The teen years are meant to explore, learn, and discover – internally and externally. It’s when teens find their uniqueness and develop into the adults they will one day become. These years are a crucial time for personal growth.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, this time is now overshadowed by stressors from social media popularity contests to planning and achieving a perfect future. Mental Health America found that 15.08% of kids between 12 and 17 reported at least one major depressive episode in 2022; this is 1.24% higher than in 2021, an over 300,000 additional year-on-year cases Over 2.5 million teens deal with severe major depression, and 4.08% of US youths have reported a substance use disorder in 2022.
Why is personal growth essential in teens?
Do you remember the experiment where you put a white rose in colored water, and then a few hours later, the petals were the color of the water? A teenager’s brain works similarly – what is put in it absorbs.
Studies have found that while the teen brain develops, it draws from the world around it, making it more vulnerable to mental health problems. Based on research, we also know that trauma, PTSD, and hurtful events actually slow adolescent brain development down. Left untreated, it can hinder their emotional, mental, physical, and intellectual progression.
There is good news!
The teenage brain is also incredibly resilient, and past trauma markers can be healed. Teens will show phenomenal growth if given the tools to overcome and heal trauma in a healthy and safe environment. Positive personal growth for teens enables them to enjoy healthy and functional relationships and reach their full potential.
What are the areas of personal growth for teens?
Some key areas developed during the personal growth phase for teens are:
- Developing a strong sense of self-identity and self-love
- Developing self-esteem and confidence
- Learning to cope with stress and manage emotions
- Developing communication and social skills
- Establishing healthy habits and lifestyle choices
- Developing analytical and decision-making skills
How can you help your teen’s personal growth?
The possibilities are endless. Here are a few quick tips from our personal development curriculum for youth, the LEVEL UP course.
Encourage your teen to journal, so they can express themselves freely and sort through their thoughts and feelings. Although it might be tempting, respect their privacy – never read it unless they give you permission.
Don’t discourage your teen from questioning and examining things. Teach them to do so respectfully and to accept when they don’t get their way.
Encourage them to plan their day the night before. This will help their unconscious figure out a starting point while they sleep.
Use a study or focus timer. Work in intervals of 40 min focus, followed by 10 min fun. Depending on the workload, this should be repeated, but remember to make every third fun break at least 30 min long.
How the LEVEL UP Facilitator Training Package helps
The LEVEL UP program is a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It provides teens (and adults) with the needed tools to navigate and understand the roadblocks life throws at them. The personal development curriculum for youth discusses the science of the body-mind connection and, through personal development activities for youth,teaches tools and skills. Empowerment comes when we take ownership of our own behavior, develop empowerment skills to manage and take control of thoughts, beliefs and behaviors and learn how to create new paths, new reactions and a life blueprint.
The facilitator package includes training materials and lesson plans that contain experiential learning activities, crafts, and discussion prompts. This is the ultimate level of the LEVEL UP curriculum; it also includes a three-day jump-start training course and access to the private LEVEL UP Facilitator Community Facebook. Whether you’re a family, group facilitator, or homeschooling co-op, this is what you need to help personal growth for teens and your self. Created for the teen and the teen in all of us!
To get a better feel for what LEVEL UP offers, connect here. As parents we desire to empower our teens. We at LEVEL UP want to help.