Teen Advice on Life Skills

Teen years can be very exciting. It’s a time of growing, learning, experimenting and becoming an adult. If everything goes well and teen advice is sound and accepted, the transition into adulthood is smooth. Sometimes, however, teen advice on basic life skills skills is not as sound as it could be. And even when the advice is sound, the teen must ultimately decide whether or not he or she will accept it.

It may appear that teenagers have power because they make the final decision as to whether or not they will accept advice. But in reality, teens often feel that saying no to advice – or authority – is the only way they can show a sense of control. Everyone needs to feel they have some control over their environment. With no sense of control, anyone can feel trapped.

Many times, teens feel they are overly supervised and constantly criticized at home, school and work. As mentioned earlier, one reaction might be to reject authority as a sign of control. Another would be to turn these situations inward. What’s wrong with me? Why do I need so much supervision? Why do I keep doing things wrong? In either case, the result can be low teen self esteem.

Luckily, help is available. Teen advice, such as that offered on this website, should be considered suggestions – not rules – for building a better future. Teens should evaluate the information and adapt relevant information to fit individual needs and situations. If the material makes sense, it will be adapted.


Teen Advice on Self-esteem

Self esteem is the value we place on ourselves. To some people this simply means thinking they are great. Most people realize, however, that to be great they actually have to do something. Therefore, healthy self esteem includes self-respect, self-confidence and achievement.

Self esteem is important because it focuses on you, and you have complete control over it. Actually, you are the only real constant in your life. Every possession can disappear for one reason or another; and every relationship can change or end for a variety of reasons.

To build or develop self esteem, start with you:

Take some time – alone – to think about the values and beliefs you have now and the person you want to become.

Dream! Think about where you see yourself in five years. What skills do you need to get there? What can you do now to make it easier to get there? Set some goals. Acknowledge and learn to use your AREA of Control. Focus on the things you can control - your actions, your reactions, your emotions, your attitude.

Build your skills. What skills would you like to develop? What activities will help you gain experience in these areas?

Stay positive and focus on your future. Staying positive may be easier said than done, but it is worth the effort because positive people generally attract positive people, which in turn results in better situations. Evaluate relationships and situations in terms of what is in your best interest. Remember, it is your future that is important.


Teen Advice on Relationships

Positive relationships – those we can depend on – involve high levels of mutual trust and respect. Boundaries are also important in relationships. We should never give up our individuality.

To evaluate current relationships:

List all current relationships – everyone you interact with regularly.

Evaluate your trust. On a scale of 1-5 (1- no trust and/or respect; 5- complete trust and/or respect), indicate how much trust and respect you have for him or her.

Evaluate their trust. Using the same scale, indicate how much trust and respect you believe he or she has for you.

Evaluate the relationship. Now evaluate each relationship. Is it a positive relationship? Is it one worth developing? What are the chances that trust and respect will increase? If there is no trust or respect can you limit or end your interaction with them?


Teen Advice on Effective Communication

Communication involves body language and tone of voice, as well as the words we speak.

To improve communication:

Consider both image and perception in every situation. Think about the image you want to present and how you think others will interpret it.

Practice controlling your tone of voice. The workplace demands a professional tone of voice, especially when working in customer service. And yelling can make a bad situation worse.

Know your audience. Adjust communication style to fit the person and situation. We all have to give a certain level of respect to superiors because of their position – bosses, teachers, parents, etc. This does not mean, however, that we cannot be assertive in our communication.


Teen Advice on Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is important because conflict is going to happen and successfully managing conflict can actually result in a positive outcome.

Tips on handling conflict:

Stay as calm as possible. Controlling emotions can make conflict situations better. Take a break if possible, before addressing the conflict. (A few minutes can make a big difference.)

Think before speaking. Saying the first thing that comes to mind can get us in trouble.

Listen to the other side, but make sure your side is presented.

Compromise, if possible.

Learn from the experience. What can you do differently next time?


Teen Advice on Peer Pressure

Peer pressure exists in all areas of life. Peers are equals – people who are like us in some way, or are in a similar situation. They can be fellow students, co-workers or friends. In most cases, we have some kind of individual relationship with each of them. When we join a peer group, however, it usually means giving up some of personal choice in favor of some group decisions. Therefore, it is important to evaluate any potential membership in a group.

Always ask the question: Why should I join this group?

Do I share the basic values, beliefs and goals of the group?

What are the benefits or drawbacks to joining this group?

Can I trust and respect the other members?

Will the group support me?

Can I maintain my individuality within the group?

Will joining the group help me achieve my long-term goals?

Will group influence affect me positively or negatively?

Peer groups can help us succeed, or they can hold us back. We, alone, decide what groups we will join and how much influence we will allow them to have over us.