Are you feeling overwhelmed with worry about the future of your teen?
Does your teen lack of motivation, act self-centered, or display a bad attitude?
Or...maybe your teen isn't the problem, but their friends or social media have "hijacked" them and you can feel them slipping away?
Is the feeling of chaos in your home causing you to lose connection with the people you love?
Are you starting to believe things will never get any better?
Hi, I'm Coach Forrest Folen, and first I just want to tell you that THERE IS HOPE.
I've seen hundreds of families turn things around with the methods I'm about to show you here.
My goal is to give you some actionable steps you can take NOW, and to show you my formula for going from "chaos to connection" so you feel less stress and have more balance in your life.
Here's a picture of me with my family.
My wife and I were struggling with our two older kids (son age 21 and daughter age 17). We had been slowly watching them go into a downward spiral of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem and felt powerless because the more we tried to change things, the more they pushed us away.
That is UNTIL I discovered the BLUEPRINT FOR TEEN SUCCESS that I'm going to share with you today.
You see, it's NOT YOUR FAULT! Our kids have the cards stacked against them.
Social media and cell phones, video game addiction, pandemic lock-downs, social media induced FOMO, body dysmorphia, cyber bullying, hormones, identity crisis, drugs and alcohol, gangs and violence, school shootings, culture wars, political division, racism, fentanyl overdoses.
Combine all this with the pressure of having to get near perfect grades and have an outstanding college resume so they can be a "success"...whatever that means!
It's no wonder that according to a recent article in TIME Magazine, self harm is up 344%! Anxiety is up 67%! ...and depression is up 49%!
We are in a STATE OF CRISIS when it comes to our teens, but what are we doing about it?
The schools teach literacy in math, history, and science, but where is the emotional literacy?
It's unfortunate, but we aren't teaching emotional literacy in our schools.
Would we send off our teen to build a house from the ground up with a hammer, a saw, and without any job training? Of course not, they'd probably saw their hand off!!
Then why are we sending our kids off to build their futures without any emotional intelligence or MINDSET training? What damage our we causing by allowing this?
At the very least they deserve to learn how to manage their emotional and mental states so that when the world becomes too overwhelming they have a toolset to regain their center, to return their focus to a state of gratitude, to learn to feel as though they are winning even in their day-to-day lives.
Society puts this "one day it will all pay off" carrot out in front of our teens that is often years away and we wonder why they can't stay focused on their goals in the present moment.
Our teens need a mechanism to help them know they are succeeding daily, and at the same time learn to be aware of and identify the negative mental chatter that makes them feel "less than" or unworthy, angry, alone, or hopeless.
Last, our teens need us, their parents to be there for them. Our job ain't over yet! In fact, it's just getting started!
Our kids learn more by what we do then what we say.
How are we as parents showing up in the world? How are we dealing with stress and anxiety? How are we setting the tone energetically when we enter the conversation with them?
I know what you may be thinking, but don't do it.
You don't need to throw a pity party or try to feel guilty about the past and beat yourself up. I know that response all too well, because I did that for years, and it didn't help one bit.
You know what did help?
Taking action on what I'm about to show you RIGHT NOW. So get out a pen and paper and let's get down to business!
STEP 1) ACCEPTANCE - Accepting what is in your power to change (hint - it's not your teen!).
This was the first thing that really set me free as a parent. When I shifted to this perspective EVERYTHING CHANGED.
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
The things that are NOT in your power to change are who your teen follows on social media, your teens friends, your teens choices, your teens grades, or your teens emotions (leading to outbursts or shutting down).
None of those things are in your power to change. So don't focus on what you can't change, focus on what you CAN change!
Here are the 2 things you can change that will make ALL the difference:
1) Your Approach. This is where you find a NEW WAY to enter the conversation that isn't combative, isn't authoritarian, isn't a push-over, isn't a "poor me", and isn't a victim.
This new approach is the approach of the "Conscious Parent". It means being in the moment with our teen, not comparing them to a picture of what we want them to be, but being in total acceptance of who they (and we) are right now.
The conscious parent approach means that you open a relationship with your teen that looks more like a partnership than a monarchy. It doesn't mean you give up control, but it does mean that you look to the partnership to co-create your lives together.
It also means that when you feel triggered by your teens behavior you have the opportunity to view it as a way to grow. Your teen becomes your student and your teacher, and your exchanges take on a whole new meaning.
I highly recommend the book, "The Conscious Parent" by Dr. Shafali Tsabary. I believe in her work so much that her conscious parent approach is embedded right into the coaching I do with parents and teens that I work with.
