Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been updated for the digital age and it’s a great resource for teenagers and parents of teenagers who are looking for inspirational and helpful reading for their children.
THE SEVEN HABITS
I’ve been greatly helped by Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is the inspiration for his son, Sean’s, book. The 7 Habits that are encouraged in both books are:
- Be Proactive: Take responsibility for your life by anticipating events and planning your life rather than simply reacting to things as they happen.
- Begin with the End in Mind: When you’re planning something, whether it’s work or personal, think about how you want it to end up and keep your decisions and plan focused on this desired outcome. This also means taking actions in the present that reflect your personal mission and goals for the future. It means controlling your own destiny
- Put First Things First: Be clear about your values and prioritize the things that are most important to you. When I have a bunch of tasks in front of me, for me, this also means doing the hardest things first.
- Think Win-Win: Make every plan cooperative by considering the needs of all and only working toward goals that work for everyone, that are truly a win for all involved, rather than something that satisfies the needs of just one party.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: Often we’re so intent on making ourselves understood, that we don’t take the time to really listen to the other person and to understand where they’re coming from and what their concerns are. Knowing this, helps us to communicate better.
- Synergize: Synergize is a great word and it means the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Like Win-Win, this trait realizes how much more we can do with the capacity of others, but encourages us to go beyond win-win to something that is really unique.
- Sharpen the Saw: Like the rule about putting your own oxygen mask on first, this trait reminds us to renew ourselves regularly. A dull saw can’t do it’s job, so to be effective we have to keep ourselves sharp by taking care of ourselves on a regular basis.
7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEENS
7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens is a great resource for teens. Its tone is friendly and hip and does not talk down to teens, but rather is respectful and admiring of them. It also recognizes the tough time that the teen years can be for some. The book talks about the importance of creating good habits and explains what a paradigm is and how one can change one’s personal paradigm, or perception of oneself. It follows with chapters on how each of the 7 Habits can be developed by teens. Cartoons, clever ideas, inspirational quotes and powerful stories from other teens liberally pepper the book and make it visually appealing.
I especially like the Personal Workbook that is a companion to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Teens love journals and diaries and the workbook gives plenty of ways a teen can explore his or her thoughts, feelings and experiences. The book takes teens through various exercises that help them digest the material from the book in a self-reflective way. For example, one exercise asks teens to evaluate their language and helps them to avoid Victimitis Virus.The workbook also helps teens differentiate between genuine and poor listening skills.
Rate How You Renew, in the chapter on Sharpening the Saw, asks teens to evaluate things like eating junk food, exercising, laughing, taking time for friends and how well generally they are taking care of themselves. it also offers Baby Steps teens can take to renew body, mind, and soul.
I wish I had had 7 Habits of HIghly Effective Teens in my teen years. It really offers very helpful advice on leading an intentional and responsible life.
GREAT BOOKS FOR PARENTS OF TEENS
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is a classic book for teens. Here are some classic books for parents of teens:
- Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers by Michael Riera.
- Between Parent and Teenager by Haim Ginott
- The Romance of Risk: Why Teenagers Do the Things They Do by Lynn Ponton
- Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Dan Sielgel
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Homeand A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.