Life can feel lonely for teenagers. Have you considered writing a message of support to your child about being a teenager? Sharing your own experiences, words of wisdom, and encouragement can help you empathize with them and improve your conversations.
A message of support for my daughter
It seems like such a long time since I was a teenager. But when I was looking at some old photos at your grandma’s recently, it suddenly all came flooding back. I saw a picture of myself at the same age you are now, and suddenly my heart just melted for you. I looked into my younger self's eyes and I could see all the confusion, all the uncertainty, all the things I was unsure or even ashamed about. So that’s why I’m writing you this message of support. It’s such a time of change, and I want to tell you how I got through it, because I think hearing about some of my experience might help you find your own way through.
For a while, it felt as though looks were all that mattered—and I never seemed to look as good as I thought the girls around me did. But gradually, I learned to trust my instincts about what really made me who I was (and who I still am today). I learned to play to my academic strengths. I realized that though I’d never be on the volleyball team, I could still enjoy other activities like riding my bike and take pride in being fit.
I discovered that what matters most is learning to trust that voice inside that’s authentically me, that makes me the person I am. I realized that I could trust that voice, and that listening to it would help me to be the best possible “me” I could be. I didn’t have to be the best at whatever it was I was trying to achieve, but I did have to try my best. Realizing the difference between those two things really boosted my confidence.
When boyfriends (or girlfriends) come along, that’s a new stage again. I remember how weird it felt, this new kind of closeness. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom just thinking about my crushes, and you’ll probably want to do that, too. I didn’t want to share these things with my mom, and I imagine you’ll feel the same way. Mulling over the new stuff that’s going on is important, because there’s a lot to process. And it’s not just about boyfriends or girlfriends, it’s about all the other things that suddenly seem so important—your figure, how much you’re eating, how much you exercise, and what you look like in that dress, exam results and what you want to do when you grow up.