As a parent, all the milestones pass so quickly: The first birthday, walking, talking, homemade mother’s day cards. Each step you are there to guide and protect. Before I could blink an eye, high school has arrived. I am now officially the mom of a freshman. It is a time when a little separation begins to occur and parental input is not as quickly accepted. It is a time of seeking independence yet definitely wanting to blend in. Through constant communication via Snapchat and other tools, the girls know ahead of time what to wear, who will be there, where to meet, etc. Perfectly coordinated to not stand out in the crowd. That same technology also creates an almost unobtainable sense of perfection. They can photoshop away imperfections to project a perfect image in their digital worlds. In the real world of meeting face to face, it is not so easy. So as breakouts and skin imperfections begin to occur, teens struggle with the fact that they can’t just erase them immediately. In most cases, the first step is to cover them up or withdraw which can make the issue worse. Mom is often the last person from whom they will take advice, especially if it is perceived as a lecture or they are being told what to do. My friends and I have experimented to find more effective ways to help our daughters attain skin health and regain their self esteem. Here are some of the best to date:
- Buy a short two to three step product regimen and, while they are away, leave it on their bathroom counter with instructions taped on to their mirror. They are more likely to try it if you aren’t around.
- Time for a skin coach. Have an independent 3rd party talk to them. (Isn’t it funny how they will listen to someone else’s advice??): Schedule a time for a teen consultation with a skin care expert or over the Web via Skype or FaceTime
- Lead by example. Make your skin health a priority. Let your daughter see you taking the time morning and night to cleanse, apply antioxidants and sunscreen. She will eventually follow your example.
Most importantly, be ready to listen if your child comes to you. Let them know you are there to help and while it takes time to resolve, being consistent with a routine is the key to success. Don’t dismiss it as ” just a phase” or “something you will outgrow” because at this moment it is critically important to them. Your listening will signal your support!