The Teenage Journey to Self-Confidence

English: A Chinese teenager playing the guitar...

What is it about teenage self-confidence that makes communication with parents so difficult? The two sides seem to take polar-opposite positions on every subject, no matter how mundane. No one is listening, just waiting for the opportunity to talk. How can a teenager simply reject everything parents have to say, when it is the parents who have the advantage in life experience? And, they are supposed to be in charge, right?
The answer to this frustrating question is really quite simple – and healthy – in most cases. Teenagers are travelers – en route between childhood and the adult world – and want to test their own wings before leaving the family nest. By constantly accepting as fact the counsel of their parents, they are not able to test the strength or quality of their own decision-making ability. By substituting their own judgements for those that once came from parents, teenagers are seizing the chance to live with the consequences of their independently expressed visions – often with mixed results. Although this process can be tremendously frustrating to the “rejected” parent, it is the beginning of adult self-confidence in the teenager.
Rejection of parental counsel by the teenager tends to curtail much of the communication that might otherwise occur between the two generations. Fortunately, however, teenagers don’t reject the counsel of all adults during this period – just that of their own parents. Teachers, coaches, a thoughtful neighbor, an educational counselor, even an older sibling or friend: these vital players in the teenager’s life tend to provide substitute parenting, as required, during this period. The quality of such counsel is variable, of course, and may or may not reflect the values of the parents themselves. A professional educational counselor may prove to be the greatest value of the entire group over time, however, because of that person’s experience with listening and advising in harmony with the teenager’s new-found points of view – opinions that can almost always be molded into a constructive strategy for future growth. In many ways, then, the educational counselor can provide optimal support on the teenager’s journey to genuine self-confidence.

This entry was posted in Academic Consultant, College, Communicating with your teen, Educational Consultant, Educational Counselor, Teen Self-Confidence, Teens, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Teenage Journey to Self-Confidence

  1. Pingback: Wishing there were a less-overwhelming way to get through the college search and application process? | Informed Educational Solutions

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