It’s safe to say we all know a teen we would like to see succeed and live up to their full potential. It’s easy to remember, not so long ago, we were at that age experiencing similar hard times.
Nowadays teens go through different struggles than we did, but one trait that was crucial to living a happy adult life, then and now, unfortunately, takes a back seat. This trait is self-awareness.
How easy it is to get caught up in school, jobs, college prep, after-school activities, family and social lives. Self-reflection becomes the furthest thing on our minds, if at all. Been there done that! The important thing about being self-aware is creating a healthy self-esteem and character development.
Here are a few suggestions to help your teens achieve self-awareness:
1.) Journaling: encourage your teens to keep a private journal (and promise you will not read it!). Give them writing ideas. Have your teens make lists of what they are grateful for, record their dreams, write down new ideas, describe who they aspire to be, as well as their passions and emotions. They will be surprised how beneficial this will be! A personal journal is super therapeutic and actually inspires personal growth. It doesn’t all have to be emotional (nice change of pace!) it could be a nature or a sketch journal or maybe a journal of goals for the future.
2.) Mentors: Find your teen a mentor! A mentor can be your friend, teacher, counselor, or someone in a desired area of expertise. They will be your teen’s inspiration and share with them based on their own wisdom and advice. So make sure they are what you would like your child to become. 🙂
3.) Be Open: One big aspect of self-awareness is being able to relate to others who have had similar experiences. Discuss who your inspiration was when you were growing up. Talk openly about the mistakes you made and how you grew from them. Giving our kids the gift of encouragement and wisdom based on personal trial and error is more than helpful. And usually results in a good laugh! We all mature at different rates emotionally these talks will help you assess their self-monitoring and maturity.
4.) Don’t Sugarcoat Mistakes: If your teen messes up, don’t freak out, don’t pressure them to be perfect and don’t pretend it never happened. Talk to your kids about their mistakes, let them know it is an important part of life. We all make mistakes, it helps them learn their strengths and weaknesses in order to reflect and mature. It’s too easy to ignore these issues to see your child happy again, but it’s in the mistakes, important life lessons can be learned.
5.) Personal Balance Chart: Develop a “Personal Balance” chart for your teens to list their personal qualities and also what is holding them back. Teens can see what makes them unique and an asset to others as well as areas they can improve on right before their eyes. This exercise will prove to be both inspirational and reflective.
Self-awareness is a key step in figuring out who we are. Through careful introspection, we can develop more definite answers about our personalities, values, goals, beliefs, and struggles. When we are self-aware we act more intentionally and confidently with hope and specific visions in mind in order to curb impulsive and reactionary behavior or negative thoughts. We can all use a little more self-awareness in helping others, in this “running right along with life”, I hope this article helps you help your teen be a bright light to those around them.
Till next time,
Here are two more ways we can help you. Whenever you’re ready to check out these journaling ideas from Homeschooling-ideas.com
And in the meantime sow more gentleness and kindness in the world. If you hear of someone being cyberbullied please share these helpful resources from Bullipatrol with them.