teen confidence

5 Ways to Help Girls Develop Teen Confidence

You don’t have to feel helpless watching your daughter struggle with teen confidence. I am going to share 5 ways you can help her develop confidence.

>>> ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR TEENS & PARENTS. JOIN THE WAITING LIST: FREE DOWNLOAD: Depression & Anxiety Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls <<<

We are launching an online community for teen girls, with a separate forum for parents.

This is a safe space to grow as a family to support your teen daughter’s unbreakable mindset.

 

Join Our Community for Teens & Parents

Adolescence is often a stage in life that is demanding in itself as teens go through transitions, developments, and relational and behavioural alterations. This period

teen confidence

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of tremendous change could also be filled with moments or periods of low self-esteem. Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence have one thing in common… the Self in these words and a reference to the relationship we have with ourselves, i.e how one views or feels about themselves….

Parents can help their daughters with teen confidence by building their self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence through some of the following suggestions, tools, and techniques.

 

>>> ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR TEENS & PARENTS. JOIN THE WAITING LIST: FREE DOWNLOAD: Depression & Anxiety Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls <<<

We are launching an online community for teen girls, with a separate forum for parents.

This is a safe space to grow as a family to support your teen daughter’s unbreakable mindset.

 

Join Our Community for Teens & Parents

 

5 Ways You Can Help Your Daughter Build Teen Confidence:

teen confidence

Photo by Jonatas Domingos on Unsplash

#1 – Praise the process and not the outcomes… Praising the outcome often comes naturally – you are proud of what your daughter accomplishes! However, I encourage you to also praise  the things your daughter has learned, or skills she developed, when working towards a goal or arriving at the outcome (be it good or bad). This allows her to develop a growth mindset as well as promotes teens to be resilient.

#2 Have realistic expectations for your daughter. Sometimes you may be trying to live life through your children. (Your own self-worth often plays a part here). As a result you can end up setting unrealistic standards that result in a lot of pressure and performance to appease parents, rather than being authentic and truly embracing progress over perfection. 

#3 Encourage your daughter to engage in positive self-talk and model positive self-talk yourself. Prompt your daughter to note when she is being judgemental, harsh or cruel towards themselves. Reflect on this and also for them to stop… by embracing being human and exercising some self-compassion. My colleague, Jessa Tiemstra, Provisional Psychologist wrote a blog article to help you model confidence for your daughter. Take a read HERE.

#4 Create a gratitude or success trail of paper… As a habit teen girls can engage in by documenting successes, and accomplishments, that they can read to themselves or can serve as reminders of what they have managed to overcome or achieve. Even some of the strengths and skills they developed along the way…. This can be something that can be reviewed in times of distress

teen confidence

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or when their self-esteem is down. 

#5 Help your daughter notice and be aware of dynamics that might trigger not-so-good feelings…. Is it a place, people, relationships, or friendships,

that activate low self-esteem or low self-worth…encourage them to develop healthy boundaries in letting the aforementioned (people/ friendships)  know they will not tolerate such behaviours or can simply look at stepping away? Help your daughter understand that boundaries are there to take care of them and also are necessary for healthy relationships. Having boundaries in areas where people act in less than respectful ways is okay! 

Teen confidence is one of three pillars your daughter needs to be okay now and in the future. The other two are: developing healthy relationships, and learning how to step into their spotlight.

Our online community (launching early 2023) will have a forum specifically for teen girls with resources for them on all three pillars. It will also have a parent forum for you. Join the waiting list here.

 

Love,

Chipo

Register Social Worker offering counseling for female identifying teens (11-21 years old)

 


I am a registered social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work with a major in psychology from the university of the Western Cape, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work specialization with individuals, families, and groups from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I note the different intersectionalites that come into play, and I have adapted myself to understanding the effects thereof. I pride myself in working from a holistic and integrative approach using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and intersectional lenses in rendering services.

I am grounded by embracing my full humanness-being imperfectly perfect. My faith, family and friendships carry me through life and its happenings. I find being in nature very healing and so is savouring moments. When not working, I love to engage in some fitness, going on walks, journaling, catching up on Korean series, city adventures and reading for pleasure. I also believe in allowing my inner child come out sometimes through art, dancing, building sand castles you name it.

teen mindset

7 Qualities to Create An Unbreakable Teen Mindset

7 Qualities to Create An Unbreakable Teen Mindset

As a teen life coach, I almost always hear from parents of teen girls how they want their daughters to have the tools to be happy. You want your teens to be able to handle challenging experiences and be OK now and as they grow into adulthood.  Creating an unbreakable teen mindset from within is the best tool you have to guide your daughter to happiness.

>>> 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

teen mindset

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Do you ever worry that stress, overwhelm, or just life in general are too much for your daughter some days? 

