As the father of a 16-year-old daughter, I’ve had some time to accumulate both parenting wins and parenting fails. I’m nowhere near perfect obviously but have given it my all. Something I have always strived for in my role as “Father” is to teach my children about their true worth. Now that I have a teenage daughter, this seems more important than ever.
In a recent survey, 95% of teens reported to having felt inferior at some point in their lives. Many reasons why were also given but the top three of those listed were:
- Appearance (59%)
- Ability in some activity (49%)
- Intelligence (38%)
In the same survey, almost half of the teens questioned reported they normally have “low” self-esteem.
As parents, we would do anything for our kids. Our hearts shatter when they experience difficulty and pain, especially when they feel lesser when compared to their peers. We see the whole world in them and want our children to see it in themselves too. To help them overcome these feelings, I have found there are two important areas to focus on with my teenage daughter.
Help Teens Make Time for Mental Health Exercises
In today’s world, many people are so focused on physical health and intelligence. Some even obsess over these areas, shutting out any kind of uplifting mindfulness. Our kids need resources that help them to be optimally healthy when it comes to their emotional well being. They simply are not taught in school what it takes to have great mental health.
As parents, we need to step in and supply them with some resources. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Daily meditation/prayer/quiet time to connect their soul and mind, allowing teens to completely unplug.
- Journaling thoughts and gratitude can help focus minds on living in the moment, instead of living through other people’s curated moments on social media.
- Worksheets and exercises that guide the teen into thinking about self-identity and improve self-worth.
Remind Teens That No One is Better Than Anyone Else
We consciously make an effort to teach our children that no one is better than them as a human, and on the flip side, they are better than no one else.
In our family, each member knows that they are enough. They are worthy of love and acceptance from the people around every day, simply because they exist. Each of us is unique and has different gifts to offer the world we live in. The world is so quick to persuade individuals of who they are not that we often forget how special we are.
By simply taking deliberate time to have these conversations and taking advantage of teachable moments, our kids will not only feel our love and concern for their well being but also truly come to know a sense of self-worth in this crazy world.