teen spotlight

Understanding Your Spotlight (for Teen Girls)

Understanding Your Spotlight (for Teen Girls)

 

When we talk about stepping into your spotlight, it can be hard to know what the ‘spotlight’ is. How will you know when you have found your spotlight? Will you feel completely happy and that things are finally “perfect” when you have found it?

>>>FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to improve focus, boost happy hormones, cope with tricky feelings, and develop self-compassion.

I Want the Handbook!

teen spotlight

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

You may disagree with me, but I tend to define “stepping into your spotlight” as a dynamic process instead of a specific goal. Your spotlight may change over time and being in your spotlight may never feel 100% happy and fuzzy – it may feel challenging, scary, but at the core it is life-giving and meaningful. Stepping into your spotlight can be making progress towards a dream career, but it can also be all those little choices you make along the way, whether an end goal is in sight or not.

Thinking about my own teen years, I was never one of those people who knew from a young age what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now that I am a little bit older, and hopefully a little wiser, I think that question can be a bit confusing. Instead of thinking about “what” I want to be, I think about “who” I want to be.

Who I want to be applies to right now, in this moment, in addition to my future hopes and dreams. I think about how I can step into my spotlight, or be my most authentic self while pursuing my goals and living according to my values, within my current reality.

>>>FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to improve focus, boost happy hormones, cope with tricky feelings, and develop self-compassion.

I Want the Handbook!

When I was considering what I wanted to be, my thoughts went into endless comparisons. It was impossible to make a “perfect” choice with so many hypotheticals and unknowns. My mind went back and forth between looking for the perfect end goal and determining that the grass is always greener on the other side. I have

teen spotlight

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

since left this mindset behind, and have spent more time acknowledging that “the grass is greenest where you water it” (Neil Barringham).

If you already have a spotlight in mind, that is amazing! GO FOR IT!!

But if you’re like me, and you are less sure on what your spotlight looks like, know that you can find it along the way. You can read a little more about my process after high school graduation here: ‘Planning For The Future After High School Graduation’.

I am also available for 1:1 support to sort through the muck of figuring out what and who you want to be. Book your free consultation here.*

 

Love,

Jessa Tiemstra

Provisional Psychologist servicing teen girls and young adults.

*1:1 services available for teen girls living in Alberta, Canada

 


Jessa is a provisional psychologist living and servicing teens and young adults in Calgary, Alberta.

Jessa is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and is continually learning how to best support her clients. She has experience with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but most importantly she emphasizes the therapeutic relationship.

A safe, authentic relationship is key for therapy to work. Jessa prioritizes compassion and nonjudgmental curiosity. Together, she can find out what matters most to you and how to get there.

If you think Jessa may be a good match for you, please feel free to reach out and set up a free consult or book a session. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Once a month, she writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents, teens and young adults she connects with. If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.

 

 

teens on the internet

4 Tips To Setting Internet Rules for Teens

Internet rules for teens are a hot topic amongst parents, particularly as friendships are increasingly going or starting online for teens.

Parents bring up concerns about safety, appropriate messages, and cyberbullying.

Teens, in response, talk about how important the online platforms are for them to stay in contact with their friends or how “uncool” they would be to not be active on certain platforms.


>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Depression & Anxiety Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls <<<

10 tools you can immediately use to improve your female identifying teens’ mental health & build resistance against depression & anxiety:

 

Anxiety & Depression Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls

 

From my perspective, both parents & teens have some valid points in the discussion around internet rules. In bridging these two seemingly opposite perspectives, I often make use of the following tips in my work with parents:

4 Tips To Setting Internet Rules for Teens

internet rules for teens

Photo From Canva Pro

Internet Rules for Teens Tip #1: Try to involve your teen as much as possible in the decision-making process.

Your teen is significantly more likely to agree and stick to online guidelines if they have had a say in the matter. This doesn’t mean that the teen gets what they want, in fact, a sign of a good compromise is that neither party is 100% happy. Instead, have a curious conversation about why online friendships are important to your teen and take a moment to genuinely listen to their perspective. It may even be helpful to think back to your own teenage years, when friends, peers, and “fitting in” were all important topics.

Once your teen feels more understood, there is a chance to explain your perspective, whether it be concerns about screen time, privacy, online safety, secrecy, or cyberbullying. Depending on the age of your teen, your family values, and how your teen is doing in other areas such as school, the guidelines can vary from family to family. Here are a few topics that are important to explore:

  • screen time
  • privacy settings
  • the different platforms
  • appropriate messages and content
  • what information to share with who
  • peer pressure
  • what to do if an unsafe conversation happens

Pro tip: helping teens understand the why of the guidelines is an essential element of explaining your perspective.

