I am so excited for my daughter. She has stepped completely outside of her comfort zone and is currently living at a sanctuary for rescued zoo animals. I am incredibly proud of her. When I think back, I am glad I was able to empower her to believe in herself beyond what she was able to imagine. This can also be true for you as well.
All mothers want to find ways to empower their teens to go beyond what they can possibly imagine for themselves.
I have found 6 ways to empower your teen to adulthood, that I have listed and used over the years.
I am not a super mom nor do I did I have super human powers. I only have the determination and faith to impart into my young adults that the life they want and desire is possible.
As you can imagine, this does not happen by accident but by design.
The ideals I were able to impart into my teens carried them into adulthood. It has become their mantra on how to approach their dreams. These are the few strategies I used and I want to share those strategies with you.
First, you should start by communicating with your teen. Get your teen to communicate their dreams and desires with you. Listen without filters. What I mean is, listen to your teen communicate their hearts desire without you placing limitations on their ideals. You may feel the need to tell your teen they can’t do something. I am discouraging you from doing this.
Remember, you want to empower your teen to believe that anything is possible.
You will need to allow your teen to dream and communicate that dream to you in a way they connect and feel the experience. The how’s will come later. Besides your teen may change their minds several times before they actually settle on their dream. By you listening to your teen it gives the sense of self confidence that they matter and you care about their ideals.
Second, you should encourage your teen to develop what they love. This will require that you pay attention to the activities your teen enjoys. Every teen is different. So their activities will vary as well. I can remember when my teens were young, I realized early on the different interests and personalities. My eldest daughter loved music, my youngest daughter loved dance and my son loved video games. The challenge to support them were never easy but very interesting. The constant need to attend dance recitals, band rehearsals and monitoring the games my son played was a definite full time job. We made it a practice to be involved with all three of their individual interests without judgement or wanting them to participate in activities we liked.
It was important for us not to impose our ideals of what we wanted them to do but to allow them to do what they loved to do.
Third, support their individuality. We never compared our teens to each other. My oldest daughter was very competitive as it related to her school studies while the other two were not. We never used her driven desire and determination against the other two. Yes, we encouraged all three but it was always done individually according to their own talents.
Fourth, teach your teen to follow their gut instincts. When everyone else told my then teen daughter she could not become the leader of the high school band. I only had one question for her, “do you really feel like you can do it?” Her reply, “Yes, mom I really feel like I can”. That was all I needed to hear. I encouraged her to follow her instincts to try. She had a lot of circumstances stacked against her. She did not play an instrument. She wasn’t currently in the band. She could not read sheet music. All she had was her instincts and her sheer determination. She began to watch videos of what the leader of a performing band did. She learned all the moves and commands by watching the band leader. She went to the practices and watched the band perform. She convinced the band teacher to allow her to try out. That was all she needed to hear. Long story short, she became the band leader and won a major band competition through sheer determination and gut instinct.
Fifth, allow your teen to make mistakes without harping on them. I encouraged my then teens to look for the lesson within the mistake. I thought them, that mistakes only meant that there was something that was missed and to reassess and try again. I never allowed them to beat up on themselves. I would always tell them to consider how it should be done the next time. My son was a prime example of this. He failed his driving test several times. He was always nervous and would allow his nervousness to hinder his abilities. We constantly encouraged him to remain relaxed and allow himself to feel what needs to be done instead of reacting out of fear and insecurity. Once he assessed where he was making his mistakes, he got his driver’s license. Also for my youngest daughter, whenever she did not win a dance competition, we always encouraged her to start over and try again.
Lastly, teach your teen to write personal affirmations for themselves. These affirmations will allow your teen to constantly build self-esteem. You want to make sure the affirmations are personal to their individual personalities, dreams and desires. Have them to print them out and place them on their mirror and on their bedroom door. This was a very significant practice for my daughter when she went away to college.
These few strategies of 6 ways to empower your teen into adulthood have allowed my now young adult children to go after their individual dreams.
It has made possible for my daughter to live at an animal sanctuary for rescued zoo animals for an internship. It is her lifelong dream and desire to care for zoo animals within a more natural habitat. She wants to own her own animal sanctuary in the future. My son has changed his dream a few times. He does however maintain his strategy of writing affirmations and not allowing mistakes to stop him from chasing his dream. My youngest daughter has struggled in college for one semester. She has since re-strategized and now she is ready to begin again. I am extremely proud of all three of them.
No, these are not the complete and only strategies for empowering your teen into adulthood but they are just a glimpse of what you can do.
The importance is for you to build the foundation of empowerment that will carry them through all the challenges they will face.
When your teen is able to confidently face the challenges of living their dreams, you know you have succeeded in empowering them to do so.