I know I’m not the only one thinking the world has gone completely bonkers! I chuckle when I think of generations past and how they must have felt about our generations. As parents and mentors, helping your teenager grow confidence in who they are is critical, more than ever, to their lifelong wholeness and happiness. The challenges our youth face today are unique and particularly troublesome. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a parent to change a young person’s life!
Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.Jess Lair
Parenting is tough. However, it’s also true that being a child, and especially a teenager, is extremely tough in today’s world. Not only do social media apps constantly tell us how we should look and behave, but we have to deal with a growing global awareness of tough issues.
Add that onto the pile of trying to be a good person, and the anxieties of teenage life to begin with, and we realize that teenagers (still defined as children) should be given a little more support to feel confident in themselves.
It might have been that we ourselves encountered a tough childhood and subsequent adolescence, but that doesn’t mean you have to pass this down. With kindness, consideration and good old tough love, we can help our children grow in confidence and become the kind of teenagers, and young adults, that we can be proud of. But most importantly, they will be proud of themselves.
Okay, okay, I admit that’s a big task for one article. However, we truly believe that the following advice will steer you in the right direction:
Showing your teen they are enough can be a tremendous new way for them to think. Hearing from you, the most important role model in their lives, that they are enough challenges the voices in the world saying they’re not!
Many, if not most teenagers, are constantly evaluating themselves against impossible ideals fed to them by a toxic culture in need of change. This leads to an endless loop of insecurity, leaving many feeling hopeless and simply not good enough.
Show them it’s okay to not know all the answers in life; that it’s okay to have bad days and feelings about those days!
Showing your teen they’re enough means reminding them of all that makes them special. Forget about physical appearances.
What makes them unique? What gifts and dreams have they been given? Nurture those. Encourage your teen to pursue their passions unashamed of who they are.
Dare them to be different. It’s where their treasure in life will be found! Best of all, when your child is living the life they were created for, at any age, they will not only grow confidence but SOAR!
People accept what is the same. But they eventually respect what is different.Steven Furtick
Teenagers face many challenges in today’s world we couldn’t have even imagined growing up. Helping them overcome sometimes does not mean you’re weakening them. It may mean you’re providing the support necessary to help them grow.
Showing up and asking your child what they need communicates love and devotion to them like few things can. Kids notice when they have your undivided attention and this makes them feel worthy of love – now, and in the future.
Here are some other simple ways you can help them feel cared for:
- Spend time helping your teenager with homework they’re struggling with
- If acne and other hormonal skin conditions are causing problems, visit a Dermatologist together. It shows what matters to them matters to you.
- For dental correction, consider Invisalign aligners for a cost-effective braces alternative.
- Take walks in nature together and use them as an opportunity to catch up. Even if you don’t say a word!
- Limit technology time. Instead, encourage healthy activities that will strengthen their mental health and your bond!
- Consider volunteering together in your local area at a charity or special event. Giving back is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our kids!
- Attend church together, encouraging a strong, faith-filled foundation for a lifetime!
It doesn’t take much. We all simply long for safety, love, being heard and valued – no matter our age!
Routine can be an important virtue to have in a teenager’s life, because it keeps them directed and gives them a purpose. It might be that you invest in guitar lessons for them, or bring them to sports practice.
Curfews, “lights out time,” and limiting TV or technology are all beneficial ways to help build healthy habits for a successful life.
Helping them find their first job can also be a great confidence builder too!
In my own life, my jobs as a young teenager were lifesavers! I’d always believed I wasn’t worth much. Working a job, paying my own way, gave me the confidence that I was capable of doing what I put my mind to!
Offer your wisdom. Remember, you were a teen once. We can often pretend to be so involved in the child/parent relationship that we forget to talk to them on a human level.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about the mistakes you made. What do you wish you could go back and do differently? Tell them! We can’t guarantee they’ll listen, but they’re listening more than we realize! You might be surprised how many mistakes you can help them avoid!
