emotionally intelligent teenage son. Since joining the John Maxwell Team, my parenting has shifted from focusing on what’s wrong to a strength-based model; one in which I have used in my business practices for many years; however, I wasn’t applying the principles in my parenting.
Finding a Roadmap to Growth
The light bulb came on for me when I was introduced to the Youth Exploratory Report made available through our Global Youth Initiative. Using the DISC-style Youth Exploratory Report, which mirrors the behavioral and personality assessment used by many corporations, has helped me identify my children’s strengths. Identifying their strengths helps me to focus on what they are gifted in and what makes their personality pop. The information in the report has not only helped me to nurture their strengths but helps me guide my children into the fullness of their potential by providing me with a roadmap in areas to focus on for their growth.
What would it look like if parents took an organizational approach to a cultural problem? It would look like Mom and Dad playing to their child’s strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses. For example, my daughter is S-wired; she is easy going, relaxed, and has a very pleasing personality. She looks out for others, is reliable and very dependable. Because her strength is dependability; I let her know how much her skills mean to me. I absolutely don’t know what I would do without her organizational skills helping me in the many projects I juggle.
In addition to the report being spot-on about her strengths, the report highlighted areas for her growth. I am more aware of growth opportunities and take immediate action. According to the report, she needs to get comfortable with speaking up. Just this past week, we had an opportunity to neutralize a weak area. We’d been working on this area at home; however, an opportunity came up at school to practice new skills. Her needs were not being met in one of her classes because of students being disruptive. She spoke up for herself in a meeting full of educators. She explained her experiences to her education team and was able to get changes made in order to get her needs met.
I also have a 13-year-old son who is D-wired. He is a natural leader; having the ability to take charge, quickly figure out what does and doesn’t work, and communicate that to you without hesitation. One of the pros of using the report is it highlights possible career paths. The recommendation for my son is a judge or magistrate. The recommendation was again spot on. We currently call him “Mr. Lawyer” because he is strong-willed, determined, and always tries to get his point across.
Opportunities for growth for my D-wired son are encouraging others and learning to put others first. He recently came home from a community meeting and explained how the eighth graders get to set up the chairs for the meeting for younger members. He had a grin on his face. I believe having the conversation with him and asking him to identify ways he can put others first made all the difference in his excitement about his serving role in the group.
There are also opportunities for growth we have been working on in our home. For example, he helped me fix breakfast and served his sister when she was not feeling well. It was on a Saturday morning during his normal video game time, but instead, I gave him the opportunity to make time for family by cooking and serving his sister.
Will You Look at Parenting the Same?
The recommendations the report provided have been a powerful tool for change. I have been able to assess my children’s strengths, areas for growth, and take action. Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe, the yearly performance report we take at work where we assess our strengths and opportunities for growth? Well, why not in our homes where we hold the most important position in the world; being a parent.
Melinda’s educational background has been focused in the areas of education, leadership, coaching, and counseling. She holds a doctorate in higher education and organizational change, a master’s degree in counselor education and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. She is also a graduate of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Melinda is currently an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team, certified to facilitate, speak, train and coach individuals and groups in the areas of leadership development, professional skills, and personal growth. Helping individuals meeting their goals and collaborating with people for success is her mission. Leading an ethical, balanced, purposeful life while living your dreams are guiding principles for Melinda; collaborating with like-minded organizations and individuals is what brings about success in the coaching relationship.
As a coach, Melinda is supporting and encouraging. She has a unique ability to support her clients while holding them accountable for their desired results. Teamwork is what makes the dream work when coaching with Melinda.