Regardless of how long ago it was, you probably recall what it was like to be a teenager: feeling cut off from the world and as if no one understood you. This is a frequent and well-known pattern.
When you’re a teen, negative self-talk, the inner critic, and worry may spin out of control unless you have the appropriate coping skills, an understanding of how to manage emotions, and the ability to generate intrinsic drive.
As a parent of a teen, it may be difficult to cultivate the attitude necessary to empathize to adolescent challenges. As your children hit their teen years, this might cause a schism between you and them. It is vital to maintain your parental authority and limits while demonstrating empathy.
3 Essential Skills for Teenagers
As a parent, there are three critical skills to teach and model for your adolescent that will enable you to communicate more effectively with one another and prevent power conflicts and rebellion.
Teens must improve their emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and intrinsic drive in order to mature into well-adjusted and successful young adults. Three abilities will assist your adolescent in doing this. Spend time teaching these skills to your teen to help them navigate their adolescent years with the least amount of family strife possible.
Essential Skills for Teenagers: #1 – Self-Talk That Is Both Positive and Encouraging
The typical person has 60,000 thoughts every day – and nearly 80% of those thoughts are negative, according to some. Negative thoughts are a major contributor to anxiety, sadness, and suicide, all of which are impacting adolescents at alarmingly high rates.
One of the reasons negative self-talk is so harmful is because it may seem accurate. Teach kids to conduct reality checks on their ideas, or to weigh the facts for and against their beliefs. This may help put negative self-talk into context.
Assisting your adolescent in developing a positive and encouraging self-talk lays the groundwork for them to grow into confident and resilient adults. While positive self-talk may seem to be a pop-culture magic trick, it is a necessary coping skill that, when mastered, may assist teenagers in overcoming any setback.
While shifting one’s self-talk may seem straightforward, it is not easy to do. The work is, nevertheless, worthwhile! Mastering our inner conversation develops significant self-awareness and lays the groundwork for emotional management.
You, as a parent, play a critical part in fostering your teen’s development at home. One of the most effective strategies to promote good self-talk is to model it for them by being aware of the remarks you make about yourself in front of them. Children who hear their parents make self-deprecating remarks such as “I’m so obese” or “What a dumb thing to do” may adopt similar cognitive habits as adults.
Children’s self-talk is influenced by their parents’ actions, viewpoints, and beliefs, so by confronting your own negative self-talk, you may set a good example for your adolescents.
Essential Skills for Teenagers: #2 – Intrinsic Motivation
Modern teens are expected to meet higher standards than ever before. Due to COVID-19, students face isolation and the additional stress of being denied significant milestones such as homecoming or prom – not to mention the regular demands of extracurricular activities, academics, and college applications.
Teens must have an understanding of their motivations in order to maintain focus on their goals through difficult times. However, although extrinsic motivating elements such as parental comments or school prizes might be beneficial, the most critical thing you can do for your child is to foster intrinsic drive — or inspiration that comes from inside.
As parents, it’s simple to hinder our child’s inherent desire accidentally or unconsciously. When we intervene to remove impediments from our child’s life and shield them from disappointment, we deprive them of natural chances to experience dealing with life’s setbacks, self-calming their emotions, and developing resilience.
The adolescent years are a critical period for your child to establish an inherent sense of motivation. It’s a period when kids find their deepest interests, but it’s also a time when they are most susceptible to their parents’ ideas.
As a result, it’s critical to have dialogues with your adolescent about their thoughts about school, friends, and themselves, rather than simply about your parental expectations. Make no attempt to persuade them. Rather, develop an interest in others and inquire. Allow them to make errors and learn from them.
Being a helicopter parent, on the other hand, might sap their innate drive. Rather, believe that you have educated your adolescent effectively and that they are capable of making good decisions on their own without your intervention. Nevertheless, avoid naiveté. The most effective way to ensure your teen’s safety is to establish open communication and a caring connection.
Essential Skills for Teenagers: #3 – Resolving Conflicts
Hormone fluctuations, intricate social dynamics, and greater academic expectations throughout the adolescent years may cause your previously kind and mild-mannered child to become angry, rude, or excessively sensitive to even the simplest things.
Parents are often perplexed by this shift in conduct, which may result in conflict if neither parent nor adolescent understands how to negotiate the teen’s changing emotional environment.
To educate our teens how to settle dispute using emotion maturity, it is vital that we act as a role model of mature and caring conduct once again. By honing our own dispute resolution abilities, we may provide a good example for our adolescents, providing them with the tools necessary to build their emotional intelligence as developing young adults.
When we role-model conflict resolution for our adolescents, we must postpone judgment about our own and our teen’s sentiments. Instead of responding, prioritize listening and empathizing.
By having an open, judgment-free discussion with your adolescent about how they are feeling, you are teaching your kid how to express their emotions calmly and successfully in the safe context of the home. As a consequence, your adolescent will develop the emotional maturity necessary to deal with real-world conflict.
Part of listening to our children is suppressing our own automatic emotional responses in favor of reflecting our teen’s sentiments back to them. Rather than reacting from an emotional place, our objective should be to assist them in feeling heard and valued.
If you sense that your kid is sad or angry, just mentioning, “It seems like you are hurt and furious,” might go a long way toward helping your adolescent feel understood. While he or she may roll their eyes, this does not imply they are not appreciative of your sensitivity to their worries.
Years from now, when kids reflect on these occasions, they will recall your empathic answers and how it felt to have their feelings acknowledged. This comprehension encapsulates what it takes to settle conflict with emotional intelligence.
Be Not Afraid to Seek Assistance
Teaching our teenagers emotional intelligence skills and modeling for our children successfully enables them to develop into fully-fledged adults capable of dealing with failures and conflict with maturity and confidence.
However, this is not always simple! If you want assistance or wish to enhance your parenting toolkit, do not be afraid to reach out to specialists.