Confident Teens: How to Raise a Positive, Confident and Happy Teenager

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9780007100620: Confident Teens: How to Raise a Positive, Confident and Happy Teenager

New Lindenfield guide to helping teenagers and young adults stay confident and feel good about themselves.

Teens today need more help than ever. Being expected to grow up quickly; facing the problems of immense peer pressure; facing exam challenges – and getting to grips with the many changes and events of the teenage years can be exceedingly daunting.

Confidence levels and the grown-up personality are moulded in your teens, and setbacks around this time can seriously impact on self-esteem in later life. However, confident teenagers should grow up to become confident people and this book shows how parents can best understand, support, befriend and give confidence to their teenage child.

Written for adults, this is a candid and sympathetic guide which will help parents to be prepared for the roller coaster teenage years.

Why it’s important to acknowledge that times have changed.
• Why experimentation is important to your teen’s identity and well being.
• How to nurture your child through a bad patch.
• How to help your child develop healthy independence.
• What teenagers worry about. Where to start with sexuality, drugs, work, college and the future.

The book includes tips on how to deal with typical teenager scenarios and has a series of Golden Rules for parents to follow.

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About the Author:

Gael Lindenfield is the bestselling author of Confident Children, Confident Teens, Emotional Confidence, Super Confidence, Assert Yourself, Self Esteem, Self Motivation, The Positive Woman and Managing Anger.
She lives in Oxford, is immensely popular and holds lectures and courses around the UK. She works with the Parent Network and other similar groups, giving talks to parents in the UK and Ireland.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Rule 5:
Review the ‘Rulebook’ Jointly and Frequently
‘The joy of being young is to disobey – but the trouble is, there are no longer any orders.’
Jean Cocteau
Of course no self-respecting teen loves rules. Indeed, an essential part of their growing-up job is to hate them and break them!

Perhaps you feel that your child has been doing just this from the moment he or she could walk or talk! If so, you may well wonder why rules should suddenly become such a special ‘issue’ at this time. The reason is that during their teen years, testing them takes on some different and quite specific extra functions.
In their earlier years, children test rules either to get more attention from those who care for them or to establish a sense of security. ‘Pushing the limits’ gives them the confirmation that they are still being seen and heard and it helps them to map out their safety zones. It is a way of finding out where they can go and what they can say without getting hurt or losing the love of their carers.
The moral implications of rules pass younger children by. This is quite simply because it isn’t until adolescence that our brains develop their capacity for abstract reasoning. So, until this time most children do not have the neutral equipment to allow them to grapple with intellectual concepts. This means that although they may know what the world thinks is right and wrong, they cannot understand why they should or shouldn’t do something. Once they reach teenhood, testing the ‘rulebook’ becomes a tool, which they can use to explore moral ideas and beliefs. (Provoking you into an argument is of course another popular way of doing the same thing).
Discovering their own belief system is part of the quest for self-knowledge. (Self-knowledge s one of the essential elements of inner confidence, which we discussed earlier. See page5.) Teenagers naturally experience an urge to find out what kind of person they are or want to be and to establish their own set of consistent values and beliefs. If they complete this task, they will be able to act quickly and decisively on their own. In contrast, children who don’t discover their own belief system will always be dependent on others to help them make difficult decisions and let them know what is a right and what is a wrong course of action.

Furthermore, not only do children need to challenge the rulebook in order to firm up their inner confidence, they need to do so for their outer confidence as well! If our children were to become the acquiescent saints that we sometimes wish they would be, how would they learn the invaluable skills of debate, negotiation, assertiveness, and emotional control?
These are, after all, essentially practical skills and they cannot be learned effectively in a theoretical way. Teenagers need to use a hands-on experimental approach – with you, the parents, as the ideal guinea pigs! You are the close at hand authority figures and have already proved your unconditional love innumerable times before.
There is no escaping the challenges of the ‘rulebook’ if you truly want a competent teen!

Of course it is tempting to try and avoid the trials and tribulations that obviously result from working through this particular stage of development. Many parents would say that their lives are difficult enough without having to turn their home into a battleground of wills. So it is not surprising that they opt out by, doing one of the following.
- throwing away the rulebook: ‘Okay, it’s your life… you make a mess of it if you want to…I don’t mind…you’ll soon find out on your own…I don’t know what’s right or wrong these days …you’ve got a key, do what you like…’
- handing the task over to someone else: ‘Wait till your father gets home…I wonder what your teacher is going to say when I tell him…I didn’t make the rules…it’s the law – a matter for the police…God is your judge, not me…’
- taking a ‘sickie’: ‘My head’s hurting, I can’t argue …you’ll kill me if you carry on like this …I’m too stressed…’

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