Category Archives: Teen Perspective

Single and Hate Valentine’s Day? by Hannah Bland

single-on-valentines-gregory-bland
Single and hate Valentine’s day? Have you had a friend tell you how much they dislike Valentine’s Day because they are ‘alone?’

We often get the idea that Valentine’s Day is only about writing love letters to, or buying chocolate and flowers for, our significant others.

If we stick this narrow idea of Valentine’s Day we’ll miss an opportunity to show the love we have for our parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. All important people within our lives. There are many other ways to enjoy and show love on Valentine’s Day.

In Ruth 1:16 we read one of the greatest stories of love. Naomi upon deciding to return home asked both Orpah and Ruth to remain in their own country. Orpah listened to Naomi’s plea and returned home, where she could get married, and have children.

Ruth, however, had a plea of her own ” where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay….” She loved Naomi so much that she was willing to give up all that Orpah could have, in order to live with Naomi the rest of her life.

As we look at Ruth we see that love isn’t all about getting married, being swept off our feet, or even dreaming and hoping about what our future can hold. Love is right in front of us. It’s in the people we surround ourselves with, those who really care about us. We see the greatest act of love in the Bible, Jesus offering His life for us as an act of love.

When you celebrate Valentine’s Day today, could I challenge you to shift your focus from the ‘love’ you don’t have while celebrating and expressing love to those who are right with you. The family and friends you do have who love you, and of course to God who loves you more than anyone on earth ever could.

From me to you Happy Valentine’s Day!

With Love extended
Hannah Bland

*Photo #75713290 dollarphotoclub

Beginning the Year Right by Hannah Bland

goals-papc-tlcChristmas celebrations are done and school is underway, it’s a great time to look ahead and what the year can hold. 2015 has just begun it’s a good time to evaluate our past year and begin setting goals for the new one.

By setting these goals I think it gives us an opportunity to do something that allows us to use our time more wisely on things that will better our lives and even bless other people. We only have a set amount of time to live and God knows exactly how much that is and what we’ll use our life doing. I have spent my fair share of wasted days and I don’t like how it feels when I don’t choose to use my time wisely, stretch myself to grow, or help out someone in some way.

I believe we all have the ability to build someone up, and be a blessing to others, and I know God wants us to use our talents and gifts to do just that. Maybe you think this year is a time you could grow in your spiritual life, physical life, or even accomplish goals you’ve been putting off.

There’s always time to start something new whether at the beginning of a year or at the end. My family have recently started creating weekly calendars so we can ‘plan’ and be proactive with our time. We sit as a family and review this weekly, setting spiritual, physical, emotional, educational and relational goals.

I hope that 2015 brings a fresh start to my own life giving me more time with God and to better reach my personal goals. It’s not easy to start something new and stick with it but it is possible. I challenge you at the beginning of this year to set goals for yourselves that allow you to get closer to God, grow personally, but also to bless others.

Your friend
Hannah Bland

What Does a Dad Look Like? by Katelyn Bland

what-is-a-dad-gregory-blandWhat does a dad look like?

A dad is someone who is always there for you.
He is understanding, caring, and loving.
Someone you can talk to about anything.
Dad’s are here to protect and do their best to keep you safe and sound.
Dad is someone who supports you and who you can talk with even late at night.
They are there to celebrate your highlights and walk with you through your tough times.
Dad offers unconditional love, they are forgiving, and our role models.
They are teachers and so much more.

I offer a huge thank you to my Dad and all the other Dad’s out there too!

With Love
Katelyn Bland
Pro-Active Parent Coaching & The Legacy Centre

Redefining Failure Part 3 by Gregory Bland

failure-risk-gregory-blandSome people go to great lengths NOT to fail. Our initial impression of this might lead us to believe to do so is reasonable, if not understandable. However sheltering ourselves from failure and avoiding it at all costs may have greater long-term consequences for us than taking the risk.

