– Dr. RJ Jackson
Leading with Smile: Dr. Jackson Shares How to Empower Teenagers To Develop Their Confidence Even During The Most Challenging Of Times
As an Orthodontist, which traditionally specializes in outside smiles, Dr. RJ Jackson has spent most of his career helping teenagers smile on the inside too. He has created smiles on the inside by helping pre-teens and teenagers transform their happiness, motivation, and confidence. With social distancing due to the pandemic, our youth have struggled to maintain relationships. This lack of social interaction has caused a drastic decrease in their overall happiness and confidence. As a #1 International Best-Selling Author of, How to Train Your Superhero, Dr. Jackson’s focus has been in helping teens, and our youth develop their confidence even during the most challenging of times. He shares three tips with parents to help build their teen’s confidence during the pandemic and other challenging times:
Tip #1: Help them identify their inner Villain and build confidence.
Everyone has a villain. It is the voice in people’s head that tells them that “we are not good enough.” This villain is highly active in teenagers. If the teen has not discovered their Villain yet, then they may start to believe those words. Help the teen to identify their Villain by first describing it to them. R.J. shares that it is important for parents to share about their personal villain and how they first discovered it. Next, help them predict situations where their Villain will be the loudest, such as when they fail at something or when someone makes fun of them. Finally, help them combat their Villain by encouraging them to speak words that contradict their Villain’s words. So, if the teen’s Villain is saying, “You are not pretty enough,” then the teen will create an affirmation and verbally say, “I am beautiful.” Positive self-talk will ultimately increase their self-confidence.
Tip #2: Provide constructive feedback and implement consequences for action.
Try to avoid words that will devastate their confidence. Always focus on the action instead of the person.
Instead of saying, “I am taking your phone away because you are always lying about having your phone in your room,” try saying, “I understand that you enjoy talking to your friends at night, so when you receive your phone back, let us find a way where you can talk to your friends and make it to bed on time.”
Tip #3: Ask Questions That Compliment
Dr. Jackson shares with parents that as children will get older, parents’ compliments will have less of an impact on them. Although parents should still continue complimenting their teens, asking questions that allow them to praise themselves will significantly impact their overall confidence. So instead of only saying, “Great job on your test!” try asking, “What specifically about you do you feel is the reason you made an A on your exam?”
Dr. Jackson is hopeful that these three tips will help parents support their teens to gain confidence, bring out a positive attitude, and help them smile from the inside out.