The teenage years can be a time of confusion and stress for many adolescents. And when you add social media to the mix, small conflicts can cause big drama.
As teens navigate their way through the ups and downs of adolescence, they often face challenges that test their relationships with family, friends, romantic partners and even themselves. While it’s normal for teens to experience some conflict and disagreements, it’s important that they learn how to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts in a healthy way.
“By teaching and modeling these essential skills, we can help them develop positive relationships with others and promote self-love and self-respect,” says Rasheda Kamaria Williams, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl, a social enterprise on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another and themselves.
Healthy relationships and self-love in the digital age
The internet, social media, and texting have become a huge part of teenage relationships. While these technologies can be used to connect teens with their friends and help them stay in touch, they can also be used to spread rumors, bully others, and engage in other negative behaviors.
A recent Pew Research Center survey on teens and cyberbullying revealed that nearly half of all U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online. Additionally, adolescent girls across the country are facing record levels of violence, sadness and despair, according to new survey data from the CDC.
So, how can you guide the teens in your life in developing self-love and positive relationships (on and offline)? Here are some tips:
1. Talk about what positive relationships look like.
Discuss what healthy, supportive and positive relationships look like and ask young people for examples of each. Help them understand that these types of relationships are built on trust, respect and communication.
2. Encourage them to love themselves first.
Self-love is so important! Help the teens you work with understand that they need to love and accept themselves before they can truly love someone else. It can be difficult for some when they’re bombarded with messages telling them that they’re not enough.
One way to help teens learn to love themselves is by using affirmations.Some examples of affirmations that teens can use to promote self-love include:
- “I am worthy of love and respect.”
- “I am allowed to make mistakes.”
- “I am capable of great things.”
- “I am valuable just as I am.”
3. Teach them how to communicate effectively.
Effective communication is essential in any relationship, whether it’s with a friend, family member or romantic partner. Engage teens in activities that encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings in a clear and respectful way.
4. Model healthy relationships.
Show teens what positive relationships look like by modeling healthy behavior in your own relationships. Let them see you respecting others, communicating effectively and being kind and loving towards yourself and others.
Teaching teens about healthy relationships and self-love can be a difficult task but it is an important one as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. You can make an impact by keeping the lines of communication open and being a positive role model.
Empowered Flower Girl offers a number of workshops and activities that encourage positive and healthy relationships. From cyberbullying prevention to empathy and self-esteem building, our workshops help young people break down barriers and build authentic connections. Learn more at www.empoweredflowergirl.com.