Many teens live in a self-absorbed world. Their worlds are very small, usually consisting of just themselves and their friends. Some teens are less mindful than others, which can lead to serious problems like bullying and drug use. Developing mindfulness in teens can help them see the influence they have on the world around them and the very real consequences of their actions—two things that often feel very distant and unimportant during the teen years. Here are some tips for inspiring mindfulness in teens:
- Be an example of mindfulness. Teenagers are smart and they are observant, especially when it comes to their authority figures. If you are preaching mindfulness but are not modeling it, they will notice immediately. Being purposeful in your actions and words can go a long way when attempting to be an example of mindfulness, so take the time not just to pay attention, but to be extremely purposeful.
- Make it clear why mindfulness is important. One of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to mindfulness in teens is showing them how it can benefit their lives. Explaining to them that mindfulness can help them do better in school, can improve their concentration, can help them deal with anxiety, depression, and stress, and can even help them build deeper and more lasting friendships with the people in their lives that really matter, will show them why mindfulness is important.
- Encourage better decision making skills. Teenagers are notorious for being impulsive—it’s in their DNA. Hormones and peer pressure are telling them that they are invincible, that they are immune to negative consequences. Mindfulness in teens can help them understand that those two things are not true. Encouraging better decision making skills can help them develop the mindfulness they need in order to both be present in their lives and be more purposeful in their actions.
- Make in voluntary. You are probably never going to convince a teenager that does not want to learn about mindfulness to buy into the practice. Anyone who is the parent or teacher of teenagers knows that you cannot force them to do anything. If you make it voluntary, however, after explaining the benefits of mindfulness, you are much more likely to be able to inspire mindfulness in teens, without having to drag them along the path.
Asheville Academy can help
If your daughter is struggling with emotional or behavioral difficulties, it can be hard to imagine your family can be happy again. Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14, can help.
For more information about Asheville Academy, please call 800.264.8709.