Tips & Life Skills to Help Raise Happy Successful Teens

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Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are my own.

Is there a magic set of rules to follow in order to raise teens who are happy and successful? Definitely not. So much of parenting is allowing yourself to adjust, make mistakes, fess up to them, and try again. As a parent, you can get some great tips, conversation starters, and skills to work on as you enter into and grow through the teenaged years. A new (free) guide I found pulls many of these things together in one place. Backed by research (and our personal experience) The Allstate Foundation’s free ‘Happy, Successful Teens’ SEL Parent Guide includes great suggestions for helping teens build life skills.

Being a teenager has never been easy. I have 2 who will soon be considered adults and we’ve had so many amazing people pour into our lives over the years to help empower them by building and giving my teens skills to become happy and successful in life. There’s no official parenting handbook because every parent and every teen is different. There are things that can definitely help parents empower their teens and tips that point us in the right direction. The Allstate Foundation has pulled together a fantastic resource (one of the best and most helpful I’ve read in a while) doing just this and I just HAD to share it with you.

The Allstate Foundation’s free ‘Happy, Successful Teens’ SEL Parent Guide

To access and download your own guide (it’s really great for parents and teachers alike) just click HERE.

We’ve done many of the suggestions given in this guide over the years but learned some new ones as well. The Happy, Successful Teens SEL Parent Guide is easy to read but has SO many great suggestions and tips that you’re going to want to highlight the whole darn thing.

This guide focuses on social and emotional learning in order to give teens the tools you typically think of when defining a successful, well-rounded person – things like empathy, resilience, self-discipline, and confidence. The process of learning them is called social and emotional learning or SEL. SEL is how people understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

What’s in The Allstate Foundation’s free ‘Happy, Successful Teens’ SEL Parent Guide? What tips will you get?

The  Allstate Foundation’s Happy, Successful Teens SEL Parent Guide touches on:

  • Self-Awareness – Getting from “I’m not good at it” to “I’ll improve with practice”
  • Self-Management – keeping emotions in check
  • Social Awareness – dealing with “that’s not fair!”
  • Relationship Skills – creating strong and caring ties to self, family, and the community
  • Responsible Decision Making – giving them lots of chances to practice

The guide focuses on strong family connections but also gives practical takeaways, suggestions, and tools that you can implement in your home right away. For example, how to respond to your teens when they are frustrated or working through something, or open-ended questions to get conversations started. I love this quote from the guide – “We could all stand to listen more than we talk. Lecture less and ask more questions”.

In our house, we work a lot on self-management. What to do when you’re frustrated and how to react to different situations. We also allow them to be part of parenting in their social life which is mentioned in the guide. Things like having a say in curfews or how often to check-in along with helping decide appropriate consequences they have when they don’t abide by them.

“Kids can’t make wise decisions if they never have the chance to practice, and they won’t learn to choose wisely if they don’t experience the consequences for failing to do so. Give your teen the room and responsibility to make decisions that affect their daily life.”

Download the ‘Happy, Successful Teens’ SEL Parent Guide today. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, I bet you’ll find more than one really useful bit of information or practical takeaway that you can implement right away in your home or classroom.

This post was written as part of The Allstate Foundation and We Are Teachers SEL Parent Guide campaign and sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are mine. The Allstate Foundation empowers young people—and those that guide and teach them—with social and emotional skills to build character and transform lives. Learn more at


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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!

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