I’ve noticed the teens who work with our team who see the biggest difference in their lives; the ones who tell us they are happier and healthier, are the ones who have been able to master what we call an Unbreakable Teen Mindset. One of the three essential pillars that we teach teens is how to use their mind, thoughts, and attitudes to help them live their best lives. 

If your teen daughter is struggling to find happiness because of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, let me tell you what building an Unbreakable Teen Mindset is and what it can do for her.

An Unbreakable Mindset is not about getting right all the time. It is not about perfection (is there such a thing?!). It is not about always being happy.

An Unbreakable Teen Mindset is about building up the following qualities: 

  • Confidence in trying and doing things even if it may not work out the way you hoped.
    teen mindset

    Photo from Canva Pro

  • Flexibility in knowing there isn’t only one way.

  • Growth in seeing where you were, where you are, and where you are heading.

  • Perspective in being able to take a step back and consider things in different ways.

  • Grit in preserving when the going gets tough.

  • Insight in always learning more about yourself, your relationships, and the world.

  • The power to pivot when something or some way of thinking is just not working. 

 

teen mindset

Photo from Canva Pro

By building up each of these qualities (and no it doesn’t all have to happen at once), your daughter is growing an Unbreakable Teen Mindset; A way of thinking that will help her not only survive the ups and downs of being a teen, but to live a happier and healthier life that goes well beyond her teenage years. 

Join our community of adolescent girl identifying teens (age 11-21) to learn more about how to help your teen gain the tools to be unbreakable by downloading our free Anxiety and Depression Toolkit for Parents Raising Teen Girls here:

>>> 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

Love,

Chantal

 


Chantal Côté (she/her) is a psychologist and teen life coach living in Calgary, Alberta. After over a decade in non-profit and community mental health, Chantal started Pyramid Psychology, a practice dedicated to supporting teens – a population she is constantly amazed by. Chantal is on a mission to help 100,000 teen girls (and their parents) build bulletproof mindsets so they can weather the ups and downs of life. As part of this goal, Chantal has had the privilege of speaking at various events – virtual and live – to support teens and parents.

Outside of this passion, Chantal is often in nature, writing poetry, playing ball hockey and hanging out with her loved ones.

Each week, Chantal writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents and teens 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.

teen relationships

3 Ways to Improve the Quality of Teen Relationships

3 Ways to Improve the Quality of Teen Relationships

Support circles are only as strong as the quality of your teen relationships. Learn how to improve the quality of your relationships in this article.

>>> 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

 

3 Reasons Why the Quality of Our Relationships Matter

teen relationships

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

You can lean on the right people for the type of support that you need.

Support comes in many forms. Can you identify who you might go to when you need the following type of support?

  • Emotional support
  • Tangible support
  • Informational support
  • Affirmational support

When you have deeper relationships with others, you learn more about yourself. These are relationships where you obtain support, encouragement, and constructive feedback on your growing edges in a way that helps you feel uplifted and supported. Each relationship will provide you with something unique and different.

You are four times more likely to feel good about yourself and life when you feel close to people.

>>> 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

 

3 Ways to Increase the Quality of Our Relationships

#1 Time and Effort – Be consistent in your efforts to connect with those who you care about and that care about you.

#2 Be Present – Keep the cell phone away from you. Rather than placing the cell phone on the table, for example, keep it in a backpack or bag. This signifies to the

teen relationships

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

other person that you are attentive to them and will not get distracted by a social media notification, phone call, or text message. Don’t underestimate the power of being attentive!

#3 Express Appreciation – Sincere statements such as “thank you”, “I appreciate your insight”, and “You are important to me”, go a long way to strengthening our connections with others. When people hear a sincere statement of appreciation, this invites them to open their hearts and minds. If you are not used to expressing yourself in this way, practice in front of the mirror or when you are alone in your room. It might feel funny at first! Give it a try and see what happens.

These are three ways you can begin to improve your relationships, which is part of being a good friend. To dive further into improving relationships (specifically friendships) you can read my colleague’s blog article: ‘How To Be A Good Friend‘.

If you are looking for unbiased support to learn social skills, gain confidence in your relationships, and be a great friend, I would be honoured to be part of your support circle.  I offer affordable therapy ($40 per session) in Calgary, Alberta (online appointments available to Alberta residents). If you’re ready to create a solid foundation for your relationships, book a free consultation here:

Book Your Free Consultation

Let me know how your journey is going and if you have any questions! 

Fazilah Shariff MSW, MHA, RSW

 

 

 


Is your teen having challenges navigating their current circumstances? Do you want your teen to obtain the skills and tools they need to navigate the peaks and valleys that come their way?

Are you looking for someone who can support your teen to step into their spotlight, have great relationships, and find their confidence? I speak teen. My strength is connecting with and relating to teenagers. I strive to provide a balance of learning and laughter during my sessions. Teens need a coach and therapist who they can trust to talk to about the hard stuff in their lives.

I work with teens from a range of life experiences and backgrounds. My specialities include working with teens who identify as BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of colour) and/or LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, and more).

