Many parents could be assuming that bullies would be the ones criticizing their teens while they’re struggling to become young women or men.
Actually, that assumption would be wrong. It is teens’ own negative self-talk that is ringing in their ears the most. All of our minds yield a constant stream of images and thoughts, but when those thoughts become negative ones, the result could be depression, low self-esteem, and a poor body image. When this happens, many parents wonder, “How can I help my teen?”
Positive Parent/Teen Relationships Start with Listening
Anything that your teen says could help by giving you significant insight into how they think and feel. Some examples of negative self-talk are:
- I’m ugly
- I don’t like the way I look
- I’m so stupid
- I’m useless
- No one likes me
- Everyone is better than I am
- I’ll never be as good as everyone else
Raised Cortisol Levels
According to studies, negative self-talk can cause cortisol levels to rise even in people who are healthy. This could lead to low immune system function, fatigue, weight gain, and a multitude of other serious issues. When teens have to deal with negative self-talk constantly, their bodies end up in continual flight-or-fight mode. This can inhibit many of their natural functions, both physically and mentally.
What You Can Do
The negative self-talk habit should be broken as soon as it starts because it can have a serious effect on the thought processes of your teen throughout their lifetime, getting steadily worse into adulthood. Statistics show that only four percent of women in the world actually feel that they are beautiful. This trend could be broken with the help of positive parent/teen communication.
Identifying Negative Self-Talk
This can be difficult sometimes because your teen’s negative self-talk may have become so automatic. He or she might not even be aware that it’s going on. Recognizing that their way of thinking might currently be self-defeating could help teens to get motivated to start looking at things in their life from a new perspective.
When Insecurities Sneak In
Adolescents are often plagued by worries about whether they’re smart, good-looking or popular enough. Even the most self-assured teens feel down sometimes. When they do, as a parent, you can just be sincere, letting him or her know that you’re there and that you understand. You’ll be giving your teen something to take hold of when their mood sinks, and that could make all the difference in the world.
Sedona Sky Academy is an all-girls therapeutic boarding school that provides a well-rounded education and endless scholastic opportunities. To find out more, call us at (855) 290-9680.