Advice to “Woke” Teenagers

By | November 8, 2021

[November 8, 2021]  I have a general rule that I don’t argue with close-minded people.  Good counsel says, “Never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” And for that reason, I also rarely offer advice.  In today’s article, I will tackle the problem of arguing with or giving advice to “woke” teenagers.

I’m being realistic here.  The famous metaphorical adage about wrestling with pigs warns us not to engage with dishonest folks.  Arguing with or giving advice to “woke” teenagers is a no-win situation.  Those who’ve raised a teenage boy or girl without another parent present can undoubtedly sympathize with the obvious difficulty.

On many occasions, I’ve been asked to give advice to a wide-range of teenagers, those who are like the proverbial pig and those who are focused on going into the military.  Teenagers in the latter category are easier to get along with but are not necessarily easier to convince that certain types of behavior will harm their chances of success as an adult.

However, if we look across all cultures and recorded history, we see common themes that seem to predict success and happiness.  Several years ago, I canvassed a group of senior leaders for advice they would give to young leaders.  The list is pretty good, with 16 specific things you can do to help you be successful.  A year later, I wrote about the best advice from junior leaders.  A larger sample and a longer list of 20 things anyone can do to improve their chances of success are listed here.

I wrote these articles before the idea of “woke” raised its ugly head.

Here is my thinking today about what advice I would give “woke” teenagers.  First, don’t argue.  It does no good, and they will think they won you over just because they were there.  Smile.  That always gets them in the heart.  Second, keep the message short, very very short.

Here is my short advice to “woke” teenagers.  I have two things they should do.  These are not easy, but they are deceptively simple.  No one I know can do it successfully all the time.  And that is why there are only two of them.  Easy to remember, hard to ignore.

  1. Tell the truth, at least do not lie.
  2. Adopt responsibility.

Yep, that’s it.  Of course, there is more to these, and I am happy to explain why.  But these set the foundation for a successful, fulfilling life.  Otherwise, they will be perpetually angry, frustrated, and abusive to others.  Start with the truth and be responsible.  There is no other way.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Advice to “Woke” Teenagers

  1. Anya B.

    Wow, if you can do this, let us know right away. We are all waiting for an effective strategy. This one might work but requires some serious follow up.

  2. Jeff Blackwater

    Here’s wishing you the best of luck, Gen. S. We are all behind you, … of course. I have found that when adults give teenagers advice, the teenagers normally reject it out right. They think you are an “old foggie” with antiquated ideas. Convincing them otherwise is the trick.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      That will the mark of a real leader. Convince them! Let us know “how” you succeeded or not.

  3. benrhodesatDOS

    Thank you, so much Gen. Satterfield for this effort. You will need a lot of persuasion power. Let us know the next time you go out. Let us know how it works out.

  4. Tom Bushmaster

    “Adopt responsibility.” Now, I have to hand it to you that this one will be also tough to teach. They must be shown what responsibility means, like not blaming others for what goes wrong. Good luck.

  5. Linux Man

    This who CRT teaching and pushing hatred on others because of the color of their skin is a horrific idea being pushed by those who are EVIL. Evil is quick to take root where brave men and women refuse to stand up to resist it. Yeah, we can all “say” we resist but you have to show it in action, not just words.

  6. Jonnie the Bart

    Excellent article, Gen. Doug Satterfield and I hope you are successful trying this out. But it requires that they know what the “truth” is, and not like our Democrat Party socialists think it is.

  7. Qassim

    Evil inspires itself thru our children when good adults abdicate their parental responsibilities…. we have outsourced raising of our children.

    1. Doc Blackshear

      I agree Qassim. This has gone on long enough. Yes, the pushback has begun but the damage continues to destroy the lives of our young adults, teenagers, and those who are cowards and do nothing.

    2. Mr. T.J. Asper

      I’ve been one who has tried to head much of this “woke” culture infection off at the pass as much as I can. I do make progress but only if I”m facing these kids directly in the classroom. The combination of doing Zoom to “teach” (actually not teach) and mask restrictions have made this nearly impossible to keep our kids on track with the good things in life and not the hatred they are learned thru the CRT program of our teachers unions.

      1. McStompie

        Mr. TJ, please keep up the work you are doing. The effort you are making will save the lives of many. 👍
        Oh, and sending them into the military to “straighten them out” is no longer a solution. Our military has also gone “woke.”

        1. Dead Pool Guy

          Yes, but let’s not think that it might be a losing battle. It is not. Why? Because it take a little at a time to crawl back to reality.

  8. Janna Faulkner

    Good one, Gen. Satterfield but I think you will not make any progress with these so-called woke teenagers. They are going to have to have reality whack them in the face multiple times before they come around. Our teachers and their parents have let this stupidity go too far.


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