I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my daughter, Necco, is currently receiving her treatment for free.
I have been blessed with beautiful, talented daughters. They make me so proud. They do well in school, they have good friends, and they have so many talents…and I’d consider my relationship with each of them to be pretty strong and fairly open. We talk about just about anything, and while I don’t pretend to think that they tell me everything that’s going on in their lives and in their minds, at least I know that they are aware that they CAN.
I’ve been enjoying this latest Infographic from Invisalign and wondering where my girls and I would fall on some of these statistics. This has also made me examine what I could be doing better with my girls.
According to a recent teen confidence survey by Invisalign, 48% of teens say that they are not having open talks with their mom about their self-acceptance. 21% of moms admit that the don’t have open conversations with their teens about the same topic.
For some reason, this statistic really stood out to me. As beautiful and as talented as I think my girls are, this last year or so has reminded me that they may not see themselves the same way that I see them. In fact, it’s been my experience that teens can look normal and successful and cute and happy on the outside, yet feel disconnected, unsuccessful, unattractive, and unfulfilled inside.
One of the things that has helped my girls has been opening the lines of communication even more. Yes, even though I may have thought we had decent conversations, I’ve had to make a concerted (and sometimes uncomfortable) effort to be even more open and get more involved in their lives.
If you’ve ever spent time with a teenager, you’ll know that they like to be an open book with friends and a closed book with parents and other adults. So talking about how they’re feeling about their self-esteem, about fitting in (or not fitting in) at school, and a host of other insecurities may not come easily. It may be that another adult can reach your teens more easily than you can – and that may be exactly what they need. I’ve learned to encourage those healthy mentor relationships that my teens have developed because, in the end, the result is the same: as teens are able to express their insecurities and emotions and talk them through with someone who’s older and wiser (and has probably “been there”), they’ll be better-equipped to face those challenges in the future.
From being insecure about the way they look to feeling embarrassed about not fitting in, teens have so many self-image issues to deal with, and open communication with a parents or trusted adult can help equip teens with the tools they need to rise above their challenges and thrive.
Do you relate specifically to any of the above statistics? I’d love to hear your experiences, either as a teen or as a parents to teens!
Questions? Ask away! I’ll be sharing more information in the coming months about Necco’s journey with Invisalign and my time on the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board. Please feel free to ask me any questions – here, privately, on Facebook, wherever!
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