As a high school teacher for many years who has helped teens get through this stage of their loves,
I have noticed that no one comes though the teen age years unscathed. It can often be the most pressure filled stage in our lives…like a piece of coal becoming a diamond.
When describing teenagers, a popular image that gets used a lot is that teens are that moody, awkward, and explosive. They often struggle with self-doubt and are not good enough. The world is against them. And for that reason, they often fall into rebellion.
This is the image most adults have of teens. And isn’t it true to an extent? After all, they are going through one of the most turbulent periods in their lives.
Let’s Look at what happening in their lives at this stage!
It is the opinion of some that the teen years range from ages thirteen to nineteen. During this period, young people transition from being children to adults.
Their brains are still developing. Their bodies are producing hormones which often lead them to struggle controlling their emotions. An additional stress is the environment they are growing up which impacts their personalities.
With no surprise, many teens seem to be a hot mess, trying yet failing to get themselves together. Because of this chaos, teenagers may get depressed and adopt a negative outlook
Teens may think to themselves, “I stink at this,” or “No one can ever love me.”
Research shows that our thoughts can impact our feelings, behavior, and our health.
Yes, teens with a negative outlook are at risk. They risk affecting their academic and social success in a negative way which creates a vicious cycle of low self-esteem and low energy and ultimately can impact their happiness now and in the future.
How can I help my teen become more positive?
These are a few pointers that could help you achieve this:
1. Help them celebrate their achievements instead of making social comparisons.
In this age of technology, it’s easier than ever to compare yourself to others. Research shows that social media can cause anxiety, loneliness, and depression among teenagers.
When teens see what their peers are up to or have, they might feel they are missing out. Teens might also be self-conscious, often thinking they are being watched by others.
Because of this, they may feel they aren’t meeting the standards set by society which often leads to negative feelings.
You can aid teens to become more positive by focusing their minds on what they’ve achieved instead. These could be some good qualities they display or skills they’ve developed.
Commend them for good grades or great effort in school which reinforce their worth and create positive emotions.
2. Help them develop self-compassion. Kristen Neff has some insights which can benefit us. What does she say? Self-compassion is a better option than the constant striving linked with self-esteem.
Self-compassion involves being kind, open, and accepting of yourself.
In her study of teenagers, she found they were happier when they had stronger self-compassion because they accepted themselves for who they were.
Help your teen treat themselves with self-compassion. Help them accept their flaws. Remind them that everyone makes mistakes, not only them. Remind them to treat themselves with the same kindness they would give a friend. This will increase their positivity.
3. Encourage them to get some exercise. As much as teens would prefer to be in front of screens all day, encourage them to get some exercise. Teenagers are very conscious of their attractiveness and body image.
Negative perception of how they look affects their outlook for the worse.
Exercise can leave teens feeling empowered, stronger, and healthier. This makes them more positive
Assist teens with setting goals. Teenagers may be negative if they feel they’re not making the progress they should. They may also develop a negative attitude if they feel insignificant.
4. To change this, help teens set specific goals.
When teens can work and achieve their goals, it will fill them with a sense of accomplishment.
The satisfaction from that accomplishment will leave them feeling good. Help teens set short-term goals and help them meet them. When we do, they will become more positive.
Growing up is full of mood swings, dramatic outbursts, and embarrassing situations.
Yet we, as adults, can later recall their adolescent years with fondness.
Not only will they become more positive if they take the steps we’ve described, but they will also develop mental and physical habits that will help them achieve their goals in life.
We at Career and College Counselors can help your child identify interests, strengths, and stresses that will enable them to choose the right career, the right major, the right college, and graduate in 4 years with the least amount of money out of pocket with a 60-minute online assessment.
Click on the link
Tom and Maria Geffers
Career and College Counselors