Being a teen isn't easy and being a parent of a teen is no walk in the park either. It’s emotional for a parent knowing their child has prioritized their friends over you and your time spent together has changed. Meanwhile, your teen's brain is going through a crucial development stage that puts their emotions on full blast. When you see them roll their eyes at you or they tell you you’re ruining their life, it’s overwhelming for both the parent and teen to go through this stage. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can tell your teen that will make all the difference.
You might remember from a past blog post that shame is an emotion that we all experience. Based on the work of Dr. Brene Brown, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Examples from Dr. Brown's research include feeling like an outsider (not belonging, hating yourself and feeling like you understand why others hate you too), being in a prison, or having that pit in the bottom of your stomach. To manage shame, one must be able to recognize and understand shame triggers. Once these are identified, you'll be able to develop higher levels of critical awareness when it comes to shame. In addition, you'll be more willing to reach out to others while being able to express how you feel and ask for what you need.
While technology has brought us many positive things like important information and a new way to connect with others, it has also brought about many negatives. We discussed earlier this month how the rise of technology has led to an increase in self-esteem issues due to the constant comparison to others. Part of this has to do with the endless scrolling we’re now accustomed to (and we might not even be aware of it!)
We all get to a point in our lives when we're unsure of things. For most of us, this occurs many times throughout our lives. Whether it be with your relationship, your job, your friends or even with yourself. We get comfortable with these things and they might be working for us for a while. But eventually, we might want a change. Sometimes we know what that change is and sometimes we don’t. Not knowing where your life is headed can be unsettling. We like knowing what’s ahead. But in today’s world with so many directions you can pursue, there are endless opportunities out there…and it can be overwhelming.