Helping your teenage child become more self-aware is one of the best things you can do for them, especially if they are struggling with issues like substance abuse, trouble in school, relationship problems, or a host of other troubles. It is important both to understand why troubled teens need this kind of self-awareness and how to help them obtain it.
What Is Self-awareness and Why Do Troubled Teens Need It?
Self-awareness is the ability to have a “clear perception” of who you are, what your personality is like, and what you want. It is also about understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as your own thoughts and emotions. Basically, to be self-aware means to have a deep understanding of yourself, including the good and the bad parts.
All teens need help becoming more self-aware, and parents can be instrumental in this process. Part of becoming self-aware is about taking responsibility for one’s actions and desires. This is one of the reasons why troubled teens are especially in need of this practice and often in need of help in order to become better at it.
Teens who are struggling with serious issues, like substance abuse, can begin to understand why they started using in the first place and what role they play in the continued use. In addition, teens who may be confused about which path is the right one will be able to better learn to step back and assess their situation as well as their own feelings.
How Can I Help My Troubled Teen Improve Their Self-awareness?
Helping a teen become more self-aware can be difficult, especially if they are resistant. But this kind of change often starts at home, and there are many things a parent can do to improve their child’s sense of self.
- One of the best ways to ensure that your teen learns to be more self-aware is to practice the same acts yourself. Be honest about your feelings—with yourself and with your teen—and also try to be positive. Don’t put yourself down in front of them in hopes of having someone else pick you up because they will learn this behavior and internalize it.
- You can also help your teen understand that many of their issues come from feelings of stress, which can be minimized if they learn how to recognize and then deal with these feelings through coping techniques.
- Another way to help your teen become more self-aware is to remind them not to compare themselves to others. No one else is like them, so it is important for them to consider what they think about themselves!
- We urge parents to provide their children with plenty of opportunities to be independent while they are growing. This is another great way to foster self-awareness because it asks them to think more critically about their situations, their feelings, and themselves in general.
Over time, you can help your child become more self-aware, which will allow them to have the tools to confront their issues. After all, becoming self-aware is part of taking responsibility for oneself—and of growing up.