Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today talking about teen issues. The issue I’d like to talk about is “External Orientation”. Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck is “External Orientation.”
Well…what I mean by this is when someone looks outside themselves for validation. They are “Externally Oriented”. Why is this a problem? I mean we all need a pat on the back once in a while, right?
I agree a pat on the back is awesome and everyone needs one. However, the problem arises when a teen becomes dependent on others for validation. And I see this more and more in our youth today.
They look to their peers for approval instead of looking inside themselves and asking does this behavior agree with my own belief system? It’s my humble opinion that when a teen acts in a way that is at odds with their belief system the result is lowered self-esteem. And we all know that low self-esteem is at the root of many of the problems in our society today.
We as parents need to teach our children to be more internally oriented. Teens need to work in conjunction with their own belief system and stand up for their own beliefs when they’re challenged by their peers.
So, how do we do this as parents? That is a good question and I have some answers. 🙂 Again, parental involvement is a major factor and it starts years before children reach their teens.
First of all, parents need to help their child develop a realistic belief system and this starts from day one all the way up to adulthood. I’m talking about moral development not religious beliefs.
I know what you’re saying…yeah…we know that…but how do we do this?
We do this by helping them develop good habits in their childhood. For example, I don’t want my children to abuse alcohol and drugs when they’re older. So, I teach them healthy habits for their body now. I tell them … they shouldn’t do things that are bad for their body, like smoking and drinking. I tell them the negative effects of these vices. I know what you’re thinking…they’re too young…but they’re not. Now is when they’re listening to their parents and if parents can embed this into their sponge-like brains…they will develop the belief that drinking is bad for our bodies therefore, I’m not going to drink.
Is it really this simple? The answer is yes and no. 🙂 It is this simple if parents act in conjunction with what they’re teaching their children. But problems arise when parents instruct their children one way and then behave in the opposite manner. This confuses the child and when they become teens…if they don’t have a strong belief system in place they’re more likely to look to others for validation. The more they look to others for validation the more likely they will fall prey to outside influences.
Children need to get validation from their parents. If they don’t get it from their parents they will look for it outside the home. It’s that simple. So please give your child praise when they do something right.
Whenever, I catch my kids eating something that’s good for their body. I give them lots of hugs and make a big deal about it. They’ll remember this and when a friend offers them that beer when they’re underage…they’re more likely to turn it down. Because I’ve taught them that it’s not good for your body.
Being “internally oriented” is a great way to combat the many self-esteem issues that plague our young people today. Of course, this is just my opinion. 🙂 I’d love to hear yours, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.
On a side note, I’d just like to let you know that my books are now available as Audiobooks! So, if you’re interested in listening to them here are the links! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