Did’ja hear about the Petersons? Their son Skeeter was kicked out of school, caught smoking something illegal and now he just stays up ‘till all hours of the night in his bedroom day in and day out in his Snuggie!
So, when did the Petersons’ kid become “that kid” and what could the Petersons have done differently?
So many young people today have too many temptations at their fingertips.
Does that put them in danger? No.
Can it be a sign of becoming a Skeeter Peterson? Not necessarily.
No one sign is cause for alarm but put a few of them together and you are heading into “Skeeter territory”. This article is designed to show you the danger signs and help you steer clear of a total meltdown which could end up in school failures or much worse.
I have been working with teens and young adults since the turn of the millennium. Most of my early work was with kids who had strayed. My job was to help them get back on track. However, in the past several years a lot of my work has been with young people who have turned on, tuned out and dropped out of pretty much everything. Living 24/7 in their bedrooms, playing video games and being chauffeured around as required.
One thing most of these people have in common is that they are challenged by some unnamed fears that hinder their success. In the name of these fears, these people have sub-consciously come to the conclusion that by choosing to fail and sabotaging the various kinds of help given to them, they ultimately “win”. We can all feel Martin Sheen’s pain about this kind of “winning”.
I have also noticed that, to a person, each one of these people posses a unique talent that is exceptional but undeveloped or dismissed in them, very often because it was deemed impractical. Yet, this is often is the starting point for their salvation.
The 10 Warning Signs
Staying up uncharacteristically late on a regular basis.
Not handing in assignments in time.
Failing tests and/or assignments.
Avoiding practically all family meals.
Chronic sleeping in and missing the start of school.
Sudden changes in attitude (active or passive aggressive).
Self-destructive behaviors.
Obsession with a hobby. (Video games, magic cards, etc.)
Constantly arguing about the worth/point of school.
10. Anti-social behavior or self-delusion.
How to respond to the 10 warning signs.
One to three signs would be worth noticing.
Four signs and you should be saying something about it.
Five signs requires some action.
More than five signs; don’t panic but some serious work needs to be done ASAP.
Three Quick Changes to Success
The goal is not to drive them out but empower them and help them rise above their fears.
Talk to them. You would think that dinner would be the best time for discussions but that may feel to them like unsafe territory. Find a place that gives them power, that lets them feel safe and ask to meet with them there. Try active listening; listen, say back what you believe you heard in your own words, validate and empathize. You’d be amazed at the changes people go through when they hear back their own words without worrying about being judged.
Find a mentor. If their particular talent requires a teacher, coach or trainer, you are all set. Choose that person not for their successes in their field but for their life-enriching skills. If your child’s talents do not lie in these fields, find a life coach specializing in young adults and teens personal growth.
Ask them. If you take the time to write down your fears and concerns (free of blaming and accusations) and share it with them in an environment the empowers your child, the best first action may be to let them suggest what they can do to change their lives around.
So many of the world’s inspirational people started with many failures in their teen years.
What was important was not what they had done but how they changed their lives for the better.
It is never too late and remember to do something you love doing for at least a few minutes each day, just for the sake of doing it.

Author's Bio: 

Ken Rabow is a Life Empowerment Coach and Keynote Speaker specializing in helping self-sabotaging teens and young adults to succeed in all aspects of their lives.