It can really be hard for parents to develop these character traits and attitudes in their teens. But I believe that by starting early and being consistent, teens can become much more self-assertive and less uncertain and unhappy.
One of the most important ways that parents can teach their kids to be self-assertive is to treat them as whole, authentic human beings. This means that parents should refrain from making belittling comments or getting mad to the point where they use foul language and lose their temper. It is far more effective for parents to talk things out calmly and lovingly with their teens then to yell and get angry.
Here are a few additional ways that parents can help their teens to become more self-assertive.
1. Listen to your teen
Many parents have a difficult time simply listening to their teens without interrupting them. Most of the time, our teens just need someone to listen to them. Sometimes what they have to say is filled with emotion and angst. This is the time to listen to them and allow them to fully express themselves.
2. Give them space and allow them to be
We as parents may believe that our teens need to be kept busy at all times. We may want to cram as many extracurricular activities into their schedule as possible. But this only makes our teens feel frazzled and unsure of themselves. It is very important that we allow our teens times to do things on their own. This will show them that we care for and respect them.
3. Love them unconditionally
It is crucially important for parents to show teens that they love them at all times—not just when they get good grades, help wash the dishes, or to pick up after themselves. Each kid is unique and wonderful in his or her own right; we have to demonstrate this to them in our everyday dealings with them. Even when our teens slip up, it’s our job to show them that we care.
4. Don’t be overly critical
The last thing a teen wants is someone finding fault in their every move. We need to ensure that we’re giving plenty of positive affirmation to our teens. They do a lot of wonderful things that they should be acknowledged and loved for. After all, we’re all human. Teens are forming into beautiful human beings full of promise and hope.
We all want our teens to be confident and happy. We can help them to feel this way by showing them how uniquely wonderful they are. After all, the teen that feels awkward and unacceptable all the time will not be self-assertive. We, as parents, need to show our teens that we believe in them.