A strong social support system is critical for teens to maximize their potential and achieve their goals. Let’s face it, life is tough for teenagers and that can sometimes make it difficult to set and achieve goals.

They’re dealing with many new things, such as puberty, body issues, fitting in, experimentation with drugs & alcohol, exploring their own sexuality, and balancing the line between “following the rules” and exploring their own individuality. That’s an awful lot of stuff to be dealing with on their own. Social support systems can play a protective role, and not only help reduce stress, but also provide support and encouragement for any goals and plans the teenager may have.

It is also important to have multiple levels of support, from different people. If you have only one person supporting you through difficult times, you may wear that person out, or feel unsupported if that person is unavailable. It’s better for everyone if you have at least a few people to depend on.

Here are three of the most important groups that teens can turn to for support and encouragement in the formulation and execution of their goals.

Parents: It’s been proven that teen parents who live with their parents or relatives are more likely to return to school, to graduate from high school and to be employed. It’s also been proven that teens who involve their parents in their lives and decision making are much more likely to stay out of trouble and make better choices in life. In other words, teens that have the proper support are much more likely to set and meet goals and achieve greater levels of success in their lives than teens that are disconnected or estranged from their parents

Social groups: It’s important that teens get out there and socialize with other like-minded teens. Whether it’s organized sports, a band, or club, teens connect best with other teens. Much of teenage “angst” comes from one feeling “alone” and misunderstood. Spending time with other teens will help them share trials and tribulations, not feel alone, as well as allow each other to nurture their goals and dreams.

If a teen is lonely and having trouble finding a group or activity to get involved with, they can join gym, volunteer to help the disabled or underprivileged, get a pet, join an online social network, join a sports team or find a group of their choosing on “Meet Up.com.”

Social workers: Sometimes friends or family don’t have all the answers, and it’s wise to consult a professional. There are many different kinds of professionals, including guidance counselors, cognitive behavioral therapists, and psychologists. Another popular choice is for teens to get involved with a life coach. Life coaches specialize in helping people set goals and map out the path required to achieve them. They have specialized skills that help teens understand their problems, needs, wants and goals and can often help disenfranchised teens get a new outlook on their lives and their ambitions.

Proper support systems in integral to a teen succeeding in life, and it’s important for a teens to foster strong relationships with their parents, get involved with social groups and if necessary, get the proper help they need from a social worker, guidance councilor or life coach.

Need some help understanding how a strong social support network can help your teen achieve their goals? Visit www.lifecoachintoronto.com and learn how Toronto Life Coach and Mentor, Ivana Pejakovic can help motivate your teens to achieve their goals.

Author's Bio: 

Ivana Pejakovic, MA, is a Life Coach working with teens as they make their own journey in life. Sometimes, with distractions all around us, we accidently or intentionally step off the road to self-discovery only to end up disoriented, confused and unhappy. Teens are particularly likely to step off the right path as they search for their true self and a place to fit.

Through the principles of self-love and self-awareness, Ivana helps her clients experience fulfilment and balance, as she guides them to develop a healthy attitude and a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem. She aims for her clients to understand their true worth and potential, to focus on what matters, and to help them develop goals and a vision to guide them in a direction that is right for them. For more information visit www.lifecoachintoronto.com