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Mary FR Smith

A study guide:

Helping teens choose values over a scripted path, over fitting in .  .  . 

The world can feel like a tough place when growing up.

Have you ever dealt with a bully, struggled with social anxiety, felt like you had to hide what was going on at home, or wished you were prettier, skinnier, or smarter?

Each generation has faced its own challenges growing up, and as we explore what it means to thrive in today's world, the lessons learned from our past can be a guiding light for youth today in a vast universe of information.

Robots Don't Eat Cookies is the chapter where I share how my own pursuit of perfection sometimes led to living in a way that didn't feel authentic. Let's not let that happen to you or your kids.



"A life trap is a pattern that starts in childhood and reverberates throughout life.  It began with something that was DONE to us by our families or other children.  We were abandoned, criticized, overprotected, abused, excluded or deprived - we were damaged in some way.  Eventually the life trap becomes part of us.  Long after we leave the home we grew up in, we continue to create situations in which we are mistreated, ignored, put down, or controlled and in which we fail to reach our most desired goals." (Jeffrey Young, Pd.D.)



Our values are the attributes of the person we want to be. But values can be tricky. It’s easy to be lured in by defining values as “what we care about,” but simply ascribing importance to something in our lives, such as money, doesn’t imply it’s a value.

Money is something you care about, but whether you steal it or acquire it through honest work is based on your values. Get it? It takes conscious effort to identify and then override lifetraps, choosing values over following a scripted path, over fitting in.  

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