I have a Master of Social Work and a Master of Health Administration. I am also a Registered Social Worker. I have worked across the healthcare sector and served on numerous boards of directors for not-for-profit organizations.

teen confidence

5 Ways for Parents to Boost Teen Confidence

I want to share a personal story of teen confidence. And then from the heart of my teenage self, I have a list of 5 ways I wish adults had instilled confidence in my life.

>>> 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

 

Here we go…

From the time I was 12 years old until I was in my early twenties, I struggled with my own self confidence and self esteem. I can remember my parents enrolling me in summer day camps with names like “Girl Power” to help me learn strategies on how to increase my feelings of self worth.

I had babysitters that would often show me magazines with photos of lots of beautiful celebrities and sometimes we would watch music videos. I put the pictures

teen confidence

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

from the magazines on my walls, like most girls my age did. We didn’t have social media back then but I still compared myself to the images of perfectionism that I saw.

Throughout my teenage years, I became obsessed with fashion. I always had to stand out from the other kids in school, to have the newest styles. In a way I was expressing my creativity, because I’ve always loved art and beauty. I also liked experimenting and trying out different identities. But in another way, I had become materialistic and placed a lot of pressure on myself to look a certain way and to be praised and approved by others. I wasn’t accepting my true self- I was often changing things about my appearance in order to make others notice me.

It also wasn’t only my physical appearance, I struggled with accepting my own personality as well. I have always been shy and introverted, which has been difficult in such an extroverted world. I did not feel like I fit in. I felt a huge pressure by society to act more outgoing and social and another huge pressure to fit into the stereotypical ideal of beauty by wearing fashionable clothes and using makeup. The behavior of the women in my life also influenced me, when I saw them not leaving their house without makeup on.

With all this being said, I wish I had known some strategies to change my inner voice which was constantly telling me I wasn’t good enough as I was. For parents of female identifying teens, here are five tips you can use to help your daughter’s confidence grow:

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

teen confidence

Photo from Canva Pro

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

 

5 Ways Parents Can Boost Teen Confidence

Teen Confidence Tip #1 – Encourage your daughter to try new things and take risks.

Parents want the best for their children, and to keep them safe. However, by giving your daughter some freedom, she is able to take risks that will build confidence. If she wins, you can praise her and if she fails, you can commend her for being so brave. Ultimately, my confidence skyrocketed in my mid twenties when I decided to stop listening to others, and to travel solo after a breakup.

Teen Confidence Tip #2 – Encourage your daughter to stop caring what other people think (and discourage people-pleasing behaviours)

This one’s really a game changer for me because I’ve always had people-pleasing tendencies. I realized that by listening to what others think I should do in my life, I was really allowing them to control me– which in turn inhibited my freedom and true happiness because I was not being true to myself or following my intuition. The reality is, there will always be people that like you and people that don’t, no matter what– and that’s okay.

Teen Confidence Tip #3 – Praise your daughter for qualities other than her appearance

I can speak a lot about this one from experience. I became addicted to receiving compliments about my appearance and it seemed like more and more I was trying to chase perfection so that I could be deemed as valuable and needed by others. Of course it’s great to give compliments on appearance but it should not be the only thing she is receiving compliments on. Instead, make a conscious effort to focus on the things she is doing for the world.

Teen Confidence Tip #4 – Be careful about the media she is consuming.

Be conscious of the magazines around the house and the types of TV shows that you have on. After 15 minutes of looking at a fashion magazine, their mood is shown to shift from enthusiasm to comparing and negative self talk. I am sure the same goes for social media, so encourage her to limit her time spent on it. Help her realize that social media is not reality, and neither are the photoshopped magazines.

Teen Confidence Tip #5 – Notice the type of behaviour you are modeling.

Avoid making any sort of negative self-talk, putting down your own appearance or making it mandatory that you must wear makeup before you go out. Avoid saying insulting things about your own personality. Instead teach self acceptance, and how she doesn’t need material things to make her more beautiful. For fathers, don’t treat her as though she is helpless and should rely on a man to do things for her. She is capable of doing stereotypically “masculine” activities, like mowing the lawn

or yard work.

>>> 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

 

Together, by taking the time to reflect on this topic we can shift society’s expectations. We can stop looking outward for our inner happiness. By loving ourselves first, we can become more compassionate, empathetic and generous towards others. In my mid-twenties, I relearned what society taught me and began to think in a new light.

If you found this article helpful, you can continue the work with our blog article ‘3 Ways to Help Your Teen Stop Perfectionist Thinking‘.

Love,
Kari


 

raising a teen girl

10 Things to Avoid When Raising A Teen Girl

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a handbook for raising a teen girl? Unfortunately, no such handbook exists.

BUT if you want to develop a healthy and working relationship with your female identifying teen, read on.