You don’t have to be perfect. You need only be real. – Holly ♥ #parenting #wisdomTweet
Some of the subjects won’t be easy ones, like entering the dating world and all that brings with it. (sigh) Can’t they stay tiny forever?
No matter the subject: just listen. As hard as it is, be both a listener and a guide. Remember how you felt all those days ago. (For some of us, much longer than others, ha ha! I kid!) 🤣
Love doesn’t mean allowing bad behavior. Correction brings maturity, but empathy brings connection. Both are critical in the parent – mentor/child relationship.
Correction brings maturity, but empathy brings connection – Holly ♥ #parenting #teenagersTweet
We have to be honest with ourselves and examine our own behavioral patterns. What toxic thinking are we passing on? Are we showing unconditional love, acceptance and kindness for ALL peoples?
Take a moment to consider these startling statistics:
- 1 in 4 girls will be sexually molested by 18 years of age
- 1 in 6 boys will be sexually molested by 18 years of age
- 3.3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year
- 1 in 5 teen girls are victims of dating violence
- 1 in 10 teen boys are victims of dating violence
- Sixty percent of American children are exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities
- Almost 40 percent of American children were direct victims of 2 or more violent acts, and 1 in 10 were victims of violence 5 or more times
- A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
- 90% are abused by someone they know, love or trust.
- Over 60 percent of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
- Rates of depression, anxiety, drug abuse, PTSD, delinquent behaviors, failing in schools are all astronomically higher from unhealthy homes
If we want to change the lives of our teenagers, we must first change our own culture. As adults, we must take the lead and stand for our youth. We need to be funding and supporting mentoring programs. If possible, we should begin our own with the at-risk youth in our lives.
It all starts in our own homes. If our kids are emotionally healthy and hold themselves in high esteem – they too can make a difference in the lives of their peers! Helping your teenager grow confidence has a ripple effect that will change many lives, now and in the future.
If you want more kindness in the world, put some thereZero Dean
When you were an adolescent, what did you long to receive but didn’t? Old, unhealthy patterns don’t have to be repeated. You have the power to break them today.
Were you lonely, confused, unheard, unsupported, abandoned or rejected? Whatever you went through – be the opposite for the young adult in your life now. Use your pain for a purpose.
There is something very healing about being for someone else what you always wish you had.
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. – Peggy O’Mara #speakkindly #parenting #bekindTweet
The days we’re living in now are unlike any other time in history. Oh how I pray for all the families actively raising children right now. You reading this, my heart and my prayers are with you!
Healthy self-esteem and confidence starts early in life. When we provide a strong foundation throughout their lives of love, support and guidance – the lessons will stay with them when the going gets rough.
Teenage life is a sensitive process. You may not be perfect friends as they go through this coming-of-age process, but you can be strong allies. That’s what counts.
Always remember that how you speak to your child now determines how they will speak to themselves later.
Of course, we will have bad days and make mistakes! Ask forgiveness and learn together from it. Consider it just another opportunity to grow. Heaven knows we should never stop doing that!
What ways have you been helping your teenager grow confidence and be the best versions of themselves possible? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.Jim Henson
Did this help you? Please share with your friends. Thank you! ♥
Sending All Of My Love To You & Yours,
Thank you for yet another interesting and informative post, Holly <3
So many great tips and advice in here, and all so very true.
Having a teenage daughter these days, I can see the problems that never existed back when I was a teenager – although the results are very similar. It was difficult enough 'back in my day', to build self esteem. These days, it seems to be that much harder, and social media certainly does impact that!
I am truly grateful that the lines of communication between my daughter and I are very open though – she tells me and shows me everything, even when she knows it's going to get her into trouble of some sort, ha ha ha! When she IS honest and open though, I tend to tone down on the lectures 😉 I never want to discourage that openness. It definitely makes it easier for me to speak into her life in many positive ways too – in an attempt to undo what she is 'learning and hearing' from Instagram etc.
Isn't it funny how she, and even us as adults, seem to be drawn to the things that make us feel like we are 'less'? And those ads and posts seem to be in abundance – much of the time, we need to make an effort to seek out things that let us know that we are okay, just the way we are… and give constructive advice regarding things that we need to change.
