Self Talk and Teens Explained

Self Talk and Teens Explained

What is self-talk?

Self-talk describes the way the voice inside your mind talks to you and what it says. Self-talk is important; it affects how you think and feel about the world and yourself. This contributes to your self-esteem and how confident you feel when facing challenges.

When you get caught in a routine of negative self-talk it’s easy to start feeling down. If you were already feeling down to begin with, chronic negative self-talk can make it harder to feel better and make positive changes in your life.

It isn’t necessarily easy to break the habit of chronic negative self-talk, but it is possible.

How positive self-talk can help your child

Positive self-talk can help your teen in many ways. Focusing on positive self-talk isn’t about encouraging your teen to ignore opportunities to learn from their mistakes. Instead it’s about approaching stress in a positive, realistic, productive and resilient manner.

Positive self-talk has been found to offer many health benefits.

These include feeling happier with life, improved immune system, reduced pain, better cardiovascular health and lower rates of stress and anxiety.

How parents can help young people to use positive self-talk

Here are some suggestions for how parents can encourage young people to use positive self-talk:

  • You can ask your child to share with you what their “self-talk” is telling them. This provides you with an opportunity to offer specific examples of positive self-talk they could focus on instead.
  • As a parent you can tell your teenager when you think their self-talk is blowing things out of proportion, and how you see it. For example, are they thinking negative thoughts about themselves over assignment results? As a parent you can acknowledge the things they did well and try to use the feedback to help them improve for next time. Remind your young person that their academic performance doesn’t determine their worth.
  • For each negative your child shares with you, offer up your observations on their strengths, skills and successes.

Seek the help you need

To find out more, visit Youth Network of Tasmania for a list of local services and online support.