An EPIC way to promote pro-social behaviors
How can you promote pro-social behaviors that help your teen connect with self, others, and you? Support your teen in what he or she does best. What’s that? That is for you to figure out. Do not worry; your teen can lead you there. Your teen uses a natural model for learning and wants to connect positively with you and others. Teens learn by using the EPIC Model. All you need to do is become more aware of it—and use it yourself.
Teens are curious and explorative by nature as they become more resourceful in satisfying their needs. Exploration requires stepping over boundaries and crossing over lines set both by others and oneself. Pay attention to new discoveries your son is making. Ask about new interests or activities that catch your daughter’s attention. Most importantly, encourage exploration as this will lead to them engage in pro-social behaviors. Pro-social behaviors lead to living a more fulfilling life as they discover their skills and interests.
Teens are playful and like having fun with others. It is just that play may have become more organized (e.g., school sports, club activities, and dance and music lessons). Play allows you to test their abilities and connect with others. What does your son do for fun? How are you supporting fun activities your daughter engages in? Another key factor about play is conflict resolution—a vital life skill. Resolving conflict usually entails finding common ground, and when teens play they find ways to reach an agreement since the mutual interest is to continue having fun. Practicing conflict resolution through play helps them be open and creative in finding shared interests to resolve problems.
Who does your teen admire? What celebrity is hanging on daughter’s wall? Teens are looking for role models and sources of inspiration. Believe it or not, like you, teens want to do right in figuring out life and their place in it. They look to others for guidance, which is why you and peers are so important. However, inspiration is not limited to people. Events, personal experiences, media, nature, dreams, and random ideas can all be catalysts in moving your teen forward in her development by engaging in pro-social behaviors. What inspires and motivates your daughter? What Youtube videos does your son watch? Share a story of inspiration and what it led to. How are you open to being inspired by your teen?
How many text messages does your teen send in a day? How is your son connecting (physically, intellectually, emotionally, and intuitively) with himself, family members, peers, and the community? What social, political, or environmental matters are dear to your daughter? In addition to connecting with others, your teen is also trying to determine who he is and what life she wants to live. These existential questions begin in adolescence and do not end there. How purposefully are you connecting with your teen and your life journey?
Promote pro-social behaviors by becoming interested in how your teen uses the EPIC Model daily. Pay attention to your daughter when she is doing something positive. Engage with your son in a pro-social activity. Show support and interest in areas that promote personal and social wellness. Talk to your teen about what matters to her. To further promote pro-social behaviors, implement the EPIC Model for yourself and see what happens. The possibilities for positive outcomes are endless!Share