I LOVE Brené Brown. I show her clip on empathy anytime I have the opportunity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw). For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, she is a researcher at University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her work focuses upon vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her TEDx talk on “The Power of Vulnerability” is one of the five most viewed TED talks in the world.
You may ask, what does Brené Brown have to do with teens and this blog? One of her central tenets is the power of connection. All of us, big, small, young, old need connection to survive and thrive. It’s in our neurobiology. What Brown finds is that shame impedes connection. What she defines as shame is that part of us that says, “I’m not _______________enough.” (fill in your own word).
That voice that says “I’m not ___________ enough” is usually what keeps us from moving out of our comfort zone or going for a goal. Some of us are better than others at quieting that voice, or just have less of that voice. I believe strong self-confidence, meaning believing in yourself, is what fights against or prevents that voice.
So, how do we build healthy self-confidence and resilience in our teens? I define resilience as the ability to withstand stress and catastrophe. Withstanding doesn’t mean we don’t experience it or feel it, but that we get through it and move forward, rather than staying “stuck” in the experience.
One of the best ways of building resilience is modeling it ourselves. When we show our teens how we “recover” from experiences, we are teaching them how to handle their own disappointments. When we allow and even expect our teens to make mistakes, we are helping them to grow.
I’ve talked about it before, but I will say it again. Practice unconditional love and support. This doesn’t mean liking everything your teen does or being a “pushover”, but letting them know you love them no matter what. When teens have a secure base to come home to, they feel safe, contained, and more confident.
Believe in your teen and their ability to thrive. We all have strengths; find them in your teen, even if they’re different than yours or what you want them to be. Be their champion. If you don’t believe in them, how will they believe in themselves?
What things do you do to build confidence in your teens?
On a different note, we at TEEN LINE wish everyone who celebrates a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are grateful for all of you for reading.
In the next few weeks, you can expect to see some guest bloggers as well as biweekly, instead of weekly, blogs. We don’t want you to get tired of us!Leave a Comment ›