New Year, Real You! Helping Teens Find Themselves

Adolescence is a search for identity. Figuring out who you are, what and whom you like, what drives your motivations and what values guide your path is a complex journey. As we enter into a new year and in fact a new decade, let’s convert the saying New Year, New You (signifying goals for change) to… New Year, Real You (accept and be who you are). Living authentically is a critical ingredient to solidifying one’s identity. It means being honest and transparent as well as genuine. For the teens we serve, our own commitment to being, doing and saying what matches our true thoughts, feelings and beliefs, is a powerful model to help them do the same. Authenticity is not as easy as it may seem. I

Parenting Teens with Authenticity... hard. Why? Here are my thoughts. We often feel we are walking on eggshells trying not to set off an emotional explosion. We fear our kids will shut us out or lie to us to avoid listening to us or disappointing us. We are busy, stressed and oh so tired and just can’t handle an argument or push back. We worry if we upset our children, they will do something impulsive or dangerous or just leave. We are riddled with comparisons from the postings of other parents and all the SHOULDS that our teens may or may not be living up to. How about the questioning fellow parents on how they could possibly LET their teen do (fill in the blank), as if our teens are not separate beings. And there is mor



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