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The adolescent should be recognized and respected for who he is.

The adolescent should be respected

Parents sometimes find it difficult to believe in the reasoning skills of their children.

Indeed, they are rarely expansive with their parents and, as a rule, they have difficulty communicating with them.

This difficulty in communicating stems from the fact that at this time of their life young people, while acquiring new mental capacities, absolutely must separate from their parents, assert themselves and become autonomous.

Parents who understand these basic needs have an easier time grieving childhood and proudly watch their teens take off.

The adolescent should be recognized and respected for who he is.


Adolescence is the period of life characterized by the search for personal identity. During this phase, the young person must recognize and internalize a realistic image of himself which forms a unified whole.

He must define his personal style in accordance with his strengths and weaknesses.

Self-esteem is a process of becoming aware of and maintaining self-worth, which asserts itself despite difficulties and vulnerabilities.

These indeed become obstacles to be overcome and challenges to be overcome. It is important that parents accompany their teenager during this process.

Their first task is to perceive and recognize the characteristics of the adolescent, that is, to frequently point out his strengths and weaknesses.

The adolescent must be appreciated as a whole in order to internalize good self-esteem.


Ask yourself if you are familiar with the skills and strengths your child has built up throughout their development:

  • his physical skills (in sports, dancing, crafts, etc.);
  • their intellectual skills (capacity for analysis, synthesis, abstraction, practical judgment, planning, memory, generalization, etc.);
  • their creative skills (bodily and verbal expression, drawing, music, etc.);
  • their relational and social qualities (ability to listen, express their ideas and feelings, capacity for empathy, cooperation, generosity, ability to make friends, ability to assert oneself, to make choice, to ask, to respect authority figures…).


Self-esteem also involves being aware of your difficulties and vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, the adolescent who has good self-esteem is just as aware that he has the resources to overcome them.

Ask yourself if you are familiar with your child's vulnerabilities:

  • in physical activities : gross motor skills [sports, dance], fine motor skills, manual dexterity, sports, gymnastics, crafts, etc.).
  • in intellectual activities (analysis, synthesis, abstraction, practical judgment, planning, memorization, generalization, verbal expression, creativity);
  • in his social relations (instability of mood, aggressiveness, anxiety, sadness, fears, hypersensitivity, opposition, social awkwardness, lack of confidence, provocation, excessive control, tendency to isolation, rejection of the group, instability in his friendships ... ).

Everyone has areas of vulnerability. It is important to make your teenager understand this reality and also to help them see these vulnerabilities as obstacles to overcome and challenges to overcome.

It will be easier if you tell him about the difficulties that you have encountered yourself, as well as the vulnerabilities that you recognize in yourself. To overcome his own. This sincerity on your part will give him hope!

"The words to say it"

Teenagers are extremely sensitive to what they are told. They feel hurt when our words contain criticism.

Remember, it is important to say words that make you happy.

Occasionally, feel free to use phrases that look like the following:

- "You are improving a lot at school!"

 - "I think you have a lot of talent in ..."

- "We are very happy to have a boy (or a girl) like you!"

- "You have such a beautiful smile!"

 - "I am sure that you are capable of ..."

- "It's beautiful, keep going!"

- "When you do something you like, you are very persistent!" "

- "I'm proud of you, you know!"

The teenager should feel that his parents have realistic expectations There may be a gap between the teenager you imagine and the one that actually exists.

If the gap is marked and it is for the benefit of the dream teenager, you need to be able to grieve it.

It is of the utmost importance that you see your child for who he really is and not for what you want him to be.

However, it is legitimate for parents to have expectations of their teenager.

But these expectations must be realistic, that is, adapted to their potential, their strengths, their qualities, their difficulties and their vulnerabilities.

Ask yourself what you want your child to become in 10 years:

• on a physical level (health, appearance, manual or sports skills, etc.);

 on an intellectual level (studies, creativity, reasoning, practical judgment, etc.);

• on a moral level (honesty, frankness, spirit of justice, social conscience, fidelity to commitments, etc.);

• on an emotional level (autonomy, capacity for assertion and initiative, etc.);

• on the social level (ability to listen and cooperate, loyalty in friendships, generosity, success, etc.).

It is important to adjust your expectations to the characteristics that are unique to your child.

For this, we must not deny his identity. This can happen if your expectations are projections of your desires, for example if you want your child to become what you yourself dreamed of becoming.

Finally, remember that it is better to be proud for your young than to be proud of your young!


Your teenager should feel loved. You must learn to show your love for him while respecting the fact that he is actively seeking to gain his independence!

The teenager has an overwhelming desire to distance himself from his parents.

Assertiveness is knowing "who I am, what I want and how I can be myself without fear of rejection."

Human beings first assert themselves by saying "no"; this is how he means he is different from the other.

Afterwards, when he feels safe and recognized in his abilities, he can assert himself by saying "yes".

To better understand the state of your relationship with your child, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I changed the way I show love to my child now that he's a teenager?
  • Am I trying to really listen to him when entering his world?
  • I accept that my teenager wants to distance himself?
  • I encourage him to assert himself positively?
  • Do I agree to negotiate greater autonomy?
  • I regularly emphasize his personal strengths even if they are not the ones I favor?
  • I recognize his skills in different areas?
  • I emphasize his vulnerabilities while sparing his pride?
  • I clearly express my expectations to him?
  • do I have realistic expectations of it?

                  The importance we place on self-esteem also comes from the worry that each of us feels when seeing so many children, adolescents and adults who are depressed and prone to self-deprecation.

                  The media keep giving us a distorted picture of our parenting skills and bluntly reminds us that our society has some of the highest dropout and suicide rates among young people in the world.

                  This situation explains our concern and at the same time nourishes our will to do everything to counter violence, depression and anxiety.

                  It is even a real identity crisis, due to the rapid changes we are experiencing. This crisis is in many ways reminiscent of that period of life of adolescence.

                  This social transformation causes tension and questioning.

                  We are inclined, under the circumstances, to focus our attention and our efforts on the strengths of the people, on the positive elements of human relationships and on the hope for a better world. Self-esteem is at the heart of this process.


                  Convention on the Rights of the Child 

                  Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence

                  pubmed 2

                  DUCLOS, Germain. L’estime de soi, un passeport pour la vie. Montréal: Éditions de l’Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 2000. 117 p.


                  ACKER, Vincent. Ados, comment les motiver: la méthode Gordon appliquée à la motivation scolaire. Alleur: Marabout, 2000. 279 p.

                  Duclos, Germain L’estime de soi des adolescents