If I could go back and talk to my teen self I would love to be able to reassure her that everything would be fine. That what she was going through was normal and that in time everything would settle. If only…
I look at my teens in class and feel for them intensely. Now, probably more than ever they are under so much pressure to excel that they become over anxious about their future. Every kid must excel, but nobody takes into account that life, time and less pressure is what they need to deal with all the changes they are going through.
Of course, they have to study and by trial and error be able to experience many activities so they have a chance to find out what they really love and enjoy. That will become their future. But what they need most of all, with all the exposure to “adult life through social media” is someone to sit and listen. To experience them, to let them know that it will all be OK in the end. That life is to be enjoyed with caution. That their brains don’t develop as fast as their bodies and hormones run amok, and this causes all sorts of feelings of insecurity and craziness.
At the same time, teens must have strong ties with their families. Open conversations with them that will make them feel safe, loved and understood. Every teen at some point experiences feelings of insecurity, fear, stress, inadequacy, of being misunderstood and a sense of being different and again, they should be reassured that most of us have gone through that phase and that they are no different! They are regular teens having normal feelings for their age. They are no longer children but they are not grown up either. A kind of limbo where they feel the world is against them and often extremely confused.
Being a teen is a fragile state and everyone who loves them should make sure to let them know that they are not alone, that we too were lost.
Yep, being a teen may be the hardest part of growing up, but it should also be the happiest! We can make it happen, being there for our teens and sharing our stories so they will understand that they are not so unique or alone.