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5 Ways to Nurture a Teenager's Socio-Emotional Development

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Nov 20, 2022

5 Ways to Nurture a Teenager's Socio-Emotional Development

Many parents want to give their teen the best chances at life by giving them things such as a good education. However, there are other vital aspects, like the socio-emotional development of teens, that require attention.

Studies show that socio-emotional development of teens can affect a student’s success in school.

However, the idea of social-emotional development may be new to many parents. To help you out, here are some ways you can encourage socio-emotional development of teens.

Nurturing the Socio-Emotional Development of Teens

Show Affection

One of the best ways to start nurturing the socio-emotional development of teens is by showing affection. It is a simple thing to do, but doing it regularly can be extremely beneficial for both you and your child.

A lack of parental love and warmth can make a teenager feel stressed, especially if they feel a lot of pressure from their parents themselves, and from things like school.

Stress in children can have health risks that become apparent in adulthood. Luckily, love and affection could help balance that out and help a teenager feel happier and reduce those risks.

How to Show Affection

  • Establishing a nurturing environment is an excellent way to show your affection and love to your child. By having a nurturing environment, your child will feel more contained and safe, which means that they will feel like they are not bottling their feelings and thoughts up.
  • You can show your child that it is okay to talk about their feelings and express them. You can simply show them that it is alright by telling them or expressing yourself to them.
  • If something upset you, you can calmly find a way to explain what made you feel hurt about it and what can be done. You can also show your affection by telling them why you love them and when you are specifically proud of them.

Simple things can positively contribute to the socio-emotional development of teens.

Acknowledge Their Feelings

A vital part of the socio-emotional development of teens is developing emotional intelligence.

Acknowledging your children’s emotions is an easy way to make your children feel more secure and confident.

When you acknowledge their feelings instead of dismissing them, it could help them with their self-esteem.

A lot of teenagers feel shut down whenever they try to open up to other people, especially when they try to open up to adults.

When a teenager feels like their opinions and feelings do not matter, they are less likely to talk to people which can make them irritable and upset.

If they try to tell you about how they feel, allow them to explain and finish their statement, so you get the chance to understand and reassure them.

Give Them Space

It’s also important to know when to give them space and allow them to process their feelings

Fostering the social-emotional development of teens often involves helping them recognize their emotions.

This can greatly boost your relationship with them and their self-esteem. Those positive benefits can carry onto other relationships that they make.

For adolescents, they may not want to admit it, but they do crave parental approval.

Aside from acknowledging their feelings and opinions, help them name and process them, too.

Be an Example

Whether they know it or not, children and teens model a lot of their behavior based on their parents.

Therefore, it would be best to set a good example for your children. Your child may take notice of how you create relationships, how you take care of your relationships, how you deal with conflicts, and so on.

A simple yet effective way to lead by example is by showing courtesy and respect to other people. Having good manners and frequently using them will help your children see and learn from you, how to properly treat other people.

You can also tell your child about how you resolve problems and conflict in your own relationships.

Let Them Make Decisions

A lot of children have a fear of failure and may lack self-esteem when they feel like they cannot make decisions for themselves.

Children and teens may also feel like they may feel like they are not heard or considered when someone else makes all their decisions for them.

As we stated earlier, a child may feel like they have to bottle up their feelings if they feel constantly shut down. When they do not feel like they have control over some parts of their life, there is a higher chance they will suddenly “blow up” and not be able to cope with their emotions.

This can have a positive impact on the social-emotional development of teens because they can better understand and recognize their feelings and needs.

Key Takeaways

Showing your child love and affection can help enhance their self-esteem and confidence while helping them build better and stronger relationships. You may follow the advice above to help you nurture the  socio-emotional development of teens.

Learn more about parenting, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Nov 20, 2022

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