Building resilient teenagers

teenagers, stress, happyWhen our children are born as part of the package we discover an inbuilt need to protect our children from harm. As they grow up and become pre-teens and teenagers we discover we can’t protect them from life’s challenges and disappointments because these are outside our control. However we can help them build their self-esteem and give them the attitudes and skills to cope with life and remain positive.

I remember contemplating the teenage years when Sophie was 10, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it wouldn’t be easy! I tried to imagine her at 18 and decided then I wanted her to be in a position to be able to develop and maintain positive relationships and cope with the ups and downs of life. Yes, I wanted her to get her academic qualifications which would open doors and help her achieve her potential, however, as we all know, life can be challenging so more importantly, she needed to develop resilience i.e the skills, attitudes and beliefs that enable a teenager to thrive and grow even through adversity.

Being a teenager is tough and over the last 8 years Sophie has been through a number of significant challenges, specifically her GCSEs and A-levels and at times it has been incredibly hard. I have been through these challenges and pressures with her and hopefully given her some of the skills she needs to enjoy life despite what is going on around her. It is about helping her to learn through the tough times, building on her strengths and discovering the best way for her to manage stress.

Building resilient teenagers is something all parents can learn to do – we do have an influence on our teenagers, therefore, we need to use this opportunity to help them become stronger individuals.

As this is so important to me, I have now developed a couple of workshops focusing on building resilient teenagers. I am looking forward to running my first workshop at work in November which will focus on building their self-esteem and managing stress. I will then be running a new workshop in Taunton early in the New Year which will focus on managing exams and homework.

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About Ruth James

I am a mum with a pre-teen and 2 teenage daughters who is running and organising the Surviving Teenagers Programme locally which is ideal for parents with children aged 10-16yrs.
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