Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. 

– Maya Angelou

       When something stressful happens, what is your teens response? Does your teen start to solve the problem, get angry, or even overwhelmed and shut down? It is helping them to pause. There is the action…pause…your teen’s response. Your teen should know that they can not control other people’s behavior, or words, only how they respond. I often think that is advice we can all remind ourselves of. We are only responsible for our own actions. Is the situation even directed at them? Sometimes we take words and behaviour personally when what we need to do is not to take it personally and not respond.

      Many times we often take something personally. Our natural response is to take things personally. Teenagers do this so often. Our teens are experiencing new emotions, new environments and they feel everything is a personal vendetta. If someone does something that your teen doesn’t like, often they will tend to interpret this as a personal affront. But the truth is, it’s not personal, it’s the other person’s issue that they’re dealing with. They are doing the best they can. You can teach your teen to not interpret events as a personal affront, and instead see it as some non-personal external event (like a thunderstorm, or birds flying overhead) that your teen can either respond to without a stressful mindset, or not need to respond to at all. It is difficult to not take things personally and to change the mindset that the person is behaving that way toward you because of what is going on in their life. Remind your teen how wonderful they are. I feel having positive affirmations or quotes posted on the door as your teen walks out are a great way to encourage that positive mindset. If we consistently build our teens’ self-worth, self-esteem and confidence, these difficult encounters with friends, peers, and teachers are much easier for them to respond to. Your teen will see the situation without feeling it is a personal attack on who they are. It is our job as parents to encourage, empower and help foster our teen’s growth into a strong healthy adult.

        Lastly, one of the things I try to practice, and I have my own daughter’s and clients do, is to practice being grateful. Sure, we all talk about showing gratitude and being grateful but how often do we apply it in our daily life? Even better, how do we apply being grateful in our life daily. For me I have a journal, I write a lot of information in it daily and that includes three things I am grateful for. Your teen could do the same thing, to journal their concerns and to also journal what they are grateful for. This builds up their self-worth and it is easier to not take things personally when we are feeling good about who we are and what we are grateful for.