5 Ways To Empower Your Teen
By Caron C. Andrews
To empower is to infuse with power or ability. We can empower our teenagers to be thinking, discerning, caring individuals capable of making good choices in all areas of their lives. (Our goal is to help you understand the hypersexualized and pornified thinking that saturates our culture today and help your kids fight against them by becoming strong, healthy individuals.) Here are just a few ways to empower your teens.
- Trust Them
Giving our kids the chance to be trustworthy is a powerful tool to help them trust their own instincts and abilities. Discuss expectations and limits. Build on their past successes with being trustworthy and increase opportunities to show how responsible they are. Just as importantly, trust in your parenting skills—that you have taught them right from wrong and the skills they need to be trustworthy.
- Let Them Make Decisions
As they get older, kids should have the chance to make decisions that affect their lives. Give them opportunities whenever possible. Help them work through the pros and cons of more difficult choices in order to build decision-making skills. As they get older and are faced with more outside influences, they will need to be able to discern what’s good for them and what’s not. Gradually involving them more and more in decisions about their own lives will strengthen their ability to do so.
- Let Them Have Consequences
One of the most powerful ways that human beings learn is from our own mistakes—arguably, the only way we truly learn on a deep level. When our teenagers make a poor choice, we have to resist the urge to jump in and smooth things over. Instead, we must let them experience the consequences. They need to know that when they make a choice, they are also accepting the consequences of that choice, good or bad. They will grow and mature as a result of their own experience, just as we have.
- Teach Them to Be Choosy
Let your kids know that it’s important and necessary to choose friends who will uplift them and value them, respect their views and decisions, and who have similar values, because friends influence them. Although they should be kind and respectful to all, teach your kids that it’s okay to be choosy about their friends. It’s empowering for them to know that they don’t have to buckle to pressure by so-called “friends” to do things they don’t want to do.
- Teach Them To Take Care of Themselves
Learning to put themselves as a priority in their own lives empowers teens to know that they are important and worth the effort! Teach them good eating and sleeping habits, how to express their emotions, how to say no to things they don’t want to do, say, or watch. Keeping themselves healthy emotionally and physically will also help them develop healthy sexuality.
Empowered with a strong sense of self-worth and confidence, our kids will be able to withstand the pressures they face as they’re confronted by oversexualized and incomplete messages about what it is to be valuable person.
For more information on this and many other subjects to help you raise a strong child, check out our book 30 Days to a Stronger Child.