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Take A Peek Into The Real Life Of The Modern Teenager
Teenagers are more sophisticated than many of us realize. If you’re a parent, you might understand the complex nature of your teenager’s worldview. As parents, we have blinders on. That is to say we see what we choose to see.
We view teenagers as young people who need to do well in school, prepare for the future, and have a little fun. This isn’t a bad thing. But, if you take a peek into the average day of a teenager, age 13 – 19, you’ll be a bit surprised to learn how much information and life experience is squeezed into a single day. If your teenager is overweight or obese, their worldview may be very different than you might imagine.
A fundamental theme amongst teens with whom we have worked, is found in their journey to define themselves as they see themselves in the world. Their social standing or belonging, their purpose, their level of confidence, and the ability to project themselves authentically is forming. Teenagers are essentially adults who are not yet ready to financially support themselves. They deal with crises on a daily basis. They adjust to social demands and create a reality that has great consequences. Their perspective is based on what they are experiencing, and their unique place in the world is exceptionally important to them.
How to encourage teenagers to exercise and eat better foods?
Just like us, many teenagers eat junk food. These foods contribute to serious health risks. The difference between what adults eat and what many teenagers eat is only separated by the measure of perceived risk associated with our food choices. Adults may eat healthier than some teens because we understand the direct link between poor health and eating junk food.
Essentially, we are closer to the reality of mortality. We understand, and accept that we’re going to manage illness, disease, and disorder — we have greater responsibilities, and we’re likely going to die before our teenage child. So, we eat a little better. We keep our regular doctor visits, and we closely embrace the ideas that shape our ability to live healthier lifestyles.
We know that over 20% of American adolescents are obese. About one-third of the youth population is overweight or obese. Are teenagers reckless? Were you reckless as a teenager? Probably, right? That doesn’t mean that your teenager doesn’t care about their health or level of fitness. It does mean that, as a parent, you might have to set a great example.
Showing your teenager how to eat better, for example, is fundamental. Coaching your teen to exercise regularly can be a challenge. Are you exercising regularly? Are you overweight or obese? Is your child, or teenager, overweight or obese? What can you do to help your teenager eat better and exercise?
How does emotion, technology, and virtual reality affect the health of teenagers?
We shared a little bit about what we’ve learned about teenagers above. Of course, there is a lot more to share. Overweight or obese teenagers have more challenges to consider than teenagers of average weight. Remember our thoughts on worldview? The social experiences of many obese or overweight teenagers are very sensitive. There is a pronounced outward projection of self and very real inward thinking, and awareness of self that many teenagers battle.
Some teenagers project themselves in the most attractive way possible to guard exposure to sensitive characteristics. Obese and overweight teenagers often use humor as a way to defend attacks, bullying, and negative attention from their peers. Remember, we don’t really know what it is like for an obese or overweight teenager to negotiate all of the stressors they encounter daily. We see our kids for what we think they are—really great kids!
Unfortunately, social pressures and pure mean-spirited behavior eat at the very fabric of self-esteem. If you were an overweight child or teenager, you know exactly what we’re trying to express. It’s an understatement to say that your thoughts on diet and exercise can be very sensitive subjects to explore with your teenager. Emotional connections to anger, fear, resentment, happiness, and comfort make it very challenging for many teens to explore some of the things that connect them to food. When overweight or obese young people manage these emotions and connections to foods in a less effective way, problems can become unmanageable.
Perhaps you’ve experienced challenges in this area yourself? Do you have an emotional attachment to eating or food? Does your teenager have unhealthy eating habits? Do you think emotion plays a large role in affecting eating habits? If your teenager is like millions of other adolescents in America, you’ll agree that they might spend too much time sitting while texting or trolling the internet on their mobile phone or computer.
Technology has changed the way young people access information and spend their time. Everything from information gathering, entertainment, and communication has changed. You and I might still call or email our friends and coworkers. Your teenager is on Snapchat, Instagram, using WhatsApp or texting nearly every moment of their day. This shift in technology makes it really easy for people to get sucked into a very sedentary lifestyle because our reality is now virtual. It’s a strange statement, but true. Our reality is now virtual. Our social experience is now the media. Lives are now media content.
Teenagers suffer most because the information age has translated the physical world into a virtual world. One in which perspective and perception instantly shape reality. Their reality is broadcast instantaneously. The speed at which information is shared pulls teens into an ever-present connection with social media, and online experiences over real life experiences. This means that teens are simply moving less. Teenagers live very inactive lifestyles. This inactivity can lead them to the path of weight gain, poor eating, and many health risks associated with being overweight. If your teenager is overweight or obese, you can bet technology may not be helping his or her efforts to become more active in the real world. And, this, my friends, is where we come in to help!
How can we coach teenagers to exercise, eat better, and become healthier?
We specialize in coaching people to embrace the power of critical thinking. When challenges exist, we help teenagers explore them to form a personal understanding of how that challenge is or was created by what they choose to think and behave. In order to form emotionally engaging judgments about what your teenager might perceive as a problem, we ask them to connect to their personal why?. It’s a big ask, but when done correctly teenagers really embrace the exercise. Helping a teenager explore their personal why has been one of the most effective ways to help them focus on the direction. Once a teenager feels a sense of direction it becomes much easier to successfully explore challenges and work together to develop solutions. It isn’t a good strategy to simply instruct a teenager. They know it all, right?!
Once a teenager has formed an informed judgment, and he or she feels more in touch with their personal why—you’d be amazed to see how they really enjoy exploring nutrition, exercise, and other tools that we use to help them lose weight, become healthier, stronger, and better prepared to manage stress, and become a successful problem-solver. These benefits of coaching and teaching lead to greater self-esteem.
It’s true, teenagers that we have worked with us simply feel more connected to their strengths. Our teens become naturally interested in problem-solving, nutrition, and exercise. Teenagers who have worked with us have lost bodyweight, and body fat that has been directly responsible for preventing many illnesses, diseases, and disorders correlated with obesity or being overweight. The teenagers we work with simply become stronger, well-accomplished people who have a strong sense of self. It begins with listening, and sharing what it means to be a true leader. Because we care, because you care—we prove it by doing the things necessary to develop trust and results in a teenagers life.
What do we value, and do you value the same things?
Please contact us if you would like to develop a comprehensive fitness experience for your teenager. If you are looking for a genuine in-home or virtual personal training experience and positive change in your teenager’s life, please contact us today.