Helping Your Teen to Develop Self-Esteem: Helping Your Teen Change and Grow
You can be a confident adult, without having an anxiety disorder. But, as your teen grows older, your fear of being a baby or suffering from a learning disability may spiral into teen angst. Anxiety and feelings of inadequacy can arise when your child becomes more confident and yet still has low self-esteem. There are many layers to the feelings of your teen. You may worry that a large change is being perceived and experiencing. These feelings may be a result of mental health disorders, but cannot be accounted for just because they arise. You should never take this as a sign of lacking mental health. However, fears may arise because of unconscious causes. Awareness of your thoughts is often absent from your teen. Not only does this throw a wrench into parent-teen conversations, it may lead to parenting issues as the teen develops.
Most teens develop an emotional awareness before they learn how to control their feelings. You may not know the art of sensory processing. That’s where emotional awareness allows you to see and understand if a new experience is causing a reaction. Controlling and conquering the processes that lead to a negative reaction does not start by accepting negative feelings. There is a journey of growth to complete. Parents should continually model for their children how to deal with their emotions. We can look to children’s leaders like Gary Brubaker, author of Emotional Agility, for additional information.
A sense of emotional self-awareness may not sound like the most necessary task for parents, but when combined with personal training and the right education system, it can boost your child’s confidence. Parents can model for their children how to deal with negative emotions and express them so they do not make negative consequences worse.
Here are some easy techniques that can assist a parent in managing his/her teen’s feelings:
Set goals: Ask your teen if they have any goals or wishes for the upcoming month. Help them figure out their goals, both large and small. There will be setbacks during a teen’s development. Continually talk to your teen and provide information and suggestions to help them realize their goals. Set behavioral boundaries: Don’t let your child manipulate you. Provide discipline. Don’t allow your teen to challenge your authority. Treating the child as if they are the boss of you can cause frustration and aggression in your child. Share your story: With your teen, tell your story of self-discovery. You might be scared when you first started, but after having written, the process is easy. Go back and think back to how you first learned to let yourself feel, the journey you took, and the results. Listen to your teen’s story: Share your story with your teen. Listen carefully to hear what they have to say. Try to understand their feelings. Try to see your teen’s story from their perspective. Read along with your teen: Want to read to your teen? Try giving him/her the story. It is simple, it is fun, and he/she might not like it. Gently read along, and try to write down your responses.
Your job as a parent is to structure and guide their emotional journey and learn how to develop them to accomplish the task.