Our teenager knows who they are. They make decisions that work for them. They are not swayed by other opinions. They know what they want and have the courage and determination to be uncomfortable in order to achieve what they want. They are okay with making mistakes. They have empathy and understanding of others. They have the life skills to handle people and their responses.

A central task of adolescence is the development of this strong and stable sense of self. Teenagers are faced with a daunting question; Who am I? Although identity is always developing throughout life, it is in adolescence that an individual thinks about how their identity might affect their life and their future. Do not expect your teenager to have a complete sense of their identity yet. Identity continues to develop into adulthood as well. The aim during adolescence is to create a positive self-evaluation.

There are 5 components for authentic self-esteem:

  1. A sense of security
  2. Feelings of self-worth and accurate identity formation
  3. Feelings of belonging and social acceptance
  4. A sense of purpose
  5. The feeling of self-empowerment and competence

Our role as parents is to facilitate this development.

Co-written by Gail Friend and Lauren Dace (Ed Psych)

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