We have to really educate ourselves in a way about who we are, what our real identity is. (Deepak Chopra).
As parents, we want our teenagers to grow into confident, independent individuals with a strong sense of self. But how do we encourage our teens to create their own identity? It’s a complex question with no easy answer, but there are steps that parents can take to help foster the growth of their teenager’s identity, which in turn builds character, self-worth, and independence.
The foundation of building a teenager’s identity is trust and communication. By listening with the desire and intent to understand the other person’s perspective, we can build strong relationships with our teenagers. This, in turn, allows us to encourage the building of their identity. When teenagers feel loved unconditionally, they develop confidence, which helps them stand firm in their convictions, regardless of what everyone else does.
To build a strong, positive identity, parents can use a brick mason’s approach. Just as with building anything with bricks, a strong foundation is needed. Parents can help their teenager develop a foundation by encouraging their natural abilities, allowing room for self-discovery, and creating a family mission statement.
Teenagers need to feel acknowledged for their unique talents and abilities. They want their parents’ support and encouragement, especially when it comes to pursuing their passions. Attending their competitions, recitals, or games can make a significant difference in their lives. It shows them that they matter and that their parents support them.
Another way to encourage teenagers to create their own identity is by allowing them the space to discover who they are. Until teenagers have figured out who they are, they will struggle with making friends and making choices based on their principles and values. By giving them the space to explore their interests, they will be able to identify what they like and dislike, and what they stand for.
Creating a family mission statement is another way to encourage teenagers to create their own identity. A personal mission statement becomes a motto, a few words that offer encouragement when faced with difficult choices. A family mission statement provides an added layer of support when making tough decisions. Working together as a family to create a mission statement can be a fun and engaging process that builds unity and trust within the family unit.
Lastly, parents should remember the importance of unconditional love. When teenagers feel loved no matter what, they develop confidence, which carries them through trials and peer pressure. It’s this confidence that allows them to stand firm in their convictions, even when those convictions go against the norm. Building a teenager’s identity is a long and challenging process, but it is also incredibly rewarding. By following a brick mason’s approach, parents can help their teenager develop a strong foundation, which can withstand the challenges and obstacles that they will inevitably face. Encouraging teenagers to explore their interests, acknowledging their natural abilities, creating a family mission statement, and showing unconditional love are all ways to help them build their identity. With the right foundation, teenagers can develop the confidence and self-worth they need to become independent, confident adults.