As we head back to school, many teachers will be focusing on not just their content and academic skills, but also on working with their kids to develop those intangible ideas about how to be a successful person beyond just the coursework and the grade. Some might call these ideas "life strategies," and in fact a couple of authors have - Jay McGraw and his dad Dr. Phil McGraw.
When Jay McGraw was just a teenager, he was well-versed in the help that his father dispensed to people on Oprah, and later on his own television talk show. However, as much as Jay appreciated the value of the strategies his dad taught people, he knew the message was not well-adapted to or received by teens. So, he wrote his own version of the modern-age, pop-psychology self help from the talk shows, and he called it Life Strategies for Teens. I respect the book for its style and approach, and I have recommended it to students and their parents for years.
McGraw's message comes down to ten platitudes:
- You either get it, or you don't.
- You create your own experience.
- People do what works.
- You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
- Life rewards action.
- There is no reality, only perception of it.
- Life is managed; it is not cured.
- We teach people how to treat us.
- There is power in forgiveness.
- You have to name it before you can claim it.