Part 2: Lessons in Life for Teenagers

Thank you for your comments and questions about ‘Lessons in Life for Teenagers’.

It was good to hear that other parents are also concerned about the lack of life skills provided for teenagers and about some of challenges families are experiencing.


We know our culture of high academic achievement at all costs in schools and parental over-involvementwith little regard for building up a child’s character and independence is leading to an increase in anxiety, lack confidence and basic ‘streetwise’ skills in teens. Todays Teenagers have greater pressure, but none of the life skills to deal the adversities that life is guaranteed to throw at them. Because education and parental cultures do not promote independence teens stay stuck in a mode of dependency and rarely get to experience setbacks, or start to take responsibility for their life during these micromanaged years. 


I want to share with you a truly valuable means for internal change that can transform the way teenagers navigate these tricky years as they move from dependence to independence to interdependence. It is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers and its based on the number 1 best selling leadership book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Dr.Stephen Covey. It provides teens with a proven set of tools to deal successfully with life.


The habits are based on timeless character principles, NOT personality tricks. Like the top of a tree, our personality is what people see. These personality skills and techniques can affect our success, however, the real source of lasting success lies in our character – the roots. Stephen Covey said, “our first energies should go to our own character development, which is often invisible to others, like the roots that sustain great trees. As we cultivate the roots, we will begin to see the fruits.”


What are the 7 Habits?


7 Habits Principles


Habit 1: Be Proactive

The habit of Responsibility, choice, accountability, initiative, resourcefulness


Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

The habit of Vision, commitment, purpose


Habit 3: Put First Things First

The habit of Integrity, focus, discipline, prioritisation


Habit 4: Think Win-win

The habit of Mutual benefit, fairness, abundance


Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

The habit of Respect, mutual understanding, empathy, courage


Habit 6: Synergise

The habit of creativity, cooperation, diversity, humility


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

The habit of Renewal, continuous improvement balance


Let’s look more closely at habit 1: Be proactive.

Personally, if I look back at my life to every time I have fallen out with someone it has never been because of what the person has done it is always because of how I reacted to what they had done. Reactive people make choices based on impulse, whereas, proactive people make choices based on values. They think before they act.


Reactive Behaviour

When teens are reactive, they allow outside influences (moods, feelings, circumstances) to control their response. They loose the power of PAUSE – and immediately react to things


Proactive Behaviour

When teens are proactive, they PAUSE to allow themselves the freedom to choose their response on principles and desired outcomes. Their freedom to choose expands as they wisely use the space between stimulus and response.


Between every stimulus and response there is a ‘PAUSE’

This idea can completely change a teens whole outlook – between what happens to us and our response is a space, the key to our growth and happiness is how we use that space. Being Proactive is called the habit of responsibility because it is when we start to take charge of our life and choose to respond to circumstances in ways that will lead us forwards.


The Power of Paradigms

The habits are powerful because they work on our paradigms. Our paradigms are ways we see our self and the world around us. The paradigms we have can be inaccurate, and in the case of teenagers - most certainly incomplete and lacking clarity. Once a teenager changes the way they see themselves they can then start to choose different actions that will lead them to new results.



Way I see the world = decides my actions = determines my results


“If you want to make minor changes in your life, work on your behaviour. But, if you want to make significant, quantum breakthroughs, work on your paradigms.”

Dr Stephen Covey


On Monday I will share with you how I have used one of the habits and one of the practices (yes – there are practices underpinning the habits as well) with my teenagers and the massive positive impact it has on our relationship, and the destructive affects it has when I don’t use it.


I’m excited about using framework of 7 Habits to give teenagers valuable life skills. What do you think and what is your top question that you have on the this?


Email me on [email protected]


Clinton Lamprecht


England Sports Group and United Education Group

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