Young Adult Self-Sabotage

Why are so many young people willing to self-sabotage every aspect of their potential future?
Young adult self-sabotage is everywhere. Not participating in class, not doing the required studying, staying up late, sleeping most of the day away and missing more and more school. For quite a few, video gaming and/or pot addiction is another big factor.

The most frustrating part of this is that these same people are very often gifted in some way and yet here they are ….. off the tracks.

Many young people today are able to thrive or at least get by in a nuclear or single parent family, learning from their caregivers and finding other elders to learn from at school, sports, dance, music, etc. These young people grow through the ritual of daily tasks of homework, tests and projects. Graduation becomes their rite of passage. But what if your child does not connect to such a system? This creates young adult self-sabotage.

You’ve tried it all — traditional therapy, behavioral therapy, conditioned response, pharmaceuticals, begging, pleading, tough love — and some of it worked for a while and some didn’t work at all.

Young adults sabotage can leave all concerned feeling hopeless sometimes.
Feeling that your child will never grow up and take responsibility, but it has been my experience that some alternative approaches can make a world of difference. Once your troubled teen or young adult goes beyond their regular world filled with all the trappings that keep him/her where they are and finds a support system with a mentor / life- coach who is non-judgmental, on their side and open to thinking “outside the box”, that child will become motivated to start the process of getting back on track.

Four ways to create success for a troubled teen or young adult.

  1. 1. Find a mentor to work with your child.
    Someone not from the immediate family, preferably through Skype. Skype sessions allow the client to learn positive new habits at the place where they usually get in trouble: their computers.

Have the mentor ask the student these pertinent questions:
a) Name three goals you would like to work on.
b) What are the challenges to those goals?
c) What would be the first sign-posts of success?

2. The mentor and the student can put together a daily routine based on the student’s goals and interests
(e.g. meditation, yoga, tai chi, weight lifting, biking, jogging, playing an instrument, singing and reading). Basically all the things we were told that have no real financial benefit. Start with two 5 – 15 minute routines to be attempted five to six days a week. Then slowly build up to as many routines that the client feels they can comfortably handle. (Five is a good final number.) Make a weekly worksheet that divides the tasks into columns. Make room for the student to write the duration of each daily exercise (0-20). The goal of these exercises is to empower the student. These exercises are self-motivated without help from the family.

3. Hold bi-weekly meetings discussing progress.
Looking at existing obstacles and exploring solutions to these obstacles in a non-judgmental way. Therapy works well in once-a-week sessions. Mentoring / life coaching young adults requires two times a week. We are building whole new structures to succeed. This requires six to nine months of twice-a-week support until the client has internalized the habits.

4. During these sessions the mentor asks: 
“If you could do anything at all with your life, without concern of how you would make it happen, what would you choose?”
With this answered, the mentor and the student can go about finding ways to put their toes into the pond of these life purpose quests. Whittling away at young adult self-sabotage. It could be a 12-week workshop, a college class, a volunteer position or starting a small business. This time is used to help the student bring his “daily work” training into these new situations. To enhance his successful patterns accordingly. For so many young people, their home has been their box of safety and joy. Something they find wonderful and yet limiting . . . not a good long-term strategy.

Mentoring young adults is an important goal is to help these newly empowered youth create the tools they need. Allowing them  to feel safe going out into the world successfully. To eradicate young adult self-sabotage, you need to create mini-boxes of safety for them to thrive in. Places where they can learn to be self-empowered. Without exception, students who go through the entire process choose self-empowerment over self-sabotage. They not only succeed but most often become examples of leadership in their chosen vocation.

Help your child find their inspiration and get on track for a successful life!

Know a teen or young adult in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Interested in Mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Teen Mentoring Programs: Volunteer!

If you ask a Millennial what they want to do this summer, most teens and young adults really want to see summer as a time to play the most video games, go to sleep just before the sun is up and possible smoke their brains out. Can you blame them?  The idea of teen mentoring programs such as life coaching young adults seems unnecessary. But what about those dealing with school failure, bad sleep habits, pot addiction, low self-esteem, anger issues and more?

How do we inspire young adults to make wise choices for the summer?