After working with many teens and families as a Registered Social Worker, I have developed a list of 10 things to avoid doing.

raising a teen girl

Photo from Canva Pro

>>> 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

Here are 10 things you want to avoid while raising a teen girl:

  1. Don’t snoop (i.e going through your teen’s phone). That’s boundary trespassing. (You can still set internet rules, though. Read our blog to learn how: ‘4 Tips To Setting Internet Rules for Teens‘).
  2. Not giving your teens the privacy they need when out with friends.
  3. Not hearing and listening to your teen when they try to talk to you.
  4. Not compromising and negotiating and having rigid boundaries.
  5. Coming from a ‘your way or the highway’ style of parenting.
  6. Don’t be fast to talk when you need to listen to understand (e.g interrupting and trying to multitask when they are trying to engage with you).
  7. Don’t take anything teens do personally, I mean they are trying to find themselves and are in transitioning stages… Come on, what was your behaviour like as a teen?
    raising a teen girl

    Photo from Canva Pro

  8. Teens don’t want to be talked to as little kids, allow them some independence and ability to make informed decisions.
  9. Don’t force them to engage in things or activities you prefer as a parent or leave up to your dreams and aspirations, this might result in pressure and inability to cope and can often lead to mental health challenges.
  10. Don’t compare your teen to other teens, especially their peers.

 

>>> 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

 

One thing you WANT to do, is ensure you and your daughter have a lot of support during this time.

It takes a community to raise a child 🧡

Through Pyramid Psychology (soon to be known as ‘Unbreakable Teen Me’), I offer private therapy sessions for female identifying teens, which include support for YOU in-between sessions.

I support adolescents in Alberta ranging from 11 to 21 years old. You can book a free consultation with me here:

I Want Support for My Daughter Now

 

Love,

Chipo

Register Social Worker offering counseling for female identifying teens (11-21 years old)

 


I am a registered social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work with a major in psychology from the university of the Western Cape, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work specialization with individuals, families, and groups from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I note the different intersectionalites that come into play, and I have adapted myself to understanding the effects thereof. I pride myself in working from a holistic and integrative approach using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and intersectional lenses in rendering services.

I am grounded by embracing my full humanness-being imperfectly perfect. My faith, family and friendships carry me through life and its happenings. I find being in nature very healing and so is savouring moments. When not working, I love to engage in some fitness, going on walks, journaling, catching up on Korean series, city adventures and reading for pleasure. I also believe in allowing my inner child come out sometimes through art, dancing, building sand castles you name it.

mentor

8 Reasons Your Teen Daughter Needs A Mentor

8 Reasons Your Teen Daughter Needs A Mentor

mentor

Photo by Kevin Laminto on Unsplash

Having a teen mentor is crucial for teen girls. I will share 8 reasons why shortly.

But first, dear most amazing parents of teen girls, I am going to ask you a really important question: 

When you think back to your teen years, who are the people that had the strongest positive impact on your life? 

You might be thinking about that teacher who wouldn’t give up on you, your older cousin who understood everything you were going through, the no-nonsense coach who pushed you to do better, or your best friend’s mom who always showed you the utmost kindness. 

Maybe you didn’t have a person directly in your life, so you looked to those you didn’t know personally; an author, actor, philosopher, artist, musician, athlete…..

One of those people for me was my Uncle. There was nothing particularly exceptional about what he did, it was more of a feeling. When I was around him, I felt seen. I felt important. I felt loved. Thinking of him now puts a massive smile on my face. I remember his qualities of kindness, warmth, and adventure. And, what a sense of humour! His wit was worth admiring in my books. 

Even though he died when I was in my teens, I still see him as one of my best mentors. 

mentor

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

How did the person you thought of make a positive difference in your life? Do you remember what they said or did for you that made an impact? Is it more of a memory on how their being in your life made you feel?

When I look back at the impact my Uncle had and still has on my life, I realize just how exceptional it was. I strive to live out the qualities he modeled. The relationships we have in our teenage years have the potential to change the course of our lives. 

Reggie Nelson and Jessica Hurley are two wonderful anecdotes of how powerful mentors can be for teens. 

So one more question for you….. Who is your daughter’s teen mentor? 

8 Reasons Your Teen Daughter Needs A Mentor:

  • Helps your teen daughter believe in herself and the possibilities for her life
  • Gives your daughter a person to go to for advice and guidance
    mentor

    Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

  • Creates hope (when your daughter doesn’t feel alone)
  • Builds long term trusted friendships to help your teen daughter through the ups and downs 
  • Supports your daughter to develop her identity
  • Opens doors to new ways of thinking (and new opportunities) for your daughter
  • Provides a way for your teen daughter to practice social + conversational skills, and build conflict resolution skills
  • Provides your teen daughter with a model for qualities and characteristics 

So, I ask again. Who is your daughter’s mentor? Someone who is a champion of her life – cheerleading and rooting for her no matter what. Somebody she sees as a trusted guide, who is consistent. Someone who sees her.

