Catch the heart-felt joy and excitement and join my movement to notice, honor and encourage self-reliant action as I launch this blog-post series featuring youth remarkably achieving at early ages. Each Tuesday morning I will post a new story about a self-reliant youth and their contribution to others.

My intention is to create an interactive dialogue that includes readers sending in real-life stories of youth achievement exhibiting self-reliance and positive, life-affirming contribution; along with inviting your questions about “how to set the life stage” for self-reliance building in kids and teens.

Check your current operating thoughts/beliefs before you enter this dynamic field of youthful energy and sometimes seemingly unbelievable, yet true stories. Have you noticed:

What do I truly believe kids and teens are capable of in the arena of self-reliant action and contribution from the earliest ages?

In my new book, Ask More, Tell Less: A Practical Guide for Helping Children Achieve Self-Reliance, I state that I hold an unshakable belief in the capabilities and wisdom of young people, knowing that they can indeed manifest their I-am-a-one-of-a-kind-human-masterpiece status!

I point out that the many practical methods I teach are intended to challenge youth to think and decide for themselves in respectful and responsible ways, putting them solidly on the path of self-reliant action. My work is rooted in dignity, respect, and compassion.

I’m frequently privileged to watch the process begin to happen in my office, such as the day a 12-year-old said to me:

I was sitting in church the other day and started thinking, if I don’t start acting different I’m going to have a miserable life.

That was a first step on a remarkable journey of self-empowerment for that child. I invite you to join me in this inspiring and fulfilling adventure.

Raising self-reliant children is more important than ever. Change and confusion are constants, and this modern world is increasingly difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, our culture provides little in the way of a tangible, practical, and comprehensive roadmap for the child traveler. This book provides the roadmap.

I had not been counseling long when I met a small, freckle-faced nine-year-old girl named Rebecca. She did something during our first meeting that I will never forget, and I want to share her story as a way to introduce the power of these ideas.

To begin the conversation about the trouble, I said:

Rebecca, your mother is calling the trouble “crying and tantrums.” Is that what you call it or do you have a different name?

I call it “having the fits,” said Rebecca. From then on, we used Rebecca’s words to describe the trouble. To gauge Rebecca’s willingness, I asked: Do you think having the fits has taken over your life, or do you think you can still fight against the fits?

In the next moment, only about ten minutes into our first meeting, Rebecca jumped out of her chair, stood up straight and announced: I’ll just get rid of the fits and grow up!

Just as quickly as Rebecca had made up her mind, I got in her way with my doubt. I thought: My professors didn’t teach me about the possibility of change occurring quickly — and certainly not instantly! I wondered how this nine-year-old girl had figured out what to do about her very troubling behavior within the first few minutes of our first meeting.

I began asking her, in a variety of ways, if she was sure that this is all it would take for her life to be better. Within a few minutes, I could see that she was certain. Fortunately for Rebecca, I had the good sense to stop asking her more questions and just be quiet.

This is the launching of my What Kids and Teens are Capable Of! blog-post series.

You will find access to my blog at selfreliantkids.com. My other intent and content will be related to taking some pressure off parents, teachers and counselors by providing a great tool box full of practical tools as they engage in the adventure of “creating” self-reliant youth contributing to the world all along the getting-on-with-growing-UP pathway.

Please join me in spreading the news about “real help right now” being available each week on my blog and social media sites.

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