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Nurturing Teen Social Skills and Boundaries

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Adolescence and teenage years can be a difficult time socially for your child. New friendships and relationships can form during this period, impacting your teen’s behaviors and overall identity. As a parent, it is important to pay attention to your teen’s new social life and behaviors to gauge if they are navigating this time of their life in a healthy way. Fostering healthy and positive social skills is crucial during this period, and parents are able to influence their teens in a positive way.

At Destinations for Teens, care goes beyond mental health disorders or addiction. On the contrary, the staff is there to help each client through difficulties and challenges in their life. Social skills are crucial for healthy decision-making for teens in the long term. This includes boundary setting, navigating healthy versus unhealthy relationships, and overcoming peer pressure, among other important social skills. Confidence and individuality are instilled in teens, and Destinations for Teens also guides parents in encouraging healthy social skills and behaviors.

Teen Social Skills and Boundaries

Social influence has a great impact on teen’s lives and development, which can, unfortunately, lead to negative outcomes during this time period. This is because the brain is very malleable at this point in a person’s life. So, decision-making and social cognition greatly impact teens. During these years in their lives, teens often imitate or model the social world around them and create their identity and sense of self through these imitations. They may face challenges due to social media, cyberbullying, or the internet in general that detrimentally affect their mental health. Thus, developing social skills at Destinations for Teens is approached through in-person interactions and addressing online interactions.

Peers and parents are a main part of teens’ social lives, so it is important to take on this role as a parent in a positive way to encourage a healthy social life and guide them in the right direction. Social norms also impact a teen’s social life, which can be rooted in their environment, school, home, or culture, for instance. Parents, though, can influence these social norms by encouraging their teens to be part of social groups that promote healthy behaviors. In fact, family is the first and primary social group in a child’s life, so their behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and involvement affect how their teen reacts to their changing social world.

With the right social skills and tools, teens can navigate their social lives in a much better way. This includes navigating healthy and unhealthy relationships, setting boundaries, and overcoming peer pressure.

Healthy Versus Unhealthy Relationships

Recognizing healthy or unhealthy relationships can be difficult as teens are still navigating their social world in general. There are many signs of a healthy relationship, which include:

  • Mutual respect and healthy communication
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Compromise and understanding
  • Individuality and self-confidence
  • Anger control and fair arguments
  • Being a role model or a good influence
  • Healthy sexual relationships for romantic relations

Some characteristics that stand out in unhealthy relationships, though, are:

  • Control, which may look like unreasonably telling the other person what to do (how to dress, who to hang out with, etc.)
  • Hostility
  • Dishonesty
  • Dependence
  • Intimidation
  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence

These elements of relationships can appear in both romantic and platonic relationships. It is important to recognize and be aware of signs of both kinds of relationships to navigate current and future relationships. Surrounding oneself with healthy relationships can foster not only a positive social world but also a positive life overall. This is because a healthy social world encourages healthy behaviors.

Navigating Peer Pressure and Boundary Setting

At this age, teens often face lots of peer pressure. As a parent, it is important to instill confidence in your teen to promote a positive and strong sense of self. This can help combat peer pressure while also encouraging setting healthy boundaries with peers. Peer pressure occurs when someone pushes another towards making certain decisions, whether these decisions are good or bad. For teens, sometimes there is peer pressure to engage in drinking or drug-related activities.

Some reasons for giving into this peer pressure include fear of being rejected by others, wanting to feel older than they are, and not knowing how to escape the situation. However, there are ways to navigate these situations by setting boundaries. This may look or sound like telling their social group that they don’t need drugs or alcohol to have fun or that they want to do a different activity.

Generally speaking, restoring a sense of confidence is key. At home, teens may not feel welcome to open up about their experiences at school or in their friend groups. So, making a comfortable environment for your teen to open up is important to understand what they are dealing with in their social lives. From there, parents can help their teens develop responses and coping mechanisms to combat these situations of peer pressure.

How Does Destinations for Teens Help Nurture Teen Social Skills?

Destinations for Teens helps nurture and instill social skills in each client. In the advancing world of technology, the internet has become ingrained in people’s lives, especially teens. This can lead to several concerns ranging from social issues to developing an internet addiction. Relying on social media or the internet can dull teens’ social skills and lead to a lack of self-confidence, making them more susceptible to peer pressure. Sometimes, an internet addiction can lead to an internet sex addiction, which is damaging and detrimental as they navigate personal relationships.

To combat this, Destinations for Teens creates a plan to help clients control their impulses, navigate potentially unhealthy relationships, and develop a sense of self outside of their technology. Individual therapy, specifically, is a kind of therapy where teens can work on their social skills as well as their overall sense of self. Here, they address all issues and concerns affecting them. With a therapist, they learn how to combat these deeper issues to improve the quality of their life through healthy decision-making, goal-achieving, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. Outside of individual therapy, teens apply their progress to the environment they’re in. Between activities and outings to meals, teens interact with their peers and mentors daily. This “second family” helps teens foster and improve their social skills.

Contact Destinations for Teens Today

Here at Destinations for Teens, we understand that teens – especially in the age of modern technology – may lack key social skills. This can be damaging as they navigate life long-term due to the increase in peer pressure they may face at this age, not understanding how unhealthy relationships are affecting them, and not having a strong sense of self to implement healthy boundaries. Surrounding oneself with a group that encourages positive behaviors is possible, but it is necessary for families to involve themselves in their teen’s life to further encourage this behavior. Family is the center of their social life, so they are crucial in developing social skills. For more information, call us at (866) 678-8123.