pc_teen_selfesteem

Positive Identity Teens Need (part 1)

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More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute.

1) Personal Power: when teens feel they have control over “things that happen to me.”
The most important piece of the self-esteem puzzle is personal power—the sense your youngster gets from knowing they can have an effect on their world. Its important to find ways for your teen to set a goal and then successfully achieve it.

Help your teen learn to brainstorm and choose solutions to problems so that they learns to be empowered.

A teen’s sense of healthy personal power (self-esteem) might come from successful team work, a rewarding service activity, or remembering to do chores without being told. Look for ways to identify and recognize your child’s growing personal power.

As you watch your teen become more empowered and self-assured, have ongoing conversations about the new responsibilities this age brings and about your confidence in their ability to navigate their expanding world.

Help your children understand the difference(s) between what we can and can’t control. For example, we can control what we say and do; we can’t control what other people say and do.

2) Self-Esteem: where teens have a high self-esteem.
Talk openly and positively about changes happening in your children’s bodies—growth spurts and puberty. When your son’s voice begins to change or your daughter gets her period, celebrate the milestone in a way that suits your child—perhaps a special dinner or outing.

Tell your children how proud you are of them. Be sure to let them know you enjoy their company.

When teen acne appears, help children explore options for effectively treating it with frequent face washing, over-the-counter products, and/or dermatologist-prescribed medication.

Tell your kids what’s special about them and that your love for them will never end. Some parents think children just know these things. But they don’t, unless they hear it directly from you.

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.