There’s no handbook on how to foster a positive teen identity. No one has an exact formula that guarantees your child will grow up with a healthy self-esteem and strong sense of identity. Even without your guidance, your child would form a sense of identity, but the question is would it be positive? As a parent, you can’t completely control your teen’s identity, but you can help steer it in a positive direction. Psych Central recently published an article outlining some ways you can promote a confident teen identity.
3 ways to promote a positive teen identity
Create an Accepting Environment
This is fundamental to mental health. Having an environment in which your teen can feel safe, accepted, and have a sense of belonging is essential to mental health upkeep. Emphasizing a family culture in which everyone supports each other and offers up that support willingly fosters a strong sense of teen identity. It helps a teen identify with their family, build strong values, and have a positive set of internal principles to help guide them through life.
Don’t Spoon Feed Them Everything
Yes, it’s okay to spoil your teen a bit. Buying them a new game station for christmas isn’t off-limits, but don’t just hand them everything. Life can often be challenging. Every adult can pinpoint moments where they were in a high stress situation, failed, or had a setback of some sort. You can pass the coping skills you used in those situations onto your teen, which in turn helps them form a strong teen identity.
By acting as a role model in stressful situations by keeping your cool and handling it, you’re showing them what resilience is. You can also encourage your teen to solve problems on their own. For example, instead of fixing every issue in their assigned essay for them, tell them there are some mistakes and to look a bit closer. This allows them to tap into the knowledge they have and apply it.
Encourage Positive Self-Image
It’s common knowledge now that to build a positive teen identity, children need to feel good about themselves and what they can do. But there’s more to it. Not only do they need to know they have strengths, but they need to be encouraged to apply them. It’s easy to tell a child they’re good at drawing, but it’s another to ask them if they want to take art classes after school or if they want you to buy them art supplies. This is not just making them feel good, but it’s helping them learn to maintain their self-esteem and build their teen identity.
blueFire Wilderness can help
blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 11 to 17. Our students often grapple with anxiety, depression, and other emotional or behavioral problems. At blueFire, we strive to help each client succeed.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today!