This world certainly is a crazy place. All we can do is be the change we want to see, and work daily to try and impact at least one life in a positive way 😉
Much love to you guys – praying that you are all well <3
My dear friend, how are you? Forgive me for not replying to your comment on one of my other posts. Have the restrictions eased there at all? You have been in my thoughts & prayers. The month of May was a tough one here and it took me out of commission for awhile. I was just physically and emotionally exhausted! Somehow I am thinking you can relate? 🤗
I loved how you said “the results are the same.” You’re absolutely right. Even though the challenges are different, the end result doesn’t always have to be. I think now it’s just on a much more exaggerated scale, perhaps? What do you think?
My heart smiled when you said that the communication lines between you & your daughter are open. What a blessing! Especially if she *still* comes to you when she knows it won’t make mama happy! Wow, that’s wonderful! And I certainly chuckled when you said that makes you tone down the lectures a bit, ha ha. Oh the joys of parenting! You’re right though…listening, even when it’s painful to hear, and keeping those lines open allows you to speak encouragement in ways you may not have been able to otherwise.
I’ll admit my friend – this is a hot button issue for me – the constant bombardment of ads and other media that is solely done for the intent of selling a product or service by making someone feel NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 😡 When we are sold a bill of ‘goods’ as truth for so many years, the tape automatically plays and takes over on auto-pilot. It becomes the ‘new normal’ and there’s NOTHING normal about it. I’d love to start an organization of some kind that helps debunk these lies and encourage women (and men) to think differently, rise above the fray and be themselves. No comparison. No nonsense, no Photoshopped b.s., just realness. God knows we need more of that, don’t we?
I just love you! 🙂 No words could be truer than these you wrote: “All we can do is be the change we want to see, and work daily to try and impact at least one life in a positive way.” — AMEN, my friend, AMEN!
You are awesome and you are doing just that every day. Never stop being beautiful, special and unique you! ♥ You are making more of a difference than you’ll ever realize this side of Heaven. For now, I’m sending my love and hugs via this virtual highway! 🤗
Ah Holly, I can totally relate to feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. Our crazy rules have started to lift, but in ways that make no sense. They will be opening movie houses and restaurants, but I am still breaking the law (and risk getting a huge fine as well as a criminal record) if I go and have coffee with my friend at her house?!?!?
Sadly, the current laws here have caused HUGE health issues for many – and the majority are struggling physically because of the mental and emotional strain. I have never had issues with cholesterol or blood pressure – and here I am… my BP is only slightly elevated, but my cholesterol isn’t looking too good. Ugh! So now I am having to change my diet drastically, and exercise more. It’s no surprise that it happened, considering that my physical activity the last three months (yes, we are now on 90 days of not being allowed to see friends etc) has dropped to about 25% of what it was. Over here, the wearing of a mask is compulsory if you leave your house. I’ve discovered that breathing is an issue for me if I try and go for a brisk walk with a mask on. So this morning, I discovered a ‘lovely’ low impact cardio workout on YouTube, and exercised my heart out of my chest 😛 in my pajama’s 😛 (How lovely it is shall be revisited tomorrow morning when I try and get out of bed 😛
I know that there are many out there who would agree regarding that tape that plays on auto pilot feeding us all the incorrect information, shaping our belief systems in a way that can ultimately destroy us. But I definitely know that you and I have experienced this to the nth degree in our lives. Thank goodness we were able to learn and grow, and find comfort in truth. I would definitely be on board for an organization that can promote and encourage a better way of thinking – that will introduce truth is a way that will impact young lives positively. And bring a form of healing and renewed hope to adults who have played that tape way too many times.
I am all for pushing ‘personal growth and development’, because many times not everything IS well with our souls and we need to be brave enough to acknowledge that, and work on changing it.
But physical appearance? When did it become okay to tell teens that they have to cover freckles, or their hormonal skin breakout, because otherwise they are ugly? Grrrr. Or tell the girl (my daughter) with the pale skin that she needs a tan because only then would her body be beautiful! Hot button issues indeed!
