If you’ve ever googled anything along the lines of “Parenting Teenagers” or “How to raise a teenager,” don’t worry, it’s not just you!
There’s nothing quite as terrifying as the thought of helplessly watching your child experience isolation—or worse, never get to live up to his or her potential. As much as we want to protect them forever, we know they’ll have to navigate through life on their own sooner than later. Instead of dreading that day, prepare them for it!
By modeling habits that help your child build harmonious relationships at home, in school or at work, you’ll be raising a socially aware teenager before you even know it.
What is Social Awareness?
Social awareness is a mix of being self-aware, emotionally intelligent, and having good social skills. While Self-awareness lets your teenager understand his or her default responses to situations, it’s emotional intelligence that lets them stay afloat even in the heat of the moment, allowing them to execute good social skills regardless of the circumstance.
Parenting a teenager is such a tall order especially when you have to play parent, friend, counselor, and everything else all at once! Hence, raising a socially aware teenager will help you sleep soundly at night.
Being socially aware is about knowing how to work one’s way through different situations while dealing with different kinds of people. Honing this skill will help a person find common ground anywhere, learn to recognize and accept differences, and have the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully.
We say “skill” because like any sport or art, social awareness is something one can learn, practice, and eventually be good at.
Why Is Social Awareness Important?
Let’s face it! No matter what industry your child decides to be in, inevitably, s/he will have to work with other people. One factor that often hampers a person’s professional growth is their inability to immerse themselves and grow alongside their peers. It’s important that s/he is not just comfortable with dealing with others but productive too. If there’s one takeaway to parenting teenagers, it’s teaching them how to be self-sufficient!
How Do I Teach Social Awareness?
Because our children subconsciously mirror what they see from us, the most effective way to instill values is to teach by example. Here are a few practices to instill social awareness:
Make the art of conversing a habit:
Effective communication skills are of the best things you can give your child. When they understand that anything can be resolved over respectful dialogue, it will be easier for them to collaborate with others. Practice this by choosing the kind of words you speak and proactively hearing them out when they explain their side before saying yours.
Take credit and responsibility:
Knowing how to take responsibility for your shortcomings and credit for your achievements are key indicators of individuals who understand respect.
If you can respect yourself enough to take credit for the work you’ve done, it’s likely you’ll be able to respect other people enough to take responsibility for your shortcomings.
You can share this virtue with your child by acknowledging their actions, both good and bad, and doing the same for yourself. If they are able to see that apologies are acceptable then they will find comfort in building on respect.
It’s okay not to know everything:
Though being looked up to by our children makes us feel as if we’re supposed to always know the answer to everything, admitting to uncertainty is actually a good way to teach humility. When a child learns to be humble, s/he is able to keep an open mind and is creating space for other people to come into their lives.
At the end of the day, the best way to teach is to lead by example. While it’s easier said than done, we’re literally all in this together.
Edukasyon.ph is here to support you on finding the best education for your child by providing online access to schools, scholarships, and study abroad opportunities. Moreover, the website’s Parent Portal offers advice to help you guide your child through senior high, college, and their careers!