I followed the rules, got As, did everything “right” — and found myself floundering: stressed out, deeply depressed, and struggling with eating disorders. WTF?
I learned a ton of things growing up: how to sit still and focus, write out goals, work hard, do a load of laundry, write an essay, make friends, do 20 pull ups (important in my athletics!), and more — all seemingly useful things. Then I headed off to college and found myself drowning. I’d done everything I thought I was supposed to — where had I gone wrong?
With further life experience (and a bit more wisdom), I’ve learned I hadn’t gone wrong — I’m simply human, life is messy, and I needed to pick up additional skills for thriving into adulthood.
Our kids have skills to learn, too. While it can be painful (for them and us!) to become aware of the gaps in knowledge and skill sets (hello, doubt, stress, depression, and/or other “fun”), these skills for thriving, self-management, and resiliency will offer them a solid foundation and strong support into college (and beyond) — as well as offer us (their adults) a sigh of relief knowing they have the tools they’ll need to thrive independently.
One of the greatest gifts on their skill building journey? Having adults close by who are showing up and doing the best we can navigating the messiness of human-ing (and it’s messy sometimes!). Modeling how we manage our mindset, work with our emotions and feelings, and take care of our whole selves in the day-to-day is greatly impactful.
Thank you for showing up for your teen — they are lucky to have you. Let’s add some additional tools for thriving to their toolbox.
About Robin: Teen mentor, trained coach, author, and speaker Robin Massey works with teens and young adults to build skills for thriving independently into college and beyond. While she is a mom and stepmom, she’s not their mom — which can help create space for building these life skills.
Prior to founding Skip the Box LLC/robinmassey.com, Robin was an elite athlete (member of the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team), scholar-athlete at Stanford University, and headed up recruiting and HR programs in tech land. She’s especially proud of her journey through and beyond depression, eating disorders, and related struggles in her teens and early twenties. Life went in directions she’d never have thought — and Robin ultimately made it out the other side in one piece, discovering she was doing okay as a human being (and so was everyone else).
About Skip the Box LLC and robinmassey.com: Much on this site is offered for free, along with some paid offerings. Note that all free content is sponsor-free and funded solely by us; the paid programs help provide this content and give back to our families and community. If an affiliate link is shared, it will be clearly marked as such.
Robin and her team don’t have all of the answers (nope, not pretending to be a sage from the stage nor anyone’s guru). We’ve found thought-provoking questions, bouncing around ideas, and seeing we’re not alone as we stumble along makes the journey a bit lighter and suffering a lot less, so our commitment is to bring the very best of what we are, have lived, and have learned.
Take what serves, leave the rest, and stick in a mental note to self that we’re all doing okay on this messy journey of life.
Thank you for telling your story – with courage and vulnerability and wisdom.
I ran into a parent, and she told me how much your story meant to her son…to hear a story of someone’s challenges and suffering and recovering and renewal.
T, High School Teacher