Internet Rules for Teens Tip #2: Understand that an outright ban is likely to have negative consequences

internet rules for teens

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

While it can be tempting to ban social media, online friendships, or using certain platforms, taking an all-or-nothing approach is likely to backfire.

Having a strict ban on social media or online friendships tends to result in teen secrecy and reduces healthy and open parent-teen communication. This open communication is especially important in the event of

harmful online interactions.

And teens are smart! I have worked with teens who have hidden apps on their phone’s home screen, have multiple profiles, or even used a second phone.

Similarly, having no restrictions or regulations whatsoever can also be harmful, as your teen may not be mature enough to process the content, set healthy limits, manage their time or responsibilities, or realize how social media may be affecting them. Your level of involvement really depends on your family rules in general, and your teen specifically. For some, you may need to be more involved in setting guidelines and monitoring (at least for a time).

When deciding how involved to be in your teen’s online world, be mindful of the desire for privacy and confidentiality in conversations between friends. It might be helpful to check in on your own why and ask yourself if you are monitoring the conversations due to a legitimate safety concern, or if you are using it as a back door to understand your teen.

internet rules for teens

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Internet Rules for Teens Tip #3: Talk about online safety

Online safety is so important and encompasses many areas. Privacy settings and revealing personal information are one area to address, as default settings are rarely restricted in terms of who can access or see the information. What appropriate content is, whether in terms of messages, photos, or videos, is an important discussion to have with your teen.

Invariably, teens will be exposed to harmful comments, cyberbullying, peer pressure to engage in risky behaviours, and more. In my mind, the question is more of a “when” than an “if”, and when exposure like this does happen, hopefully, your teen feels comfortable enough to approach you with their concerns.

As a parent, this requires you to stay reasonably calm, thank your teen for their openness, and make sure any consequences are reasonable and appropriate.

An unfortunate reaction I have seen is when teens I work with disclose a harmful online interaction with their parents,  and their parents react with extreme emotion. Sometimes, parents have taken their teen’s phone away. Oftentimes, this results in the teen learning that their phone will be taken away if they share with their parents. Meaning they don’t share in the future.

Internet Rules for Teens Tip #4: Online friendships are a valid source of connection

Although online friendships look a little different than the brick-and-mortar variety, they can still provide the benefits that in-person friendships do. Many teens develop meaningful connections over the internet and describe some of these friendships as offering support, providing meaning, helping with stress, and in some cases being their best friends.

You can help your teen determine how good their friendships are (both online or in-person) with my colleagues blog article: Teen Friendships: 7 Questions to Decide if They Are Good Ones.

For teens that may be struggling to find meaningful connections in places like school, online friendships can meet that fundamental human need for belonging and connection.


>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Depression & Anxiety Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls <<<

10 tools you can immediately use to improve your female identifying teens’ mental health & build resistance against depression & anxiety:

 

Anxiety & Depression Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls
internet rules for teens

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

The bottom line to the complex and challenging topic of internet rules for teens, is that keeping a safe line of communication open between you and your teen is ultimately one of the best ways to support them in navigating online friendships.

The internet is here to stay and developing healthy ways of interacting online is a valuable skill.

Be willing to invite your teen’s perspective on setting healthy guidelines for online friendships and open to sharing your own. As much as possible, view the conversations from an “us versus the challenge” mindset, instead of a more divisive “you versus me”.

If your female identifying teen could use support with online friendships (or friendships in generally), safety on the internet, or developing social skills, I offer 1:1 therapy for Alberta residents. You can book a free consultation with me HERE.

BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Love,

Jessa Tiemstra

Provisional Psychologist servicing female identifying teens and young adults.

 

 


Jessa is a provisional psychologist living and servicing teens and young adults in Calgary, Alberta.

Jessa is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and is continually learning how to best support her clients. She has experience with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but most importantly she emphasizes the therapeutic relationship.

A safe, authentic relationship is key for therapy to work. Jessa prioritizes compassion and nonjudgmental curiosity. Together, she can find out what matters most to you and how to get there.

If you think Jessa may be a good match for you, please feel free to reach out and set up a free consult or book a session. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Once a month, she writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents, teens and young adults she connects with. If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.

 

 

Popular at school

Being Popular At School: 3 Questions for Teen Girls

Being Popular At School: 3 Questions for Teen Girls

Popular at school

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

 

Being popular at school, having anxiety about friendships, and uncertainty about the school year are topics that keep coming up with the teen girls I work with. It brings to mind a quote that has been churning in my mind recently. A quote you have likely heard!

““Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”.

 Although some sources credit the saying to Dr. Seuss, there is a disagreement over whom the original author was, with some believing it was actually Bernard Baruch. Regardless of the original authorship, I find the quote to be insightful and relevant to the teen girls I have the honour of working with (and pretty relevant to anyone, really!).

I know friendships and popularity at school are on the minds of teen girls because questions such as  “will I be with my friends?”, “what if no one likes me?”, and “what if I am not popular at school, or what if I am never popular?” are common in the therapy room. These questions shine a light on the underlying human condition to socialise and feel accepted, which, while more acute in the teenage years, is not just a “teenage thing”. I have yet to meet a person who did not long for at least some human connection, to be seen and heard, or to be liked, and similarly, who did not have a fear or at least dislike of rejection.

The relative strength of these factors vary, but in one form or another, are ubiquitous in us humans. Humans are social beings, so it makes a lot of sense why back-to-school fears about friendships and fitting in are so common.

But…just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Note: If anxiety around friendships is common for you, here is a free Anxiety Toolkit that includes 10 exercises and various free videos to help you master it:

Anxiety Toolkit

Being Popular At School: 3 Questions For Teen Girls

For teens that are worried about being popular at school, have anxiety about friendships, or a fear of not being liked, I often ask them a series of questions:

Being Popular At School Question #1: Let’s imagine for a minute that everyone liked you, what kind of world would that be?

 Most teen girls that I talk to conclude that a world like that “would be terrible”. In terms of reasons why, they say that in such a world, a person would always be changing to meet the interests of others and not be true to themselves, or they would have no boundaries or may not be standing up for what they know to be right.

Being Popular At School Question #2: Is there anything more important than being liked?

When given a chance to think about this question, many of the teen girls I work with have identified a number of things more important than being liked.

From the teen girls themselves, here are some of the reasons they commonly share are more important than being liked:

  • Being true to oneself
  • Standing up for what is right
  • Standing up for friends or family
  • Having healthy relationships
  • Being kind

Being Popular At School Question #3: Is it more important for other people to like us, or for us to like (or at least respect) ourselves?

This question is best asked last, because after exploring the previous questions, most teen girls tell me it is more important to be true to who they are and to like themselves rather than have the approval of others.

Usually, at this point in the conversation, the issue of being liked or not doesn’t feel as huge or scary of a problem as at the start.

Are some of those feelings and questions still there? Of course! But the question of being liked or popular becomes less of an identity-defining, terrifying issue.

Our team has also developed 7 questions you can ask yourself to ensure the friendships you have are good ones. You can access them in our blog article here:

Teen Friendships: 7 Questions to Decide If They Are Good Ones

This brings us back to the quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”… It’s not that those people who mind “don’t matter”, but that they shouldn’t have the power or influence to dictate who you are or change your sense of worth or morality.

Do you love learning and are super into school? Awesome!

Or do you find joy in video games, anime, or make-up? Amazing!

Or maybe your spark is in sports, music, art, or volunteering? Astounding!

You befriend the new kid at school even though they dress “uncool”? Awe-inspiring.

The reality is that everyone is different, and not everyone is going to click or jive together. And that’s okay. Perhaps instead of trying to be liked, you can find the things that are more important to you and take steps towards those hopes. Hope for you may be respecting and appreciating diversity, both for others and for ourselves. Or, it could be growing in greater self-respect and self-love.

The key to ask yourself is this:

What is so important to you that it doesn’t matter if others mind?

You can access support through our free Anxiety Toolkit (for anyone), or 1:1 sessions with me (Alberta residents only).

1:1 sessions with me include a complimentary 20-minute consultation to ensure we are a good fit. If you have benefits, they are also eligible for reimbursements.

You can book your free consultation here:

Book Your Free Consultation

 

Love,

Jessa Tiemstra

Provisional Psychologist servicing teen girls and young adults.

 

 


Jessa is a provisional psychologist living and servicing teens and young adults in Calgary, Alberta.

Jessa is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and is continually learning how to best support her clients. She has experience with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but most importantly she emphasizes the therapeutic relationship.

A safe, authentic relationship is key for therapy to work. Jessa prioritizes compassion and nonjudgmental curiosity. Together, she can find out what matters most to you and how to get there.

If you think Jessa may be a good match for you, please feel free to reach out and set up a free consult or book a session. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Once a month, she writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents, teens and young adults she connects with. If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.