 

If you didn’t immediately know the answer, I encourage you to talk to your daughter. Ask her who she looks up to, admires, or reaches out to for help. Ask her if she needs more support; someone in her corner.

mentor

Photo by Frank Leuderalbert on Unsplash

It’s really important to take ego out of the equation, and recognize that teen girls often need support outside of their immediate family (goodness knows I wanted someone other than my parents as a teen, haha)!

At Unbreakable Teen Me, we offer a safe space for your daughter to have a teen mentor. A woman she can look up to, go to for advice, and build her skills with. You can get to know any of our team members HERE (simply scroll to the bottom of the page).

When your daughter has chosen a potential teen mentor (therapist) she resonates with most, you can book a completely free consultation (Alberta, Canada residents) to ensure it’s a good fit. You can book your consultation with any of our team members here:

Find Your Daughter's Mentor Today

 

Love,
Chantal

 


Chantal Côté (she/her) is a psychologist and teen life coach living in Calgary, Alberta. After over a decade in non-profit and community mental health, Chantal started Pyramid Psychology, a practice dedicated to supporting teens – a population she is constantly amazed by. Chantal is on a mission to help 100,000 teen girls (and their parents) build bulletproof mindsets so they can weather the ups and downs of life. As part of this goal, Chantal has had the privilege of speaking at various events – virtual and live – to support teens and parents.

Outside of this passion, Chantal is often in nature, writing poetry, playing ball hockey and hanging out with her loved ones.

Each week, Chantal writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents and teens 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.

volunteering for teens

Volunteering for Teens: The Benefits, Barriers, and How-To’s

Volunteering for Teens: The Benefits, Barriers, and How-To’s

This blog will share the benefits, barriers, and how to’s when it comes to volunteering for teens.

As a teen, you can sometimes feel lonely or find it hard to connect with other people. Sometimes you want to make friends but find it challenging to meet people who we connect with. Sometimes you want more ties to people in your neighbourhood or city, but you don’t know where to start.  

One way to build community connections is by volunteering your time to a cause that you feel connected to. 

10 Benefits to In-Person Volunteering for Teens

  • Making friends and creating strong relationships 
  • Finding a mentor
  • Creating a sense of belonging  
  • Gaining confidence 
  • Increasing your emotional and physical well-being  
  • Having fun  
  • Expanding your social skills  
  • Feeling less isolated 
  • Learning hard and soft skills 
  • Future job reference 
volunteering for teens

Photo from Canva Pro

4 Perceived Barriers to Volunteering for Teens (and what to do about them):

#1 – I don’t have time. 

Surprisingly, volunteering time can make you feel as though you have more time. Studies show that when you give your time, you feel less time-constrained because you will learn how to manage your time better. (Also, since you spend this time developing ourselves it feels less like a task on our to-do list.)

#2 – I’m scared to meet new people.  

If you are with a group of people, pick one person that you would like to chat with and try to get to know them. After a while, focus your energy and time with a few more people and see how you feel. Continue to check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. Give yourself permission to step away if you are feeling overwhelmed or give yourself permission to continue talking to people if you’re feeling okay.  

Remember that going outside your comfort zone and feeling a bit uncomfortable is okay (as long as your safety is not at risk). You may soon learn how to walk toward the unknown. The more you can develop this skill the more you will train your mind to have greater psychological flexibility.

#3 – I don’t know what I am interested in.  

You may be pleasantly surprised that you know more about yourself than you think you do! Consider creating a list of things that you already enjoy doing and the soft and hard skills that you want to learn. Revisit the list after a day or so and write down what stands out to you. 

The fun part of volunteering is exploring and discovering what you like and do not like. Finding a volunteer opportunity that is the right fit is like finding your way on a hiking trail. The more you try, the better you get at

volunteering for teens

Photo from Canva Pro

navigating the trail and anticipating what comes next.

#4 – I don’t know where to start.  

Think of this as a process and focus less on the result. You may start to notice the fun that comes with exploring and testing things out.

Working through these questions can sometimes be easier with someone else. In private sessions with me, we can work through your choice to volunteer and the potential barriers or fears that may come up as a result. Alberta residents can book a free consultation with me here:

Book A Free Consultation

 

The next section provides tips on how to go about starting to find a volunteer opportunity. 

Volunteering for Teens: How To Find The Right Opportunity

It can take a few attempts before finding a volunteering opportunity that is right for you. Think of this as if you’re on a trip and exploring the things around you. The community is your playground, and you are the explorer. 

There are many ways to explore on your journey towards finding a volunteer opportunity and making community connections: online (ex. VolunteerConnector.org), your current friend/family networks, school billboard or

teacher, calling organisations that interest you, social media, etc. 

Considerations to Volunteering for Teens:

1. Communicate with your parents – Sometimes parents have great ideas and can support our efforts!

volunteering for teens

Photo from Canva Pro

2. Your personal values –  Seek opportunities and organisations that align with your personal values. If you need help with exploring your personal values Brene Brown’s list of values could get you started.