Failure itself does appear to be subjective. Our perception of and response to the mistakes, shortcomings, or mis-steps we make determine whether or not it attacks the heart, becomes demoralizing, and instills fear.  It seems as though people who have redefined failure and understand that it is a natural part of life and learning, pick themselves up and move forward with greater ease than those who view failure as something to be avoided.

One of my heroes in this area is Thomas Edison. A man who knew adversity, attempted much, and ‘failed’ more. We hear much about his inventions that took hold and revolutionized society, but very little about all the inventions and ideas that fell flat or were simply rejected.

What is it that set Edison apart? I believe it was his perspective on and definition of ‘failure.’ In response to a question about his missteps, Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” What a great perspective. It was this perspective that allowed him to risk moving forward and resist the paralysis that often comes from a fear of failing.
(read 7 Epic Fails brought to you by the Genius Mind of Thomas Edison)

Of course Edison is not the only one to redefine failure. There are many who recognize and embrace failure as a natural part of growth and learning. Without failing in some way we’d never truly know what we are capable of.

As you seek to redefine failure consider this, “Can I give myself permission to risk and fail?”

Until next time
I’m failing with you so we can know what we are truly capable of.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Gregory Bland

Redefining Failure Pt 2 by Gregory Bland

perspective-on-failure-gregory-blandFailure is an inside job. It’s a matter of the heart. If you want to overcome the fear of failure, you will first have to master your thoughts and belief regarding failure.

Jesus indicated, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” The writer of Proverbs advised us to “Guard our heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.”   Grantland Rice stated, “Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart.”  Failure is an inside job and if you want to understand your view of failure observe the thoughts and feelings you have toward failure and the words you speak.  For they reveal the heart.

Many of us wrestle with feelings of failure. If left unchecked it can progress toward doubtful thoughts about ourselves and promote negative self-talk that often convinces us that WE are failures. We personalize it. We embody the negative message, and soon believe, “I AM a failure.”

Our belief about failure profoundly influences our perception of and approach to failure. We either fear & try to avoid it at all cost or we embrace it as a natural part of life and learning.

I’m not saying that this is easy, by any means, but we do have a choice as to which approach we take. We can choose to see failure as “the end of the world,” proof of just how inadequate we are. Or, we can seek to redefine and embrace failure as an opportunity. The choice really is ours to make.

Author JI Packer said something profound, “A moment of conscious triumph makes one feel that after this, nothing will really matter; a moment of…disaster makes one feel like this is the end of everything. But neither feeling is realistic, because neither event is really what it’s felt to be.’

For those that struggle with a ‘fear of failure,’ I leave one question for you to contemplate today.

If your perspective on failure changed what would you attempt to do?

Until next time, know that your view and approach to failure greatly influences your children.
Gregory Bland
Pro-Active Parent Coach

Redefining Failure Pt 1 by Gregory Bland

get-back-up-gregory-bland

Has fear undergirded your decision to simply NOT try? Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you simply let it pass? Many of us have most likely experienced fear of failure at one time or another. The reality for us in those moments is ‘fear can be immobilizing,’ causing ‘paralysis,’ and a subtle internal resistance to moving forward.

Imagine, if you and I as adults have experienced these feelings of fear, how much more impacting are they for our children and teens?

Often the first step in helping our children walk through their fear of failure is first walking through our own.
What are our perceptions of failure? How do they impact our personal views of embracing or avoiding failure?   How are our views of failure being ‘imparted’ to our children?

There is significant diversity in how people view failure. Someone may view failure as something to be avoided, while another may whole-heartedly embrace failure as a part of a greater learning experience. The latter are happy to embrace the words of Miss Frizzle, ‘It’s time to take chances, make mistakes,’ while the former cringe at the very notion.

When you consider failure what is your perception about it?
How has your thinking been shaped in viewing failure?
What impact is this having upon yourself, and your family?

Until next time remember, it’s what you do after you get up that matters.

Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Gregory Bland

Failure: Helping Children & Teens Keep a Healthy Perspective of Self by Gregory Bland

healthy-perspective-on-failure-gregory-bland     Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart.  Grantland Rice

Many people wrestle with the internal emotions that whisper or  more often shout, “I am a failure!”  If entertained for a pro-longed period of time it will evidence itself in a deteriorating confidence and increase in doubtful thoughts about themselves.

At the heart of the deteriorating confidence and increasing self doubt is one central question, “Am I a failure?”

We all know and would readily admit failure is painful.  Moreso than some of us would like to admit.  These feelings are heightened when others tease, ridicule, or put others down because of the ‘failure.’

When you recognize these thoughts surfacing within your children or teens it’s important to foster an environment that accepts failure as a part of learning.  In this way our children/teens can develop a healthy perspective of themselves and failure.

One step you can take to bring health to your child/teen is affirm, “You are not a failure.  You simply failed at doing something.”   There is a huge difference between the two.  If we can help our children/teens understand that some of the greatest growth comes through failure they will more readily embrace failure as opposed to being beaten up by it.

Until next time,

Remember, you may have failed at something, but that does not make you a failure.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Gregory Bland
The Legacy Centre & Pro-Active Parent Coaching

 

* Photo Credit  Dollar Photo Club id#59651900

Failure is an Event not an Identity by Gregory Bland

failure-is-an-event-gregory-bland-the-legacy-centre“I’m a loser!”  The self talk and belief of our children and teens is powerful.

Consider the average child’s feelings after they have experienced failure. Do they say, “I’m no good at _________.” Or, more often say, “I’m a loser. I am no good at anything!”

Failure can produce some incredibly powerful feelings within our children & teens.  This is where parents can help develop a different and healthier perspective.   Failure is an event not an identity.

We can help our children develop a new mindset that failure is a natural part of life and learning by:

• Clearly acting ourselves as if we embrace failure as a natural part of learning.

• Avoiding a negative over-reaction to their failures.

• Consistently showing that our love for them is unconditional and is not based upon how they ‘perform.’

• Openly sharing with them about some of our own failures and the value these experiences have brought into our own lives.

During this time of internal conflict, never minimize the reality that the pain they are feeling is genuine but encourage more objective thinking by our children which can serve to bring proper perspective within their own heart and mind.  You could ask something like,

• “I am not sure I understand, how does your failing at __________, make you a failure?”

• “I don’t see a failure. What I see is (name positive character qualities you have seen).”

• “There are many things you’re good at. Can you name a few?”

In this way, we emphasize that failing at something is simply an event, not the identity of our children & teens.

Until next time,
May you and I both embrace our failures as opportunities for growth and learning so that we can lead by example.

Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Gregory Bland
The Legacy Centre & Pro-Active Parent Coaching

 

Photo credit: Dollar Photo Club id #62657037

The Best Thing You Can Do for your Teen by Katelyn Bland

katelyn-bland-horsebackThe best thing you can do for your kids is invest your time in their lives.  The other day my Dad and I went on a trail ride.  Horseback.  Something I love doing.  He took time out of his day to spend with me on the trails.  This meant a lot to me.  It felt like he really wanted to make me a part of his life, and showed me that he was willing to do anything for my sake and enjoyment.  As we rode the trail, I felt good, knowing Dad was right there with me, and that said clearly that he loved me.  I believe love is shown through actions, not just words.  Things like listening, always being there when I need him, and this, doing something I enjoy, speaks loudly of his love for me.

gregory-bland-horseback
It showed that he cared enough to try something new just so he could spend time with me.  If I could challenge you with one thing as parents from a teen’s perspective, it is important to spend time with your kids.  Find out what they like doing, take an interest in that, and do it with them.  We really do like that!  Who knows, maybe it would be something you enjoy doing as well.

I know my Dad and I had a great time together on horseback, and I must say, he did awesome!  I can’t wait until the next time we go again.

Sending a message to parents from a teen’s perspective
Katelyn Bland