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Most parents of teens are faced with the daunting task of teaching their children to be more effective in life. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is a guidebook that will provide you with practical solutions on how to teach your teenage son or teen daughter these habits and become more independent, confident, and successful.

how to raise a highly effective teen

We all want our child to have a healthy relationship with themselves in order for them to confidently go out into the world as an adult. These habits will help your teen grow up happy, content, and ready for anything!

We are going to summarize the 7 habits of highly effective teens and demonstrate how you can help your teens apply these principles by using daily affirmations.

What are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers?

1. Be proactive

2. Begin with the end in mind

3. Prioritize

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek to understand, then be understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the saw

How to Apply the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens to  Every Day

The quickest way to apply these 7 habits of highly effective teens is to have your teen read and write affirmations every day.

Personally, I use affirmations with our children already. This can be as simple as writing their affirmations on their bedroom mirror or having them journal about them at the end of every day.

I’m going to get more in-depth with each of the 7 habits of highly effective teens, and I will also share with you some accompanying affirmations. You can start by having your teenager read them each morning aloud or to themselves.  

How to be Proactive

Help your teen take control and responsibility for her life by being more proactive yourself! Proactive people don’t blame others – they know it’s on them if something isn’t working out how they want, or if there was an issue in some way during what should have been an awesome day (for example).

Affirmation: I choose my actions and I can control them.  I control my attitude, mood, and voice.  I do not put blame on others. I take responsibility.  I do the right thing even when no one is looking.    

How to design backwards

If your teen is unsure of what they stand for, or their values and goals in life, it will be difficult to decide on a road map. This lack of direction can lead them into the distractions that pop up along the way.

We should help our teens create a personal mission statement that acts as both an indicator to direct decision-making but also holds them accountable if things go wrong down the line.

Affirmation: “I plan ahead, set goals, and do things that will make a difference.  I am important in my family, my school, and with my friends.  I find ways to be a good citizen and family member. 

How to Prioritize

Being a teenager is tough, but good habits will help you prioritize and manage your time so that you focus on the most important things in your life.

Putting first things first also means learning to overcome fears as well as being strong during difficult times. This can mean living life according to what matters most for teens.

Affirmation: I spend my time on things that matter, things that are important.  I say no to things I should not do so I can set priorities and follow my plan.   I create a schedule to follow and I am organized.   I am determined. 

How to think win-win

Celebrating the accomplishments of others instead of being threatened by them, will encourage your teen to foster an atmosphere where both parties can arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.

This belief leads teens down the path towards believing that in any given discussion or situation it is possible for individuals on either side to come out ahead and create win-win scenarios.

Affirmation: I am happy for the success of others.  I do not put others down.  I do nice things for others.  When I run into conflict, I help find a solution.   Life has many winners and we can all find success and happiness together. 

highly effective teens

How to seek understanding

We all know how frustrating it is when we don’t feel understood. This habit will help your teen learn one of the most important skills ever: active listening!

Active listening is a communication skill that ensures you feel understood. This habit will ensure your teen learns the most important piece of information there is: active listening.

Affirmation: I am open to the ideas of others.  I listen, understand, and see things from their point of view.  I may not agree with everyone, but I do not shame anyone.  I listen patiently, without interruption.   I am confident in politely voicing my thoughts in a considerate way. 

How to Synergize

Teens can develop the habit of synergy when they work together to create something better than either could alone. Synergy is achieved through this, and teens learn that it doesn’t have to be “your way” or “my way,” but rather a higher and more creative way in which differences are valued.

Affirmation: I can learn something from everyone that I mean.   I get along well with others, even people who are different from me. I work well in groups. I am open to ideas that are not my own. I know that “two heads are better than one”. I am a better person when I let other people into my life and work.  I value the strengths of myself and others.

How to Practice Self-Care as a highly effective teen

How can teens ensure that they are taking the time to renew themselves? When a teen sharpens the saw, he/she is keeping her personal self sharp so that they can better deal with life. It means regularly maintaining and strengthening four key dimensions of life – body, brain, heart, and soul.

Affirmation: I take care of myself.  I eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and find time to relax.   I spend time with family and friends. I learn in many ways and I always strive to learn more. 

Creating Habits for Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey is sort of like a  guidebook that will provide you with practical solutions on how to teach your son or daughter these habits and become more independent, confident, and successful.

These 7 habits of highly effective teens are easy to incorporate into your daily life. You can start by having your teen read them aloud every morning, or write their affirmations in a journal at the end of each day. 

Ideas for Affirming Teens

Some ideas for accompanying affirmation practices include writing on mirrors with dry-erase markers or using sticky notes near reminders as they go about their day! 

These are some simple ways you could help teach these positive habits without even knowing it.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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