The biggest challenge teenagers face is not what you think. It’s not social media, academic pressure, or fitting in. Teenagers’ biggest challenge relates to their identity and self-discovery. The teen years are a powerful time of change. In addition to learning how to cope with school, friends, and social media, they are searching for answers to these three big questions:
Who am I?
Do I like myself?
Will I be OK?
These questions are always lurking in the background and can cause anxiety, fear, and confusion, which, in turn, can be compounded by pressure from peers and social media and expectations from teachers, parents and society.
But when teenagers gain clarity about themselves and find answers to their three big questions, they start to develop self-esteem and move forward with confidence. They get a sense of who they are and where they are going. Coaching is one effective way to build self-esteem and self-awareness. Through a variety of processes and practices, the girls I work with gain a strong sense of self, deepen their connection with their values and strengths and understand how to use their inner qualities to deal with challenges and achieve goals.
These are a few of my favorite tools that you can use to guide your teenager toward greater self-esteem and self-awareness.
The Strengths Finder
This online assessment will clarify your daughter’s top 24 character strengths. It’s always eye-opening and affirming.
My clients have a lot of fun with the Enneagram. They enjoy the personality descriptions and exploring the strengths and weaknesses associated with their type.
This is a simple tool I’ve adapted from the Teen Wisdom toolbox, that helps my teen and young adult clients clarify their values, talents, interests, and strengths.
These tools are perfect for the whole family and you can use these questions to spark meaningful discussions or reflection:
How do your inner qualities shine?
What values are reflected in your relationships?
Are there strengths you would like to develop?
What quality are you most proud of?
Tell me about a time you used your strengths or values to make an important decision.
Self-awareness and identity are always evolving but these tools and questions will help your daughter develop a solid base which can serve as a guide as she navigates the challenges and pressures of adolescence.