Mindset for Teen Success

Monday, March 18, 2024


In late January/early February, social media is flooded with images of kids heading back to school – first day of primary school, high school, first day of final year of primary school, first day of final year ever. The posts reflect all the emotions – excitement, trepidation, nervousness, fear, joy, enthusiasm, anxiety… the list goes on. 

As parents/carers, we want the best for our young people – whatever that looks like for them. And our young people want the best for themselves. Sometimes though, they struggle to understand what best looks like, or how to navigate their school years towards “their best”. 

I’ve worked with pre-teens/ teens for many years:  

  • Back in my HR days, recruiting school leavers into traineeships, introducing them to the corporate world.
  • As a Summer Camp counsellor in the USA in the late 90s, where I had to develop an American accent so the kids could understand me (and yes, everything you see, read, hear or watch on tv about American summer camps is true. It was a magical experience.).
  • Since 2017, mentoring young netball umpires and coaching netball teams.
  • Since 2020, when I became a Clinical Nutritionist, working one-on-one with teens to improve food choices and positively impact their health.
  • Running teenage workshops, teaching how food choices impact mood, skin, energy and more. 
  • And now, coaching teens one-on-one to build a healthy mindset that supports and propels them towards their goals.

As my Nutrition business has grown, I have expanded my skills to mindset coaching, for both adults and teens, using neurolinguistic programming techniques (NLP); after many hours of study and practical application, I received my Master NLP Practitioner and Master NLP Coach certifications in 2023. 

My one-on-one teen coaching program, Mindset for Teen Success, helps teens understand how their thoughts impact their moods, their behaviours and their outcomes. As we work together, their confidence grows, they build resilience, learn strategies to manage their emotions and develop a positive, forward-focused mindset.

My biggest lesson so far working with teens – learn how they see the world. When we consider their model of the world and how it shapes their perspective, instead of trying to impress our own expectations upon them, we are more likely to build trust and gain clarity about their choices. 

With that clarity comes the ability to appreciate when they make resourceful choices, when they test out more adult-like behaviours. Clarity also allows us to accept that while we may not agree with all their choices, they are doing the best they can with the resources they have available.  

And when their choices are resourceful – take those positive moments and enjoy watching them expand over time. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of focusing only on the more challenging aspects of raising teens. We were all teenagers once, making some less-than-ideal choices, were we not? Of course, we want our kids not to make the same mistakes we did. Without mistakes though, will they learn and grow into well-adjusted adults? Experiencing setbacks, screwing up occasionally, making poor choices – all help shape us into who we are and who we will become. Standing alongside our teens, being by their side when they need us, being their safety net (even if they don’t acknowledge it) – that’s our role as parents, relatives, carers, teachers, coaches, supporters. 

Imagine a world where we can give our teens tools and strategies to navigate their mishaps and mistakes, to learn healthy emotional expression and understand the power of their minds in shaping their future reality.

When I coach teenagers, that’s the vision I have for them.

What vision do you have for your teens? 

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no-one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr Seuss

Develop a positive relationship with food