2) Your Influence. Despite not being able to control much of what your teen chooses to do or not do, you can control your influence over them by controlling their environment. Realize that by having the ability to change their environment, you have direct control of what or who influences them.
By changing environment, I don't mean to lock them up in their room without their cell phone. What I mean is, who do you put in front of your teen that can positively change their outlook and inspire them to want to improve their life ON THEIR OWN TERMS?
Teens are biologically hard-wired to turn away from their parents and towards their peers and/or other "tribal elders" (aunts, uncles, coaches, teachers, etc.).
It's a survival mechanism that goes back over 100,000 years of human evolution. Don't try to work against natural human instinct, instead learn to use it to your advantage! Put your teens around the people who have the same values as you, and you will have succeeded in gifting your teen with positive influence.
STEP 2) AWARENESS - Learning to see what lies beneath.
If we're on the receiving end of anger in our teen, they may be having outbursts like yelling, fighting, punching walls, destroying their room, OR they may hide away, numb themselves, give the silent treatment, stop caring.
Either way their anger expresses, we see the expression of the anger or outburst and want to change the behavior, right?
Well, this approach is going to do more harm than good because the CAUSE of their anger is something that lies beneath that we often don't see.
Anger is caused by hurt.
Hurt is what we need to speak to.
Maybe not in the moment, because when someone is at a "level 10" then need to calm down before they can be in a rational space to be engaged again. But at some point, we need to be aware of and speak to the hurt that lies underneath the anger we see on the surface.
Your teen might be trying to manipulate, or lie, or force you to feel that you are the "bad guy" but if you can begin to ask "What hurt is underneath this behavior?" you'll begin to move in the right direction on how to solve the surface issue.
STEP 3) ACCOUNTABILITY - Have a process for your teen so they feel empowered to be in control of their own emotions and mindset.
The next step is to have a process in place that allows your teen to develop and practice a skillset of emotional intelligence.
It's not enough to have pep-talks, to watch motivational videos, or to read self-help books. There's nothing wrong with those things, and they can all be helpful, but they don't replace having a process for reframing the negative mental chatter in your teens mind.
There are many ways to develop this process. The first way I was introduced to how to look introspectively into my own thoughts and emotions was when I was 21 years old.
WHO IS FORREST FOLEN?
You see, long before I was a mindset coach, podcast host, an international best-selling author, and speaker I was once a teen, too!
(Here's a picture of me right before going on stage speaking at a Tony Robbins event for teens.)
Unfortunately, I didn't know how to process my emotions when I was a teen, so I numbed myself with drugs and alcohol which at first helped me get over my social anxiety and my lack of self-esteem, but later led to a complete breakdown of my body, mind, and life and then I dove into harder drugs.
I eventually became homeless at age 17, and that's when my grandmother found me standing in the rain under a yellow street lamp.
She pulled her burgundy Chrystler up to the curb where I stood, rolled the passenger side window down, leaned out over her Coke-bottle thick glasses and said, "Forrest, take care of your body. If you take care of your body, your body will take care of your mind, and your mind will take care of your life."
...and then she drove off.
No one changes overnight, but that grandmother wisdom of "body, mind, life" rang in me like a bell, eventually leading me to work up enough courage to start training in martial arts. It was there I learned discipline, focus, the power of the mind and body, and the life skill of meditation.
Meditation was my first step into mindfulness, and to be able to peel back the layers of my mind to find the true essence of who I was, not who society told me I was.
After years of training, earning my Second Degree Black Belt, I launched what would be a 20+ year career in fitness and wellness and I continued studying the core of what I found was the most transformative, the power of MINDSET.
Now, I coach teens, parents, and families to go from chaos to connection so they can be happier and healthier together.
If you or someone you know needs guidance, please offer them the link to this website, and have them click the link below to set up a Discovery Call with me.
On the call, we will get crystal clear about what is standing in your way, and how to bring you, your teen, and your family back together again so you can stop wasting time in disconnection and start feeling on-track, inspired, and energized.
Click this link to join me on a FREE, 60-Minute Discovery call:
More About Coach Forrest:
- Over 20+ years health and wellness professional
- Founded 2 successful fitness businesses and a wellness consulting agency
- 2 Time International Best-Selling Author ("Awakening to Your Fitness Journey" and "Body Mind Transformations")
- Wellness consultant to Fortune 50 company
- Advocate for Homeless teens and families
- Certified Mindset Coach
- Meditation Instructor (over 15 years)
- 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do (15 years martial arts Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)
- Host of the Parent Teen Mindset Show podcast