Want to help your ninth-grader develop their self-awareness skills? Here are some basic tips that experts suggest.
Don't forget your teen still looks to you as a role model
As some children age, they try to distance themselves from their parents, but they do still learn from you, whether they admit it or not. Set a good example for your high-schooler by not letting your emotions get the best of you. Tell your teen what you’re doing to maintain your composure so they can learn from you. For example, if you are in an argument with your teen, say, “I’m not going to raise my voice with you right now. Instead, I’m going to take five minutes and take some deep breaths, and we can continue this conversation after we’ve calmed down.”
Talk to your teen about managing stress
As your teen transitions to young adulthood, their responsibilities and their social pressures increase, and they will often feel stressed. Talk with your teen about how they can better-handle their stress, like taking a break for exercise, making sure to get a good night’s sleep, or making a to-do list to better-organize assignments and other responsibilities. When you see your teen worrying about a test or social situation, gently remind them of ways they can take a step back and handle that stress.
Consider having an "affirmation jar" in your home
Affirmations are positive sentences that you read to yourself each morning to start the day. Some people find a daily positive reminder very helpful in setting goals and expectations for how they’ll handle the day. This is something your entire family could do together by writing affirmations on paper to put into the jar. Examples of affirmations are, “I can do it,” “I can handle whatever comes,” or “I am making positive decisions in my life.” On your way out the door, take an affirmation out of the jar, read it, and encourage your teen to do the same. At night, you could all talk about your affirmation and how you brought it into your behavior that day.
To learn more about self-management for your child, check out our ninth-grade self-management 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 Michele Borba, Author, and Educational Psychologist.