The pressure of media influences, peers at school and a busy family lifestyle can sometimes make your teen feel a little lost in the shuffle. After all, teens can compare themselves to everyone from friends to celebrities in magazines and often come up short. Also, as pointed out by HealthyChildren.org, if your teen doesn't get the love and attention that she needs at home, she's likely to find it in less healthy and safe sources. Instead, work to make sure your teen knows that she's special on a regular basis.
Things You'll Need
- Memory box
- Bulletin board
Set aside time specifically for reconnecting and talking with your teen. When you have a busy schedule, your teen might feel like she's taking a back seat to all of your obligations. But a standing date for lunch or a time reserved just for her means that she's an important part of your week, which gives you an opportunity to talk about the things that are important to her.
Participate in your teen's activities and hobbies with her. Whether it means driving her to a soccer tournament or running lines with her for the school play, taking an interest in the stuff your teen loves proves that she and her hobbies are important to you. As a bonus, she can feel more confident in her interests and abilities, knowing that you're there to cheer her on.
Praise your teen often. Teens can sometimes beat themselves up by comparing their bodies, marks, group of friends, clothes and everything else to those of their peers. Compliment your teen using kind words. The Benioff Children's Hospital at the University of California San Francisco also suggests praising your teen in front of her friends or letting her overhear you boast about her to others to help boost her self-esteem and vaildate her as a special and valuable member of the family.
Display items in your home that show off your teen's accomplishments. While your teen might turn red when you point out her trophies or stellar report card to visitors, using a shelf, memory box or even a bulletin board to display her hard work and accomplishments can help give her confidence a boost and tell her that you're proud.
Ask your teen for her opinion, suggests HealthyChildren.org. Whether you're chatting about what clothes to wear to an upcoming wedding or an event that you've seen on the news, asking your teen what she thinks shows her that she's important. It'll also help her form her own ideas, values and opinions concerning both large and small issues and encourage her to share them with you.
Encourage your teen's healthy friendships with positive influences. Friendships can make a big difference in your teen's feelings of self-worth, so it's important that you encourage her to spend time with people who build her up. Then, make those friends accessible to her by inviting them over often and getting to know their personalities and the type of effect they have on your teen.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images