Holly, you are very much loved by me. I appreciate all your very thoughtful blog posts and the way that you address the issues so gracefully. That speaks volumes for the beauty you hold in your heart.
I am sending lots of love your way and a prayer of abundance in all things. May you find rest for your soul, peace for your heart (despite these trying times we are all facing) and opportunities to spread your sunshine… because the world needs more of that 😉 xxxx
I don’t have children, and it’s a bit of a painful subject for me, but I always thought I’d have kids and would give them the best of my childhood plus fill in all the gaps, make good all the things that could have been better, change the things that were detrimental. And on the top of the list would be to tell them regularly that they are enough, no ifs and no buts. Sadly parents (and others, whether it’s teachers or family friends) can give the impression that they’re falling short in some way or need to change, even when they don’t realise it. “Oh you’re so pretty, all you’d need is to lose just a couple of pounds”, “you should be more outdoorsy like Kate is, get more fresh air not stuck indoors reading all the time”. It can be quite subtle but over time it chips away at a child, as it can to an adult.
“Correction brings maturity, but empathy brings connection” – I love that, I think you’ve said it perfectly. Getting the balance right and the boundaries firm without being restrictive can’t be easy, but correction and empathy are both necessary ingredients in the mix.
As for those statistics, it’s so important we see these. Really see them and really appreciate the dangers and risks and tragedy. Things need to change. I hope the next generation sees these rates decrease, I really do. Maybe little by little, changing our culture and our society can help. A little less judgement and anger. A little more understanding and compassion.
Fantastic post, Holly. You’ve approached a difficult topic – parenting – and did it perfectly. Warm, friendly, on our level. Excellent as always!! ♥
First and foremost my friend, I am sending comfort your way for this being a difficult subject. 🤗 I get where you’re coming from. Whether someone does or doesn’t want to have kids, has kids or is unable to have kids for various reasons touches the core of our hearts in a way few other things can. It’s a deeply personal conviction to be handled with the utmost sensitivity.
I’ll be honest, it broke my heart to read that you’d always thought you’d have kids. Is there any chance you might adopt? I can say this with 100% certainty – you would make the best mom there is. Your heart is as pure as gold and your desire to encourage, uplift and help others shines through in everything you do. Whether you choose to have kids or not – know that you are a ‘spiritual mom’ to more people than you realize. Never discount the impact you have on lives you may not even know about! You are a mentor, a guide and a light to people who are suffering.
I could not stop shaking my head in agreement as I read your comment. In your first paragraph, speaking on the subtle ways self-esteem can be eroded by ‘snarky comments,’ really spoke to me. You are 100% right! It’s an underhanded way of saying, “Wellllll…. you’re *almost* good enough, if only you could ____ or ____.” (sigh) As you pointed out, sometimes adults don’t realize the harmful messages they’re sending. Sometimes they do, sadly.
Standing in agreement with you, in hopes that we will see those statistics drop dramatically. The more awareness we raise, hopefully the more outrage and push for change will come too.
Your encouragement to me keeps me going, Caz. I hope you realize that! Thank you! ♥
Caz, I’m replying now because I thought the same when I read your comment earlier. That it hurt. And that you are mothering, nurturing, teaching, by being here….
I love this article and just think it’s a shame that I’m seeing it now and not when I’m raising children.
Children always value what their parents say and think. It’s their most powerful voice…
How are you doing?
Love, light and glitter
Dearest Eliza, I am touched by your comment, thank you! ♥ You’re right, children do value what their parents say. Parents often have this notion that their children aren’t listening. Even if they are trying to tune their ears out – their eyes are taking in everything they see! They will model our behaviors, whether we want them to or not. None of us are perfect but nurturing their little lives into healthy adults is the most powerful thing we can do. That includes mentors too!
How are you doing these days? Doing okay here. May was a really rough month, as was the beginning of June. Seemed to just be ‘going through the motions’ and trying to keep the head above water. Praise God, the fog and difficulty seems to be lifting a bit!
