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4 Tips to Help Your Teen Become the Person They Want to Be

Often it is difficult for a teen to truly know how to become the person they want to be in life. Sure, they might have a vague idea of what their future self will be like, but the truth is that your teen is not finished developing. Before they lock themselves into a mold, you and your teen should have a long talk about the kind of person they are trying to become. Here are four important points you and your teen should discuss that will help them make this transition. 

Mental Preparation 

Doctor, lawyer, musician—it does not matter who your teen thinks they want to be. Plans change and that’s ok. What really matters is what mindset they develop. That mindset will dictate, to a significant degree, who and what your teen will ultimately become in life.
When your teen has the right mental outlook and realizes what kind of person they want to become, then they will be in a better position to understand what it will take to get them to that point. Providing your children with a strong sense of morality, confidence, and hard work will help them throughout their lives.

Taking Action 

In order for your teen to step into the role of being the person they decide to become in life, your teen is going to have to be willing to shoulder the burden of taking action to achieve this goal. Talkers rarely become the person they envision in their mind, but doers take the steps necessary to reach the goal they set for themselves to achieve.

Encourage your teen to follow their dreams. Sitting down with them regularly and talking about what they want to do can help you support them. Ask them about their dreams for the future. Ask them how they feel that you can help and support them. Figure out how you can work together to reach their goals, make a plan, and follow through. 

Dealing with Roadblocks 

Your teenager needs to understand that life comes with many challenges. For some it is overcoming insecurity. For others it is figuring out how to live with a disability or feelings of inadequacy. Still others might have to confront the fact that they have an eating disorder or depression or anxiety.

Whatever the challenge your teenager happens to be facing, it will help them to know that you believe in and support them. Communicate to your teen that failure isn’t the end but an opportunity to learn and grow. Help them know that whatever is going wrong in their lives, they can handle it. Hardship isn’t the end. If they learn how to overcome hard things while they’re growing up, the pains and difficulties of adulthood will be easier to deal with.

Additionally, your teen might not always know when they need help. Roughly 20% of young people struggle with mental illness and asking for help—especially when there’s not palpable proof of something wrong—is hard for pretty much everyone. Check in regularly with your teen. Talk about emotions, feelings, and overall health. If you suspect something is wrong, talk to your teen as well as a healthcare professional about possible solutions. There are many different treatment options for eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and so much more.

Being True 

While it is one thing for your teen to imagine who they want to become in life, this image may not yet properly reflect who they truly are on the inside. Until a person can develop the honesty to be true to themselves, they will often allow themselves to try and become a person they really are not meant to be. Self-discovery is not something that happens over night, but, instead, it develops over time as we start to see a more realistic picture of the kind of person we are at heart.

When you’re a teen, you probably don’t think about this. The teenage years are full of insecurity and an overwhelming desire to fit in and be liked. Let your teen know that wanting to fit in is natural. Wanting friends is natural. But changing themselves to fit in isn’t going to bring happiness. Try to help them realize that true friends will support you and be there for you and love you for the real you. Being who you really are and following your dreams will lead you to happiness and personal growth.

Before you know it, your teen is not going to be a teenager anymore. They will be all grown up, and they will be living life as the person they have worked so hard to become. What really matters is that they are happy with the person they turned out to be. But, if they are not happy with that, there is still time for you to step in and help them to make the necessary changes in order to achieve that goal.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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