Most parents try to combat teenage insecurities by telling their children that they are lovable and perfect just the way they are. This doesn't work. The truth is that we all have to earn our own self-worth, and parents need to teach children the skills to do this.
When our teenagers feel awkward, we tell them that who they are is enough. We tell them that they should love themselves exactly as they are. We tell them they are perfect.
And, yet, they don’t believe us. They feel like outcasts. They worry that they are not enough. They wonder what is wrong that they do not love themselves. They even feel guilty for not loving themselves.
And here is why: The truth is that we all have to earn our own self-worth. If your teenagers want to feel worthy and lovable, they have to believe that they are living up to their own standards of worthiness and lovability. They have to earn their own love. Believing that they should love themselves is not enough. They must decide what...