Focus on the Family Singapore answers frequently-asked questions from their database.
Q: My teen is quiet by nature. She recently expressed her concern that she isn’t part of the “in” crowd in school and started obsessing over her popularity. How do I reassure her?
A: At this age, adolescents face social volatility alongside physical and emotional upheavals. There is an intense need for acceptance by peers, an equally intense concern about notlooking dumb or clumsy or different, and an ongoing struggle with self-confidence or feelings of inferiority (even among those who are attractive and talented).
As a parent, you can build your teen’s esteem and security and help her discover her sense of significance. Assisting your teen in forging a strong, positive identity is one way to help her form convictions based on truth, and stand firm in them regardless of what everyone else does.
First and foremost, encourage self-discovery. Until she is comfortable and secure in who she is, she will be like a chameleon, conforming to whatever situation or whoever she is with. Affirm and acknowledge her traits, abilities and strengths. Be her cheerleader.
Encourage her to forge true friendships by asking what she looks for in friends, and what matters to her with longstanding friends. Everyone has a need for close relationships, but everyone is also fearful of rejection. Help her see the value in taking the initiative to reach out to those who are lonely by asking questions, being friendly and practicing patience.
© 2016 Focus on the Family Singapore Ltd.