5 Keys to Helping Your Teen with Self Image
*I have joined the Invisalign Mom’s Panel. My daughter’s treatment has been provided in trade for our honest review. This is our story.
5 Keys to Helping Your Teen with Self-Image
Oh guys. This is a tough one, isn’t it? Do you remember that struggle?? Heck, a healthy self-image is tough for adults… and we have fully developed prefrontal cortexes!
Herefollows 5 keys to helping your teen with self-image:
- Encourage self-compassion
- Limit time on social media.
- Help them discover their “why”
- Set realistic expectations
- Embrace positive change
The parent-teen relationship can be complicated even in the best circumstances, and it the obvious right things to do can become less obvious in the middle of the struggle. Keeping a list like this short is helpful because YOU HAVE PLENTY TO DEAL WITH AS IT IS – YOU DON’T NEED A LONG, COMPLICATED LIST.
Research suggests this can decrease anxiety and depression while helping to provide motivation (see info graphic for reference source). In other words, remind your teen to not be too hard on his/herself. There is a great deal of presumed pressure from school and peers and social media to be perfect. Any scroll through Instagram confirms that statement. I am very much a proponent of having high expectations of one’s teen, but teens can be super hard on themselves which can cause more harm than good. Keep listening, and encourage self-compassion.
Limit time on social media.
9 in 10 teen girls have a poor body image, made worse by viewing images on social media. As I mentioned in the paragraph above – social media is a source of great pressure and strong influence. For the most part, shared images and posts are the “highlight reel” or curated best which can lead even a grown woman like me to feel like my own life is the most sloppy and adventure-less life ever lived. By limiting time on social media, we get their brains back. A doctor might phrase that a bit differently, but I’m a mom and when my kids don’t have their faces in their phones… I say it literally feels like they their brains back.
Help them discover their “Why”.
Make sure your teen isn’t driven by feelings of inadequacy by determining their motivation for change. See also point #2 – limit time on social media. Listen. Watch. Listen. Feelings of inadequacy can spur change, and sometimes that can be good, but keep an eye out and make sure the reason for change is healthy reasoning.
Set realistic expectations.
Socially prescribed perfectionism has risen 33% from 1989-2016, and being realistic is important for positive self-improvement. I believe that without setting expectations, the bar sits low. However, there is difference between realistic and healthy expectations and perfectionism. I have to attack social media use again here… scrolling through “perfect” image after “perfect image on social media doesn’t lend to realistic expectations.
Embrace positive change.
Self-improvement can create the confidence! Those options are countless – a shift to health eating, walking away from toxic friendships, developing a pattern of exercise, learning a skill or investing in a hobby, or even creating a more confident smile through Invisalign treatment.
I started noticing in photos my daughter had stopped smiling with an open mouth. As we explored the idea of Invisalign treatment it I learned something I hadn’t realized – she was embarrassed about her overbite.
If I were to add a 6th point to this list it would be: LISTEN… slow down and listen. I am not a woman of few words, so this is something I have to work on. However, I notice when I slow down and take the time to listen vs. lecture and bark out our chore list, the more I learn about what my teens are experiencing. It doesn’t mean my teens always open up, but it sure does increase the likelihood they will. And we parents need every opportunity that we can get.
For more about our experience you can check-out my other informational posts about Invisalign treatment:
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