Self-management is the ability to recognize your emotions and control the behaviors sparked by those emotions. For example, a person showing self-management is able to calm down, not yell or act out, in moments of anger or frustration. You may notice your teen becoming less volatile than they were at younger ages as they develop their self-management. At this age, your teen is likely beginning to think about longer-term goals like what they’d like to do after high school. Part of self-management is being able to set and work toward goals, both personally and academically. By continuing to support your teen’s self-management growth, you can guide them into becoming a responsible young adult.
The high school years are a time of great personal development as teens are further developing their identities, preparing for adulthood, and gaining more independence. Encouraging your teen’s social and emotional development is still important at this age, as these skills can be developed throughout life. While your teen is becoming more independent, it is important to remember that you are still needed. Reminding your teen that you care can go a long way in keeping them on track and planning for the future.
As your high-schooler develops more self-management they will become better able to handle their emotions and the behaviors caused by those emotions. For example, instead of yelling and slamming their bedroom door when debating curfew times with you, they may take a couple of minutes to calm themselves and come back to you with reasons to support their request for a later curfew.
Your teen may become better-equipped with tools to calm themselves, like deep breathing, removing themselves from a stressful situation, or using exercise as a way to blow off steam.
Your high-schooler may be able to get over uncomfortable feelings and change their thought process. For example, your teen might feel jealous of a friend who gets a lead part in a play for which they both tried out, but they may be able to understand they aren't as skilled in acting as their friend and put aside their jealousy to congratulate their friend.
Keep in mind that all adolescents have different social and emotional tendencies and behaviors and develop at different rates. The concepts highlighted in this section are based on the five sets of competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). If you have concerns about your adolescent’s development, please contact your healthcare provider or his teacher or school counselor.
Learn more about how to support your child with our 12th-grade self-management tips page.
Parent Toolkit resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject-matter experts, including Maurice Elias, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Jennifer Miller, Author, Confident Parents, Confident Kids; and Thomas Hoerr, Emeritus Head of School, New City School.