The holidays have passed, and the with new calendar year comes the second half of the school year. As a parent, your new years hopes and goals probably include your teen’s wellbeing and success. Is your family struggling to navigate the expectations and pressures of a good education and growing-up process for your teen? Is your teen or preteen expressing frustration or discouragement about school or him/herself? School and the school environment make up a huge portion of your teen’s life, and it can be hard to make that experience a healthy one.

Parents, educators, teens, and young adults are searching for ways to enhance, supplement, or even replace standard education in our society. Younger preteens are being faced with academic responsibilities and pressures differently than their parents were. In both the mental health and education field, those who specialize in assisting teens access their full potential are aware that many typical education methods leave much to be desired – and not just for the student who has been working with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan/Program).

To better understand how to make your teen or preteen’s educational path a meaningful and successful one, it’s important to know more about teen mental health and what keeps a teenager motivated. While this particular article will not go into great depth, it will focus on a few key factors that impact your teen.

One of the pillars of mental health and healthy motivation for a developing teen or preteen is whether or not he or she feels competent. Your teen may be more aware of his or her own weaknesses rather than his or her strengths. In teen education, highlighting strengths and creating goals based on developing those strengths can reinvent your child’s world-view and self-esteem.

Another key factor for teen mental health and healthy motivation is whether he or she feels a sense of being unique, as well as a sense that he or she “belongs.” Extracurricular activities, whether it’s organized sports or time hanging out with friends, are a vital part of healthy teen development. Your teen develops a sense of self via relating to peers and adults, and creating an encouraging and challenging environment will help your teen have a strong sense of identity.

Your teen’s education is the foundation for not only knowledge that your teen will obtain, but also for the brain structure that is required in order to know how to learn, discover, and think critically and creatively. Finding opportunities now to ignite your teen’s natural strengths can make a significant impact on his or her future success. I understand that this is more easily said than done, even if you feel that you have a clear understanding of what your teen needs to thrive.

I intend to help you find hope in the new year when it comes to building a healthy future for your teen. Teen education is moving toward an open and dynamic approach, with the help of new educators, mental health professionals, and programs that aim to understand and harness your teen’s strengths, self-esteem, and motivation.

In addition to working with teens in my own practice, I have the opportunity to be connected to colleagues who help teens explore strengths and possibilities, and can change their education and life paths in remarkable ways. For example, Shinebright is a an organization that “…helps young people embrace who they are, celebrate their uniqueness, and empower them to fulfill their greatest potential.”

Shinebright offers packages to families and students which allows students and families to discover strengths and unlock potential within a student’s life and educational career. They provide families and students with vital information and concrete tools to help both a teen and his or her family feel confident, calm, and clear about accomplishing goals for both educational and personal growth. Examining your Parenting Tools and your style of parenting is essential, and Shinebright can help you be your best as a parent, as they are equipped to involve the whole family in a growth process for the sake of supporting your child.

Most importantly, Shinebright offers a unique approach that can tailor to the needs of almost any type of student. Because of the nature of it’s approach, your student does not have to fit into a “cookie-cutter” category of either “typical,” “special needs,” “unique,” etc. Your student is one-of-a-kind, and Shinebright provides an opportunity to embrace and celebrate that fact, rather than trying to push your child into a mold that doesn’t fit.

Learn more about Shinebright, and get a structure together for helping your teen feel capable and motivated throughout his or her personal journey.

Ultimately, your goal for your teen or preteen is to help him or her succeed. If you have any questions or concerns about your teen when it comes to his or her emotional, psychological, or educational development, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free phone consultation. Prevention and preparation is key when it comes to healthy development for your teen.

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