Parenting journey

Goal: Help your teen develop their social life

Teens socializing
Preparing your teen for a healthy social life is crucial for their emotional and psychological development. It involves teaching them about building positive relationships, understanding social cues, and navigating the complexities of social interactions. Here are steps you, as a parent, can follow to help your teen develop a fulfilling social life.

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1 | Foster open communication

Encourage open conversation

Create a safe space where your teen feels comfortable sharing their feelings, experiences, and concerns about their social life.

Share your experiences

Offer insights from your own social experiences, including challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

No embarrassing your teen!

Promise them you will not embarrass them by getting involved in their social interactions as they are happening.

If you witness something you feel would be helpful to correct or discuss, make a note of it and cover it with your teen later when it's just the two of you.
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Online course for families

Communicate with respect and understanding: Make the NOW Better

Learn to communicate respectfully and openly as a family. You'll make a communication agreement to keep each other "in the know" while the young adult still lives at home.

Judgement-free zone

It's important to encourage your teen to come to you with any and all questions or concerns without fear of judgement.

Let your teenager know they can talk to you about their experiences and feelings without fear of retribution or dismissal.

Do NOT break this trust. It only takes once to keep them from talking to you again.

2 | Teach social skills

Basic etiquette

Teach them polite manners, such as saying "please" and "thank you," and the importance of being respectful and considerate to others.

Empathy and listening skills

Encourage them to listen actively and show empathy towards others' feelings and perspectives.
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Help your adult child get better at conversation

Do you worry that your adult child doesn't have friends? Do you think they struggle with social anxiety or have difficulty with the nuances of how to have a conversation? Here are some ways you can help.

3 | Encourage participation in social activities

Extracurricular activities

Encourage them to join clubs, sports teams, or other activities where they can meet peers with similar interests.

Volunteering

Suggest volunteering opportunities to help them build a sense of community and meet a diverse group of people.

4 | Discuss peer pressure

Identify peer pressure

Educate your teenager about what peer pressure looks like. It's not always overt; it can also be subtle. Understanding this can help them recognize when they're being influenced by others.

Decision-making skills

Empower them to make their own decisions based on their values and not just go along with the crowd.

Discuss the importance of weighing the pros and cons of a situation and considering the long-term consequences of their actions.

Build Self-Esteem

Work on building your teenager's self-esteem. Help them recognize their strengths and encourage them to pursue their interests. High self-esteem can make it easier for them to say no to peer pressure.

30-day Challenge: Confidence boosting for your teen

Daily tasks for your teen to perform that will boost their confidence.

Role-playing

Engage in role-playing exercises where you simulate different scenarios involving peer pressure. This can help your teen practice how to respond in various situations. Discussing potential outcomes of different choices can also be enlightening.

Encourage a wide social circle

Encourage your teenager to develop a diverse group of friends. Being part of different social circles can reduce the intensity of peer pressure from any one group.

Set clear expectations and consequences

Be clear about your expectations regarding behavior, and be consistent with consequences. Understanding the boundaries and the reasons behind them can help teenagers make better choices.

Stay involved

Be involved in your teenager's life. Know their friends and stay informed about their activities. This doesn't mean invading their privacy, but rather showing interest and care in their well-being.

5 | Help them navigate social media and technology

Education on digital footprint

Educate them about the concept of a digital footprint and the long-term implications of what they share online. Emphasize the importance of privacy settings and the potential future consequences of their online activities on college admissions and employment.

Time management

Help them develop good habits around screen time and social media use. Encourage them to balance online activities with offline ones, and to prioritize tasks such as homework, family time, and sleep over social media.

Social etiquette and empathy

Discuss the importance of empathy and respect in online interactions. Talk about the impact of cyberbullying and the importance of being kind and respectful to others, even when behind a screen.
30-Day Challenge: Teach Your Teenager Critical Thinking Skills cover

30-Day Challenge: Teach Your Teenager Critical Thinking Skills

Privacy and security

Teach them about the importance of privacy settings and the risks of sharing personal information online. Guide them on creating strong passwords and the dangers of interacting with strangers online.

Set boundaries and rules

Establish clear rules and boundaries for social media use, such as no devices at the dinner table or during family time, and a curfew for turning off devices before bedtime.

Lead by example

Model responsible use of technology and social media yourself. Your behavior can set a powerful example for your teenager regarding how to balance life and technology.

Monitor and support

While respecting their privacy, keep an eye on their social media use and be there to support them if they encounter problems. Encourage them to come to you if they experience or witness cyberbullying or come across disturbing content.

6 | Teach conflict resolution skills

Handling disagreements

Teach them effective ways to handle conflicts and disagreements without resorting to anger or avoidance.

Apologizing and forgiving

Discuss the importance of apologizing when wrong and the strength in forgiving others to move forward.

7 | Promote self-esteem and confidence

Positive self-talk

Encourage positive self-perception and confidence by promoting constructive self-talk and recognizing their strengths and achievements.

Handling rejection

Teach them that rejection is a part of life and how to cope with it constructively.
30-Day Challenge: Confidence Boosting for Your Teen cover

30-Day Challenge: Confidence Boosting for Your Teen

8 | Encourage independence

Making friends

Support them in making their own friends and developing their social circles without over-involvement.

Planning social activities

Encourage them to plan and organize their social activities, offering guidance when needed.

9 | Discuss healthy relationships

Characteristics of healthy relationships

Talk about what makes a relationship healthy, including mutual respect, trust, honesty, and communication.

Recognizing unhealthy relationships

Teach them to recognize signs of unhealthy relationships, such as manipulation, control, or disrespect.

Discuss consent

Help your teenager understand the importance of consent, theirs and others. Teach them how to ask for it, what to do when they don't have it, and how to say no safely.

10 | Model social behavior

Lead by example

Demonstrate healthy social interactions and relationships in your own life. Your behavior can serve as a powerful model for your teen.
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By following these steps, you'll help your teen develop the skills and confidence they need to navigate their social world successfully. It's about providing them with the tools to build meaningful relationships, handle social challenges, and enjoy a rich social life.

What do you need help with?

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