I pray you & yours are well? As always, I am incredibly grateful for your support & comments! Sending my love & hugs in hopes your days are blessed! ♥
I’m glad the fog has lifted a bit. I saw you posted and that told me that you’ve more headspace…
I know so many children who still seek their parents approval when they won’t get it. And children who know their parents love them no matter what. It’s not about being perfect. I don’t think parents need to be perfect… just good enough. Which as you said can mean apologising, or being.
I hope June keeps on lifting up for you…
I’m loving lockdown, and just am. Meaning in some ways really good, in others, well, less so.
May all our days be blessed with love, connection, peace, and joy.
Love, light and glitter
This is so profound. We can’t underestimate the place of honesty and empathy as a parent to the children. I wish more parents would adopt this.
Thanks for sharing this. ❤
The post is for keeps. For future use for me. 😊
My sweet sweet sister, it’s wonderful to hear from you! I pray you & yours are well?
Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. I am always touched by your kindness and wisdom. You’re right — we can never underestimate the place of honesty and empathy. As a parent or mentor, we quite literally have the opportunity to change the trajectory of a youth’s life for the good! How amazing is that? Especially as men and women of God — we have the power to use Holy Spirit’s guidance to speak powerful truths into a life heading nowhere good. It’s beautiful.
Thank you again. I am so moved by your words of encouragement. Sending love your way, my friend. 🤗
wonderful sgguestions – I hope all parents read this.
Aw Carol, how kind…thank you! We, as adults, can never be reminded enough of these truths. Sending all my best to you and yours. Thank you for commenting! ♥
You share many wise lessons here, Holly. I think as a teen I was a pretty calm kid but I gave my parents gray hairs later on… I have friends who are not looking forward to their children getting to the teen stage 😉
Aw, thank you so much Christy! I just love you to pieces and am incredibly grateful for your support and encouragement!
I do believe that you were a good teen. You’ve got a heart of pure gold. Isn’t it funny how some of us had delayed ‘badness?’ Or at least at a minimum, really poor choices? Sometimes it can be chalked up to bad influences or wrong thinking patterns that have stayed in place entirely too long. Either way, I know your parents see you as the incredible blessing you are!
Thank you for sharing this. And most importantly, I’m praying for your friends with soon to be teen kids. 😉 Sending my love and hugs to you, dearest Christy. Thank you for all you do!
What an amazing post!! I learned so much from this!
Those stats are so scary. They make me want to hide my daughter in a bubble and never let her see the world. But I know that wouldn’t help her. It’s up to me as a parent to teach her the real truth.
I love how you said to show them they are enough. This is such amazing advice. Actions speak louder than words and our kids need to know they matter and they are loved just the way they are. I try so hard to teach my daughter that God created us all in His own image and that we are all unique. We need to embrace our uniqueness and not compare ourselves to others.❤️
Aren’t those stats alarming? (sigh) When we begin to associate those numbers with little innocent faces, it’ll nearly bring us to tears! I know what you mean about wanting to shield your daughter from the evil that surrounds. Please know that I am praying for you. But I also know that you are an incredible Mama and are raising your daughter to love & respect herself. The foundation you are providing for her now will be with her for a lifetime. Even as you & I made some bad decisions along the way, she will too. Yet your love and support for her and the soft place to land will lead her back to the right path every time.
You got it — actions DO speak louder than words. It’s the subtle things sometimes that can really hurt self-esteem in big ways. I am just so proud of you my friend for teaching your daughter that she IS enough, no matter what. Comparison is poison and it’s unbelievably easy to do. I’d love to kill that enemy once and for all in each of our lives. It’s a joy stealer, no doubt about it!
As always Michelle, your comments are so very special to me. Thank you for your encouragement, love and support. I value you! Hugs headed your way…♥
Those stats really make you think… wow… I have raised one teenager and failed at doing so and am now working on the second – 13 years later – trusting I will be more successful. I am hopeful.