I have always found that when given proper motivation and a true understanding of the benefits, most young adults will choose the best things to help themselves grow. “Because I said so” rarely works and never helps in a long-lasting way. In our teen mentoring programs we promote new ways for young adults to seek personal growth.

What if it is too late to find a job?

The two places to look are jobs and volunteering in an area that interests them. Teen mentoring programs like our for mentoring young adults is a great way to help encourage teens to grow and challenge themselves.
If your focus is that summer can become a time that could change your child’s future job prospects in an ever-changing world versus keeping them busy to not get into trouble, you have started on a good path.

Our new summer goal in Teen Mentoring Programs: Widen your child’s horizon.

The more a young adult in today’s world widens their horizons, the richer their lives become and the greater their potential for a good living becoms. Summer is the perfect opportunity for this through the experience of volunteering. Lots of young adults bristled when I use the word “volunteer” seeing it as merely “working for nothing” (i.e. where’s the money?!?!). Our program which mentors young adults is a great example of teen mentoring programs built to encourage new ways to look at summer volunteering.

Here is a different way to view volunteer work:

In our work mentoring young adults, our teen mentoring programs focus on ways to get new experience:

Try and get a job without experience or training at the zoo and you will probably end up scraping bird-poop off the glass enclosures. Volunteer at the zoo and you may have a chance to be up close and personal with the animals. Learning things few people get a chance to learn.

This is where one of my most favorite books comes into play: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I still read this book once a year and have found it
training Millenials to use the Carnegie principals immensely useful in getting my clients through many a closed doors and getting them the volunteer positions they wanted. Read this book!

Picking the proper area to volunteer in is a fairly easy exercise once you know how.

As Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss”.

First choice should be something you know tons about just because you love it; animals, reptiles, stamp collecting, rock climbing, motorcycle repair, gardening … whatever you love; if you know all about it, take advantage of that knowledge to volunteer with people who do it for a living and see your passion through a professional’s eyes.

Second choice could be something you were always curious about. If you have great people skills or sales skills or are good with your hands, there are all sorts of organizations that can use those skills over the summer in a volunteer position.

Saving the best for last:

Most noteworthy: Work with a local community political cause you really believe in. We got Brexit and Trump because Millennials were not engaged and felt un-empowered. You are not. You are the future. Consider volunteering also at a pet shelter, a homeless shelter, a food shelter, a summer camp for at-risk youth or one of the many organizations that help third world countries. Your life will never be the same.

Volunteering: Widening your circle of knowledge and people. Learn how different people who are passionate about their lives work. Making a difference in the world. These “summer experiences” are the beginning of becoming a renaissance person in the 21st century. There is no price that can be put on that.

Interested in more articles on mentoring young adults? Click here.

Know someone in need of mentoring? Click here

Know someone interested in being trained to mentor young adults? Click here

The Slacker’s Guide to Success – Introduction

The Slacker’s Guide to Success is Ken Rabow’s method based on his work Life Coaching Troubled Teens, Young Adults and their Families over the past 13 years. Here is an excerpt. Enjoy!

An Introduction to The Slackers Guide to Success By Ken Rabow
So, you know you’re brilliant. Your parents know you’re brilliant. Your dog thinks you’re amazing, then why are so many things not working out in your life?

Hi, My name is Ken Rabow and I work with young adults struggling to find their place in the world. The ones I take on as clients are those who really want to make changes in their lives. Many of the clients I work with come to me when they have…
a) Been stuck in part-time jobs without a future
b) Become addicted to video games; or pot; or magic cards or something else.
c) Failed a course, a term or a whole school year
d) Major sleep or anger “issues”
e) All of the above.
Don’t you just love multiple choice?!?

As one of my clients once said to me:
“I really like staying at home, playing video games all day in my bathrobe…..
but I’m beginning to think that it’s not a great long-term plan”.
Let us call that client Skeeter. At the writing of this blog Skeeter is back in school working on a science degree. In his first semester, he caught the attention of an amazing professor doing ground-breaking research who has hired Skeeter in the lab.
So how did Skeeter go from being a stay-in-his room slacker to an up-and-coming science guy? And why should you care if you are into something else or don’t even want to go to school but have dreams of starting your own business or killer app?
Because! 🙂

Okay, that’s a parent-y answer. The real answer is that what worked for Skeeter can work for you in any field, in any format, in any situation. Your success will come from:
• finding your power
• learning to believe in yourself
• determining how to build habits that guarantee success and
• discovering the secret to success through messing up.