3. Social diversity and inclusivity – Ask yourself, does the organisation seek to create an environment that allows volunteers from all walks of life to succeed and meaningfully contribute? Is the organisation inclusive of diversity – race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, abilities, etc.?

Learning the value of diversity, understanding different perspectives and life experiences, and working with people who have different ideas have many benefits. It helps us learn more about ourselves and our community, understand how to relate to others who a different from ourselves, and much more.

4. Your interests and volunteer goals – See above for practical tips.

5. Time commitment and location – Is the location accessible to you? Is it close to your home or school? Will you be driving, getting a ride, or taking the bus?  These are all important factors to take into account.

6. Schedule and frequency Do the volunteer shifts align with your schedule or does this overlap with other commitments? Is the frequency of the volunteer opportunity in line with the time you have available?

 

Volunteering for Teens in Calgary, Alberta:

volunteering for teens

Photo from Canva Pro

If you are in Calgary, hundreds of organisations in our city are looking for volunteers. Here are a couple of organisations that are looking for teen volunteers: 

Volunteering is a great way to build relationships in your community. It has been something that I have engaged in throughout my life and have benefited so much from! It’s helped me to create strong friendships, learn more about myself, and build strong community connections.

You do not have to navigate friendships, community, and volunteering by yourself. That is what I am here for! I offer affordable therapy ($40 per session) in Calgary, Alberta (online appointments available to Alberta residents). If you’re ready to create community, let’s chat:

Book Your Free Consultation

Let me know how your journey is going and if you have any questions! 

Fazilah Shariff MSW, MHA, RSW

 

 

 


Is your teen having challenges navigating their current circumstances? Do you want your teen to obtain the skills and tools they need to navigate the peaks and valleys that come their way?

Are you looking for someone who can support your teen to step into their spotlight, have great relationships, and find their confidence? I speak teen. My strength is connecting with and relating to teenagers. I strive to provide a balance of learning and laughter during my sessions. Teens need a coach and therapist who they can trust to talk to about the hard stuff in their lives.

I work with teens from a range of life experiences and backgrounds. My specialities include working with teens who identify as BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of colour) and/or LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, and more).

I have a Master of Social Work and a Master of Health Administration. I am also a Registered Social Worker. I have worked across the healthcare sector and served on numerous boards of directors for not-for-profit organizations.

how to be a good friend

How to Be A Good Friend (for Teen Girls)

How to Be A Good Friend (for Teen Girls)

Teen girls often talk about how other people in their lives should be a good friend. And yet you often seclude yourselves from the same expectation. (Adults do this too). WHY? Bet when you are pointing the finger to others 3 fingers point right back at cha! Now how can you be better at this friend thing in life?

Here are the top 3 ways I have discovered to be a good friend. Things I have learned through life experience and working with families and teen girls:

(If you already know this is an area you would like support in, know that I pride myself on my holistic approach to caring for your mental health. I come from a trauma informed background that looks through an intersectional lense to give you services that meet your needs. Alberta residents can book a free consultation with me below).

Book A Free Consultation

How to Be A Good Friend Strategy #1: Self Compassion

how to be a good friend

Photo by Hala Al-Asadi on Unsplash

It all starts with you… Everything starts with the self. You!  How do you treat yourself? Do you treat yourself with care, love and support? If you are overly critical towards yourself, you may have a tendency of being overly critical with others. What would treating yourself with compassion mean or look like? And from there how can you extend the same level of grace to others? What would being more curious mean than being judgmental?

Note: this does not mean tolerating disrespect, being bullied, pressured or allowing others to flake on you. Extending grace and tolerating being mistreated are different things.

 

How to Be A Good Friend Strategy #2: Authenticity

Do you show up as your true authentic self? Or is there some sort of code switch in order to fit in? What’s the worst that could happen if you showed up as you? People might no longer like you or be friends with you. Well they were not your friends to begin with. I mean who hates authenticity? Someone’s true self without blinds and folders.

Being your authentic true self does not mean opening yourself up to everyone. It means being able to show up as you, the person in the mirror, flaws and all, embracing your complete sense of humanity – being imperfectly perfect.

Your life and existence is not a performance. Show up as you and the world and everything else will adjust. Your self-worth is not tied to other people’s views or expectations of you. It’s an independent construct so treat it as such. You are worth it just because you are.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

 

 

How to Be A Good Friend Strategy #3: Communication

What’s your communication style like? Is it your way or the highway? Is there room to hear each other out, ask for space when needed, or carry on with the

conversation at a later time?  Do you socially and emotionally distance yourself when things get hard or when you don’t get your way? How do you find your way in life?

I would be curious to know why you respond the way you do to the above questions.  Are there other alternatives to your current responses? If so, what could they be?

