Having a social life is very important to teens but it is an ephemeral, rapidly changing thing, often filled with drama. Teen girls are easily pulled into believing their ultimate value is based on where they stand in the pecking order of popular cliques. And the pressures of wanting to fit in might make your daughter overly-focused on her image.
Beyond peer validation, teens’ need to find a source of self value that isn’t subject to change with peer or media pressure. This kind of self value can be developed through the experience of mastering a skill or being a part of creating something positive in the world.
It can be difficult to direct your daughter’s attention to other ways of feeling good about herself, but don’t give up on helping her find something she is passionate about other than her social life.
Parents of teens often buy into the myth that teens can’t value anything unless it involves their peers. When your daughter says her social life is enough for her, be a parent and insist she find something more fulfilling for herself. While it’s true that you may get resistance from your daughter as you encourage her to discover new ways of feeling good about herself, that does not mean the experience won’t be valuable to her.
Remember, you are still influencing what she learns to value, so don’t let her pass up an opportunity to experience something new just to hang out with friends she can see any day.
It can be anything!
When your daughter finds a skill or hobby that she is fully engaged in she will feel more secure and empowered in her life. In fact, her view of what is possible for her life just expanded.
Once she has found it, Show Up for Support. Your action of support has more impact than your words of support. This can look like helping with a project, going to a game, or listening to her challenges.
The social world of teens is very enticing but can be overly-focused on image. It plays on the many natural insecurities teens have. In your role as a parent you can take an active role in exposing her to worlds of experience where value is not gained through image.
This week see what you can do to show support and intrest in your teens development of a skill or passion.