Yes, I’m here to tell you that you can’t really be great at anything until you can get past…. perfectionism.
That’s what this system is all about and it works! Each time. Every time.
I’ve seen so many young people change their lives around. There are a lot of people out there who deserve to learn how to be their very best and do great things in their lives.
I’ve written these articles so you can benefit from this “out of the box” approach that I have refined in my private practice over the years. This process that will enable you to succeed on your own terms. If you follow this method, you will find yourself growing in character and soon enough you will discover yourself achieving successes you didn’t dare dream of. You will find that it’s great to get out of bed every morning, feeling good about
An Introduction to The Slackers Guide to Success By Ken Rabow
doing things that earns people’s respect. More importantly, you will feel good about yourself for your personal achievements
.
You will need to do these exercises with a coach/mentor, preferably someone who is not a close relative or who sees you on a day-to-day basis. You need someone you can talk to, someone who will keep your secrets, someone who will respect you and let you grow at your own pace.
There are three sections in these articles and each section is one full stage of development. The first stage is personal development, the second stage, professional develpment is bringing your personal development out into the world with your new strengths and the third stage, inner development is giving back to the world and growing as a person.
Here is a brief outline of the 13 steps in three stages. Enjoy!
Stage One – Personal Development
1) Investigation: Looking at our strengths; challenges, past patterns; coping strategies and choosing role models and events or ideas as inspirations.
2) Opportunity: Searching for a mentor. Choosing three goals, defining the challenges to those goals and indicators of success
3) Mindsets: Abundance, Poverty Mentality and False Epiphanies.
4) Generativity: Creating your daily routine of a personal meaningful practice.
Finding the blocks that stop you from succeeding and creating remedies.
5) Out Into The World (and back again) Bringing your new skills in to practice in the outside world in a safe and limited way.
6) Setting limits: Learning to set limits gracefully on the time-stealers in your life.
7) Direction. (Following your bliss) Creating the groundwork for a successful, enjoyable life.
Stage Two – Professional Development
8) Out into the world: Putting into practice stage one in a more extended fashion and transforming all you have learned into new situations.
9) Forming new boxes of safety: Using mindfulness and success consciousness out there and seeing how they work in new situations while learning to feel safe.
10) Creating new generative structures. Schedules, coping and new friends.
11) Making your addictions work for you. Using your urges to indulge your addictions as a reward for doing the work you need to get done.
Stage Three – Inner Development
12) A complete life. Learning a sustainable daily practice of being mindful in
learning, work, relationships and even play.
13) Pay it forward: Once you’ve reached this point, your life is richer, you are happier and you will truly want to help others grow in their own way. This step will teach you how to do that.

Get the book; paperback or Kindle! Click here

Help! My Teen Won’t Get Up Before 3 pm!

Help! A parent contacted me the other day concerning her recurring summer problem with her teenager. “I practically never see my teenager from June to September! They refuse to come to dinner, never speaks to us and they have wasted every summer since turning 13 with their friends; playing video games (doing who knows what else) and going to sleep when I am getting ready to go to work at seven in the morning! No amount of discussion will get them to change their ways”.

Just the facts, Ma’am: Researchers have recently discovered that while most adult’s melatonin levels (which help us fall asleep) start to be produced at 10 p.m., teenagers tend to begin producing the hormone at around 1 a.m. How much of this time difference is due to changing hormones and how much is due to the disruptive effect from the lights of computer monitors and TVs over-stimulating their minds? While the melatonin issue makes a good case for later start times in high school classes, it does not justify going to bed at seven in the morning.

Crisp or Mooshy. A teenage client of mine calls it the cereal effect. The less he would do during the summer, the more soggy his brain became making his September brain mooshy. The more he engaged in stimulating summer activities the more “crisp” his brain was when he hit the school season.

