Orthodontist-turned-teen-life-coach, Dr. RJ Jackson has dedicated his life to helping young people create authentic smiles from the inside out. For nearly 10 years, Dr. Jackson has worked with more than 1,000 teens and their parents, helping them to build confidence and motivation and overcome struggles like depression and anxiety. In addition to his coaching practice, Dr. Jackson is host of “A Teen’s Perspective: Helping Parents See the Future,” a top-15 parenting podcast and is the author of two books. His latest, “Parenting Happy Teens: It’s an Inside Job” was just published. For more information, visit www.drrjjackson.com.

Dr. RJ recently released a new book: Parenting Happy Teens: It’s An Inside Job, aimed at giving parents the tools to help their teen be confident, self-motivated, resilient and happy. In the book he includes tips for parents such as:

How to help your teen choose thoughts that lift them up, not tear them down.

-Positive thoughts can help us thrive. They speak joy, love, happiness, forgiveness, and other good things. When these thoughts affect our behavior, our mind grows. Positive thoughts make us feel good about ourselves and good about our life. Negative thoughts do the opposite. “Inner Villains” are the voices in our heads that tell us we are not enough.

-When teens begin to understand how their subconscious thoughts can sabotage them, they realize how thoughts become beliefs that reinforce feelings of “not enough-ness.” Next we want our teens to identify the nature of these Inner Villains so they can see them for what they really are—thoughts or beliefs that may not be true and don’t support them.

-Identifying Inner Villains empowers teens to understand why they sometimes say or do things they don’t feel so good about later. The next step is to support teens in learning to separate the thoughts they want to keep from the thoughts that drag them down and tell them they are not enough.

Here is the process that Dr. RJ walks his teens through and encourages parents to practice with their teens:

-Pause and notice when you are feeling happy or unhappy.

-Twice a day, write down those thoughts.

-Pick one thought to work on.

-Practice changing negative thoughts into positive ones.

Ways to improve your communication with your teen:

-Ask questions out of curiosity;

-Listen with attention, silence, and patience

-Pause and stay calm in moments of high-level emotions

Seven phrases your teenager should regularly hear from you:

“I’m here for you.”

“Will you forgive me?”

“I love you.”

“Give it a go!”

“I believe in you.”

“I’d like to know more about how you did that.”

“I’m proud of you.”

You can find more on Dr RJ Jackson by going to DrRjJackson.com

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