3 Tips for Parents on Improving Teen Self-Concept | Teen Counseling Resources
We all know many things contribute to the ever-changing, sometimes shaky, newly forming self-concept of a teenager. Parents need to be aware that although their teen’s identity and focus is shifting more towards influences outside the home parents still have an absolutely crucial role in shaping and forming their teens self-concept.
- See highly emotional moments as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching. Say what? Most parents run in the opposite direction when they see their teen revving up for a full meltdown. However, research has shown that by noticing the teen’s emotion, empathizing and validating the emotion and engaging with reflective listening during this time has an enormous impact on their functioning down the road.
- Provide opportunities for teens to struggle through and own their decisions and responsibilities. Teens are craving for opportunities to prove to themselves and others that they “have what it takes”. This does not mean letting your teen raise themselves, but rather though reflective listening and asking open ended questions allow your teen the space to problem solve and deal with their own responsibilities instead of rescuing them from tough decisions.
- Model your own healthy self-concept to your teens by taking care of yourself as much as you take care of them. Didn’t see that one coming did you? Many teen parents I work with wear a badge of honor in some ways with all the money, time and energy they devote to their teens gazillion activities. Continually wearing yourself thin you are covertly and overtly teaching your teen that it is not necessary to take care of themselves and that it is really best to sacrifice all they have for others. Not the best messaging for self-concept. Who knows, you may even benefit a bit by setting some time aside to take care of yourself!
I believe teens and their parents can have the healthy relationships and lives they desire and I specialize in collaborating with families struggling with complex social and emotional difficulties to work towards this goal. I invite you to call me for a free consultation to learn more about my specialized approach. I look forward to serving you and your family soon.