Teenagers today are faced with a wide assortment of pressures and troubles that are unique to their generation. Even though this is the case, any parent or guardian can step into the life of their teen to help them through these difficult times.
If you have it on your heart to help your teen with their problems, then you should know that you are not alone. In fact, most parents wish to help their children navigate the stormy waters of adolescence, but many simply do not know where to start.
How Well Do You Know Your Child?
This is the first question that you must ask yourself, if you are considering being a mentor and helpmate to your troubled teen. Unfortunately, many parents must realize that they do not know their children very well, and will have to do some catch-up work in order to have an impact.
Most of us know are children very well when they are young, but something happens as they turn into teens that make them appear as strangers. The fact is that they are the same child, but they now have many new personality traits that they are expressing as they strive towards adulthood.
While we may wish to turn back the clock and turn them back into small children, this cannot be done and we must face the reality of having a teenager in our midst. This acceptance of these years is a great step in developing a relationship with your teenage son or daughter.
When you are attempting to reacquaint yourself with your child, there are a few steps that must be taken to complete the process. First off, learn about their interests and hobbies, for this is where they are spending a majority of their time.
Also, learn as much as you can about their friends and schoolmates. Find out what types of families they come from and find out if any of them have been involved with the law or family courts.
This information can be gleaned from your teen by asking simple and leading questions. Most teens are more than willing to talk if there is someone there to listen.
If you are having difficulty communicating with your teen, then you can have a trusted friend or relative make these same inquiries. After the doors of communication have been opened, this mediator can even tell your teen that it is you, their parent, who wants answers to these questions.
Your teen will be glad that you have taken an interest in their lives. Most teens feel very isolated during these years, even if they are almost always surrounded by friends and family.
You will also want to take a close look at the physical and social media that your child is ingesting. Have a look at their books and records as well as their computer.
While this may seem like an invasion of privacy to some, you are their parent, and it is your responsibility to know what your child is doing and learning. If you feel that some of their media is impacting their behavior in a negative way, you must take steps to eliminate those forms of media from their lives.
Building Confidence in Teens
Once you have assessed where you child is at, it is time to meet them there. You may wish they were further along, or you may be intimated by what they have become, but if you can meet them where they are at, you have hope.
If they have a hobby or interest, ask them if you can join in sometime. Offer to drive them where they need to go and use this time to have personal conversations with your captive audience.
Building confidence in teens may seem like a daunting task but a small amount of encouragement goes a long way during the adolescent years. Be certain to be as encouraging as possible and avoid making negative comments that are unnecessary.
Examine Your Language
Language is the most powerful tool that you have when communicating encouragement and confidence to your teen. Many parents fall into a critical role and if you recognize yourself as being critical, you must change the words that you are using.
Encourage your teen to pursue their passions, even if you do not agree with them. Many a software millionaire began as player of video games.
Eventually, your teen will come around and begin to see you as a source of strength and encouragement rather than a nagging source of drain and negativity. You can apply these techniques to the friends of your children in order to create a social group that is brimming with confidence and positivity.
One thought on “How to Instill Confidence in Your Teen”
I just watched a great TED talk by Andrew Solomon that talked about vertical learning and horizontal learning of children. Vertical come from parent and horizontal comes from culture, friends, and discovering themselves as teens. Both will happen but if we as parents try and “cure” the horizontal learning then we start to take away the identification of our children. His talk is called Love, no matter what… its great!
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