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26 May 2017Last updated
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Parenting

10 things that may be holding your teen back

Naviture’s Katie Meneely highlights some of the most common factors that could be caging in your budding adult…

By Faye Bartle
2 Jun 2016 | 05:21 pm
  • Source:Supplied

1 Self-doubt Low self-esteem, lack of confidence and little motivation often go hand in hand. To combat this, encourage your teen to do lots of what they’re good at, which will empower them. The momentum they build from doing things they love will carry them through the tasks that they find more challenging.

2 Lack of risk taking If kids don’t take reasonable risks from a young age then they can’t identify risk when they’re older, which affects their decision-making processes. Get them to try different experiences with your support, such as taking a bus on their own or trying a new sport. It will make them more resilient.

3 Depth of experience The more experience your teen has, the better prepared they are for leading a successful life. Help them develop important life skills, such as making a doctor’s appointment, cooking a range of dishes, doing the laundry and shopping on a budget.

4 Fear of the unknown Teens often stick their head in the sand, but it’s important they create a vision of their future. Ask them what they want from life, from where they want to work, to where they want to live. This builds a picture that’ll help them feel in control.

5 Stress A long school day, extracurricular commitments and pressure to succeed can cause the same level of stress in teenagers as it does in executives. Encourage your teen to discuss what makes them feel under pressure and help identify strategies to cope, such as releasing stress through exercise.

6 Social skills In the social media age, they may be adept at communicating digitally, but are they just as good at meeting people and establishing relationships? Teach them to greet others appropriately by shaking hands, introducing themselves and engaging in conversation. That first day at university is critical – they are on their own, so it’s important they make friends.

7 Organisation and leadership skills These can be critical to success, but teens can learn early with your help. Ask them to plan and lead a family day out – and to participate in it. Support them by explaining how you would go about it, but respect that they may do it differently.

8 Lack of evidence of skills Teens often have qualifications from exam boards in school subjects and music certificates, but what about specific skills? Inspire them to build a portfolio of occasions on which, for example, they have they shown effective communication through public speaking, debating or presenting. This will all help when it comes to applying for universities and jobs.

9 Few strong role models For expats living away from family, finding strong role models can be challenging. Identify who among your friends you look up to and encourage your teens to engage with them. Also, ask about people in the public eye who inspire them, and encourage them to research these role models.

10 Us as parents While we want to make everything perfect and easy, the reality is that life is anything but. By preventing mistakes from happening, kids miss out on the crucial learning that accompanies it, so try not to ‘fix’ everything for them. Don’t drive all the way to school to deliver the forgotten sports kit, for instance, as they’re less likely to forget it again if they have to suffer the consequences from the sports teacher.

By Faye Bartle

By Faye Bartle