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Teen Attitude: What is normal? How does it affect behaviour?
Many parents of teens find themselves wondering if their teen's attitude is 'normal.' Obviously they wonder how their teen compares to other teens and if their teen is on the right track.
So, what is a normal teen attitude? Is there such thing as a normal teen attitude? I am not sure there is, but there certainly is such thing as a positive and negative attitude. And it is well known that a positive attitude will get your teen a lot further than a negative one.
Every teen has unique experiences with a unique home environment. Her current attitude is a by-product of her life experiences and the people around her. My advice to you is stop worrying about whether your teen's attitude measures up to other teens' attitude but to encourage her to put her best attitude forward at all times.
Why? Because her attitude affects her behaviour. [Note. It has also been established that when your teen's attitude is neutral, behaviour will shape her attitude toward a person or object. This helps her justify or explain her behaviour.]
Here are 4 areas how her attitude will affect her behaviour:
- Persistence: A positive attitude will help your teen stay optimistic and keep going when it gets harder. Teens with a good attitude are willing to stay committed because it is easier for them to cope with everyday life challenges and see the bright side of life.
- Social life: Teens with better attitude attract more people to them. They tend to see the good in other people and are more motivated to socialize. Remember, however, to take your teen's natural disposition into account. If she's an introvert she'll never be as sociable as an extrovert and that's OK. More importantly, with a great attitude, she'll attract like-minded people.
- Self-esteem: A positive attitude and a bright outlook raises self-esteem. Teens with a higher self-esteem are more likely to try new things and are more open to life experiences. Teens with a poor attitude find new experiences to be less enjoyable and more tedious mainly because they don't have the self-esteem to go for it.
- Healthier lifestyle: Teens with a positive attitude are more likely to make better choices and live a healthier lifestyle because they think they deserve it. In addition, people with a more positive long-term attitude are physically and psychologically healthier.
Here are suggestions on how you can help your teen develop a more positive attitude.
- Read inspiring quotes (or have some posted throughout the home...find new one's each week)
- Teach your teen to look at the bright side of life
- Smile often (make this your own habit and watch your teen copy you)
- Have short stories about inspiring people available around the home (you can also search for YouTube videos)
- Teach your teen to expect and focus on positive outcomes
Best Wishes to You and Your Family!
Written by: Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA
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