Sometimes teens protect their egos with the word “no.” They figure that if they never try anything, they can’t mess up. So they say no to every offer that comes along. That seems especially true if the offer comes from their parents!

If this sounds like your teen, you may want to seek help from another trusted adult. It is often more difficult for teens to refuse an adult who is not Mom or Dad. Your teen may be willing to take a risk for another adult that she would not take for you. She may say yes just because she does not want to appear rude.

Maybe a relative or close friend could ask your teen to take care of her children for an afternoon. Being asked to babysit is actually a compliment. It means you are someone a parent trusts with what is most precious to them.

Is your teen interested in a sport, but refuses to try? Perhaps she could help the coach as an assistant or a scorekeeper. Do you attend a house of worship? Perhaps a clergy person could ask your teen to join the youth group or teach Sunday school.

It doesn’t really matter what the activity is. The only important thing is for your teen to see that someone in a position of respect has confidence in her.

Knowing someone has confidence in her and trusts her is bound to improve her self-esteem. Sometimes this comes easier if that “someone” comes from outside the family.

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