Positive Ideas for Teens to Live By

by Nadia Haris

Teenagers face an onslaught of messages from society, the media, movies and friends. Many of these conflicting messages can make teens feel overwhelmed, confused and lost. Guiding teens and teaching them positive ideas influences their perceptions, behaviors and life choices.

Positive Self-Esteem Leads to Success

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves and our behavior clearly reflects this, particularly as teenagers. The Child Development Institute notes that self-esteem is a major indicator of success in life and that it is very important for the happiness and success of teenagers. Teenagers with a healthy self-esteem are better able to take responsibility, act independently, take pride in accomplishments and cope with frustration and challenges. On the other hand, teens with low self-esteem are more likely to blame others for shortcomings, put themselves down and be easily influenced. Teens can strive to develop a positive self-image by accepting that they are attractive in their own way and have a unique set of talents and skills that they must work hard to develop.

Your Life Purpose Will Evolve

A part of finding fulfillment and success is seeking your life purpose. Dr. Susan Biali, M.D., writes in "Psychology Today" that most teenagers and even adults do not know what their life purpose is. For many people, life purpose will also evolve and change as we grow and gain experiences. Teenagers who accept that finding their life purpose is part of growing, will not feel lost when they make mistakes or take a path that is not right for them. Some individuals may also have more than one life purpose and it may take many years to find or be clear early on. Fresh starts, successes and failures are all part of finding our passions and purpose.

There is a Difference Between 'Want' and 'Need'

Society is not teaching teens the importance of saving money by not following every fashion, product or technology trend. Saving is part of developing a healthy attitude towards money that will serve teenagers when they are adults too. GreenPath University advises teaching teens about the difference between a 'want' and a 'need.' This helps to reduce the mentality of entitlement that makes teenagers want what their friends have or what they see advertised. Teens should be encouraged to think about the financial cost and the cost to the environment before making any purchase, including fast food. They should also be encouraged to earn and save their own money for excess things they want to buy such as a new video games or a new pair of jeans.

Giving is Receiving

Helping others and giving to your community leads to a greater sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness. Teenagers who understand this and strive to develop an altruistic nature can gain valuable experiences and skills by volunteering. There are several ways that teens can volunteer their time and skills. These include helping out at a soup kitchen or animal shelter, visiting the elderly at a care home, running errands for elderly or disabled individuals in the community, tutoring or mentoring other kids, planting trees and cleaning up the neighborhood.

About the Author

Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.

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