What does healthy and effective communication look like to you?

At the end of the day it takes two to tango, including yourself. So you are not exempt from communicating. TA DAAA! What a surprise, hey?

Are you jumping into conclusions or do you make space to ask for clarity in order to avoid assumptions and confusion?

I want you to know this is not a personal attack. This is simply a personal reflective practice or journal entry you can engage in. Even for myself as I write this, I am holding space for my triggers (cringe).

how to be a good friend

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

If you want to dive further into this exercise, here are a few more questions:

  • Are you assertive with your boundaries…. being able to express or communicate your needs and wants and also allowing space and room for others to do the same?
  • Is there space to hold feelings, have difficult conversations, and resolve conflict? Or people are no longer good because they made a mistake?
  • Do you respect your boundaries and those of others? Are you vengeful and passive in your setting of boundaries or do you create them in order to take care of yourself and keep the relationship strong?
  • Is there room for accountability, empathy and constructive criticism for growth? 

 

If these questions brought things up for you, felt like an attack, or made you react defensively, there is something there for you to work on. I offer a neutral, quiet space to work through your triggers here. Book your free consultation with me here:

Book A Free Consultation

Just remember, the most important thing:

Be the friend you want to have. 

Love,

Chipo

Register Social Worker offering counseling for teen girls


I am a registered social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work with a major in psychology from the university of the Western Cape, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work specialization with individuals, families, and groups from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I note the different intersectionalites that come into play, and I have adapted myself to understanding the effects thereof. I pride myself in working from a holistic and integrative approach using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and intersectional lenses in rendering services.

I am grounded by embracing my full humanness-being imperfectly perfect. My faith, family and friendships carry me through life and its happenings. I find being in nature very healing and so is savouring moments. When not working, I love to engage in some fitness, going on walks, journaling, catching up on Korean series, city adventures and reading for pleasure. I also believe in allowing my inner child come out sometimes through art, dancing, building sand castles you name it.

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

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

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How is back-to-school going, and the teen friendships that come with it?

There are a plethora of things to think about: What are your teachers going to be like? Are you in the same classes as your friends? Did you get the elective you wanted? Will you be able to stay motivated and keep your grades up this year? What are you going to wear on the first day? and… Will that giant stress pimple that decided to show up two days ago disappear from your forehead before the first day?!

That’s a lot to think about. I hope you’re managing ok. As a teen girl, I had mixed feelings about the start of school each year. I was always looking forward to hanging out with my friends, couldn’t wait to get a few new pieces of clothing, and I had a bit of a thing for nice stationary. In fact, a lot of a thing- I even got a job at Staples because of it! I also felt kind of stressed. All this stuff can pile up in your brain, but there’s one that can really make or break a school year and that is TEEN FRIENDSHIPS.

Would you agree?

I mean I’m not saying teen friendships are the only thing to worry about of course. And I’m not saying you should measure your happiness based on your friendships this school year. Let’s be honest, friends are human…. So they can be fickle, moody, change their tastes, change their minds, and well um…. Change just in general.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” and someone else once said “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”. Although you aren’t totally defined and influenced by only 5 people in your life, there is some truth to these statements.

Think about friends who start to kind of dress alike. Best friends who like the same music, watch some of the same shows, laugh at the same kind of humour, back up the same social movements. It’s great to have people who get you. Teen friendships that have your back.

7 Questions to Ask About Teen Friendships

I want to share with you 7 questions that you can ask yourself as a bit of a litmus test to help you see if your current friendships are solid.

(Note: These questions were Inspired by a fun quiz on Kids Help Phone).

Teen Friendships Question #1: Can I be myself?

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

If you can speak openly and honestly and really feel like you are being You around your friend(s) – this is a good sign. If you need to change or filter out a lot of what you’d like to say, you are probably not able to be your real self around this person. This is a red flag.

Teen Friendships Question #2: Do we listen to what each other has to say?

Listening includes not interrupting, hearing what matters to each person, leaving the judgy comments out so you actually feel like it’s ok to share things that are important to you. It’s not a 50/50 split most of the time, but if you feel like you are not being heard and that what you have to say doesn’t matter, pay attention to this.

Teen Friendships Question #3: Do I feel appreciated? Do I appreciate them?

Are there things about your friend that you really like? If you find yourself cheering them on to succeed in things and they are doing the same for you, that sounds like a solid friendship. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time feeling jealous and resentful for things going their way or if it’s the other way around- caution- this may not be the best friendship for you

Teen Friendships Question #4: Do we fight fair?

Friends don’t always get along. That’s the nature of relationships. When you are disagreeing or in a conflict with your friend, do you take some time to think it

Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

through? Do you talk it out? Do you cool off and speak up for yourself and allow your friend to do the same? If so, these are the conflict resolution skills of a good friendship. Do you say hurtful things to their face or behind their back? Do you spread rumours? Attack them on social media? Not the best friendship patterns emerging here.

