Braces, constantly outgrowing clothing, puberty—the teenage years can be especially awkward, both physically and socially. At this stage in their development, it’s not uncommon for teens to have low-self esteem, which can make them feel uncomfortable interacting with people and doing everyday things.
Here are some tips to help your teen feel less awkward and more comfortable with him or herself.
Buy Comfortable Clothes
Many teens struggle with body image issues. This is only made worse by wearing clothes that don’t fit their bodies or personalities. Encourage your teen to pick out clothes that make them feel good rather than what’s in style or on trend.
Organized social activities may seem daunting to an awkward teen, but joining a group of peers that have a shared interest can help them make friends and foster true connections. Having that common ground will give them the confidence to participate and help them feel at ease with the people around them.
Take Some “Me Time”
Spending time alone is also important to your teen’s development. Being with others constantly can be overstimulating. Encourage them to take some time to be by themselves, which will helps them cope and reflect on their emotions.
Talk to a Counselor
Talking to a professional could help your teen immensely in this transitional time of their life, especially if their awkwardness is making them anxious on a day-to-day basis. Counselors can help your teen recognize the reasons behind their awkwardness and build a toolbox of strategies to feel more comfortable.
It sounds cheesy, but helping teens accept themselves is at the foundation of easing their awkwardness. Show them that you accept themexactly as they are. Your confidence in them will make them walk a little taller. They should know they don’t need to act like someone they’re not to connect with people.
Tell your child to remember that, however painful it can be, they won’t be uncomfortable in their own skin for long. They’re growing and learning, and a bit of awkwardness is only to expected.
Feature Image: Sergey Zolkin