10 ways to a crisp brain for the new school term:

1. Three days a week (at around noon) some sports; weights, tai chi, ball hockey etc.
2. One day a week – (same time) a creative class; music; comedy class; writing; etc. (plus 15 minutes a day of unmonitored practice).
3. One day a week – personal power class; public speaking; sales technique etc;
4. One dinner a week – The teenager is in charge. They choose the meal and cook it as well. Help is welcomed but the teen is in charge. Same evening each week.
5. One topic a week – The teenager chooses the dinner-time discussion; any world event, idea or philosophy that interests them.
6. Weekends off! No time constraints from Friday night to Monday morning.
7. Space is the final frontier. Give them some.
8. Trips – they’re great! But give them one day off for every 3 days spent as a family.
9. Rethink the pod. Have them choose ways to change the look of their room that reflects the best of their positive interests.
10. 10 minutes a day – 5 days a week – some sort of mindful meditation.

You will end up with a teenager walking up around 11:00 am, five days a week, which, as most of you know, is pretty good for the summer.

One More Thing: 
Giving people the time to discover their own interests and to pursue them for self-growth is an opportunity that few people take the time to do “until they retire”. The best inspiration you can be to your teenager is to go after something that is personally rewarding for yourself. The more challenging, the better…… and let them see you sweat.

Mentoring Young Adults Can Help Your Child

To know why mentoring young adults may be the proper way out of the challenges many parents face these days, we must look at where so many families find themselves. There are so many parents of troubled teens and young adults who are at their wits end, not knowing how to deal with their children. Communication is an issue. Hygiene is an issue. Sleep is an issue. Video gaming and overuse of the Internet is an issue. Let’s face it, there’s a lot more of issues than anything else! Let’s look at why mentoring young adults may be the solution for your child.

Finding Success through Life Coaching Young Adults
People seek a life coach for teens and young adults when they come to a certain realization. It’s okay to have an outside party be there to create something more than medication or talk therapy may achieve. That something is a slow and steady concrete process. One that will bring hope back to your child. One of earning their own belief in themselves. To be successful and rise above challenges and failures. To learn that failures and mistakes are the route to their greatness. Most importantly, to learn the value in day-to-day simple disciplines. Disciplines based on things that they would enjoy doing, bringing a rightly earned self-confidence to them.

The Proven Method
My book “The Slacker’s Guide To Success” chronicles the entire 13 step process, but to put it in a nutshell: a young person needs to seek out a life coach that they are willing to trust and be open to trying new things with. They must then be willing to look at their goals and their challenges to succeeding and finally to start a daily chart of the small successes that will instill in them a sense of the possibility of succeeding in the real world.

How Some People Limit Struggling Teens and Young Adults
I meet so many young people that so many have said of them that they will never be able to succeed. Often, all the family and relatives were hoping for was for things to not get worse and yet these young people have soared and have found their greatness.

The ones who did not succeed, did not succeed because the expectations from their family and friends were for an immediate fix. The kind of profound inner changes I am speaking about in this article are slow and steady. But if all those concerned take the time, have the patience, determination and certitude to see this through, the rewards will be immeasurable.

Remember This:
Do not give up hope. Do not think that you are alone. Reach out for someone to help you and the changes will come. They may be slow but they will be astounding…  Ken Rabow

Update by Ken Rabow – Dec 2017
Here it is four years later and I find that in life coaching young adults, I am still finding so many teens and young adults with anxiety, sleep issues, communication challenges and more. The good news is that working with this system, mentoring young adults really does help these young people AND their families have successful lives where they can hope again for a great future.

What does it take? Find the right mentor to mentor young adults. Taking the time to let them learn the system, to create positive daily routines and grow as a young adult. To fall on their butts, dust themselves off and try again.

Mentoring young adults is not a fast solution but if it works for your child, it is a long lasting solution. Mentoring young adults can help them throughout their lives. It requires the same work to un-mess up someone as to help them find their greatness. Most parents come to us bereft of hope. They want to help their child not fail. As people mentoring young adults, we seek how to help them not only not fail but to soar to greatness. Each person has greatness in them. Sometimes a mentor is the best way forward.

To learn how to become a professional mentor for young adults, click here