Teen Friendships Question #5: Can I be honest and trusting?

It’s ok to not like the same things or see eye to eye on everything. If you can share a different perspective and trust that your friend will still be a friend, this is good news. If you tread lightly because you fear being the centre of gossip or outcasted from the group or have become a Yes person to appease, it might be time to rethink this friendship.

Teen Friendships Question #6: Are we there for each other?

You don’t have to share all your secrets with your friend(s), but it is important to have someone who wants to help and be there for you when you’re having a tough time. Likewise, if you want to help and be there for them, even if you don’t always know how and what to say- this is definitely good friendship territory. If your friend seems annoyed any time you bring something up that has a smidge of problem to it or you find yourself not caring that much what happens to them when they’re struggling- this might be get-out-of-the-friendship territory. Here’s another thing to consider- if your friendship is one-sided, where you (or the other person)

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

feels like they’re putting in way more effort than the other one, that’s not usually the best situation for a solid friendship.

Teen Friendships Question #7: Do we have fun together?

Yes, because it is about Karaoking badly and inventing song lyrics about your classmates and putting food on each other’s faces for a game of guess what your “beauty mask” is made of….. Or not….maybe that was just me. It is about having fun. If this is a resounding YES. Keep having fun with this friend. If it is all drama all the time or just a one show pony of sadness, arguing, boredom, etc. It may be time to let this one go.

How did the litmus test go? Are your friends keepers?? You can also use this as a way of vetting new friends as you get to know them. Having great friendships, even if they don’t last forever, or become your ultimate best friend, makes a world of difference in having a great life and funny stories to tell.

Until next time.

Love,
Chantal

 


Chantal Côté (she/her) is a psychologist and teen life coach living in Calgary, Alberta. After over a decade in non-profit and community mental health, Chantal started Pyramid Psychology, a practice dedicated to supporting teens – a population she is constantly amazed by. Chantal is on a mission to help 100,000 teen girls (and their parents) build bulletproof mindsets so they can weather the ups and downs of life. As part of this goal, Chantal has had the privilege of speaking at various events – virtual and live – to support teens and parents.

Outside of this passion, Chantal is often in nature, writing poetry, playing ball hockey and hanging out with her loved ones.

Each week, Chantal writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents and teens 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.

My Teen Doesn’t Have A Lot of Friends – Should I Be Concerned?

I’ve had parents mention some concern about their teens only having 1 – 2 friends… Is this something to be concerned or worried about?

Having friends and changes in friendships are a very normal process for teens and their identity development – at different times we all have different people in our lives. Teens are going through that process right now, figuring out what type of people they want in their lives.

There are  some factors that may lean your teen towards wanting a small friend group. For example, if they are a little more introverted – or have introverted qualities – or maybe they feel most connected in close, intimate relationships.

I remember my middle school self – I got along well with a lot of my peers, but I really just had this one friend – she and I spent a ton of time together. She had this electric keyboard and we would hang out all weekend and write parody songs together. We had a blast! I just had the one close friend, really. And that was great for me.

So I think it depends on where your teen is at with having just one to two friends. If those two friendships are really close, good friendships, that makes a big difference.

Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

Questions to Ask

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when it comes to your teen’s friendships:

  • Does our teen enjoy spending time with their friend(s)?
  • Is your teen saying or are you noticing behaviours indicating they may want more friends?
  • Do they seem satisficed with their friend groups?

Whether your teen has lots of friends or just a few, there are other elements that are more important.

Other Things At Play

It’s important to recognize if this is a preference thing, or if there is something else at play. 

Does your teen need to work on social skills? Confidence?

Consider how this might be getting in their way of making friends. If these skills are missing or underdeveloped, it can be really challenging for teens to make or keep friends.

It is important not to assume here. Ask your teen about their friend group – get to know how they see their friendships and what they value about them. In lending a curious ear, you may learn more about whether this is a preference, or their way of bei

ng, or if there are underlying difficulties or challenges that are preventing them from making more friends? If you discover your teen is really shy and strugglin

g to with talking to others, check out this blog I wrote just for them: How to Get Past The Shy: 4 Conversation Tips for Teens.

Something to Think About

One thing to consider is asking yourself if your concern is something that is coming from a projection of your experience growing up, or something you experienced as a teen. It can be helpful to practice a little self-reflection on your own friendships growing up and how that might impact the way you view your teen’s friendships. It might also lend itself to having empathy for your teen’s friendship woes as they come up. What were your friendships like? What were some things that were difficult with relationships?

Check-in with yourself and see if there’s a bit of parallel with your own experiences when you were younger.

Love,
Chantal


If you found this post helpful, pass it on by emailing a friend or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook – thank you!

Chantal Côté, R.Psych, Pyramid Psychology – helping older children, teens, and young adults learn how to build bulletproof mindsets.

To connect, send an email to info@pyramidpsychology.com


 

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