I agree with you – those stats do make us think – or they should! It bothers me that we have so much ‘fluff’ in our news and yet, where is the awareness for a subject matter this tragic? Wow.
I am so sorry that raising your first child didn’t go as you had hoped. It’s hard to be healthy for someone else when we aren’t healthy for ourselves. It’s hard, if not often impossible, to give what we simply don’t have. 🤗 I may not know you in ‘real life,’ but from what I do know of you and what you’ve overcome, I know you are blessing that young life you’re raising now. Your trust in God to lead you and direct your steps is all you need. Mistakes will happen, but growth is a part of the process! ♥ Sending love to you & yours, Shell. You are so very special!
Holly, this is such a profound post! Teenagers are full of extreme possibilities and we should help them to discover their talents and build confidence. Never ever we should use them to fulfill our unfulfilled desires.
Hi Deeksha! It’s wonderful to hear from you! I adore what you’ve said here in this comment. I agree with you 100%. Too often we see parents who force their own ideas onto a developing mind. Then we see that the young adult never gets to form their own identity. What a tragedy that is! God doesn’t make mistakes. We are all created with a unique purpose and personality. It’s to be celebrated, not stifled. I love your view on this subject and am grateful you shared your heart with me! ♥
Thank you so much for sharing this Holly. My oldest just turned 13.
You are so very welcome, Mark! 13 is a tough age, for parents and kids alike. You are an excellent dad and I’m proud of you for how involved you are with those kids. It’s a blessing they won’t ever forget! ♥️
Thank you 🙂
Such a wonderful post. With our youngest, we were able to put him into a very supportive school environment. It’s an amazing system outside of the mainstream. He is treated as an individual, no bullying and the interaction with the teachers is unbelievable. I know I still have a long way to go re improving how I say things, but we do have long conversations from time to time. I do impart my wisdom re finding the truth with things and not just to buy into what is said out there.
Hi, Sean! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
I love that you have found a supportive school environment for your son. It saddens me how overwhelmed the mainstream school systems are. 1 teacher for every 40-50+ kids is ridiculous. There’s no way any teacher could be effective in such a setting. Plus, as you mentioned, there’s no time to address bullying, lack of understanding on a subject, etc. To hear how the environment you’ve got him in now treats him as an individual and truly cares warms my heart. I’m so thankful you have found the right place. That’s wonderful!
I’d say you’re doing a wonderful job with him. We always have room for improvement. The very fact you care about trying to watch how/what you say tells me that you’re doing all you need to do. We’ll always make mistakes, but learning from them, acknowledging our wrongs, and then correcting them, only brings growth. I know your son is watching your example and will learn wonderful lessons from you. Thank you for the love you have and the effort you’re putting into this beautiful child.
Sending love to you and your family. Thank you again for such a wonderful comment. I love how much you added to the conversation. 🙂
Hello Holly, thank you for your kind words (and my family appreciates them too). I can never speak highly enough of the school he is now in. He is a beautiful boy and has so much to offer the world.
A really good post Holly. Raising kids in today’s world is so very challenging and we all need as much help as we can get. Thank you!
Hi, Michele. You are so kind, thank you! I agree wholeheartedly with you. Raising kids in today’s world is more challenging than ever, in my humble opinion, as well. There have always been challenges, but it seems they come from many different sides nowadays. I am grateful to hear this post was helpful to you. ❤ It’s really nice to hear your thoughts!
All great advice. It’s hard growing up and the teenage years are the toughest. You’re right being a parent is hard work. Being a good parent is even harder.
Have a fabulous day and week, Holly. ♥
I love what you said, Sandee. I can’t imagine being a child or a parent in these modern days of social media. The challenges before were bad enough but it seems that all the turmoil has been elevated to a whole new level.
I hope your day and week is blessed as well, Sandee! ♥
Great post! I agree that it is important to be kind and understanding. See them as people and help them be the best they can be. It’s about giving young people a chance by giving them support and room to grow at their own pace. You point out some sad statistics and it really is up to each and every person to do their part in making the work a better place. Thanks for sharing!
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