Teenagers need to ACHIEVE things--real things. If they are not given tons of real things to achieve, they will achieve fake/shallow things ...go get another tattoo, play another video game. Teenagers need to have their identity strengthened via substantive achievement. They need gobs of approval for real accomplishments. Here are some areas for doing this:
Exercise: topping yesterday's personal best
Speeches: stand tall on a stool and deliver a one-minute speech on anything. Do one a day; put topics in a hat--he draws one out and speaks on it. Topics might be ketchup, crime, how sandwiches are made, how to clean up one's room. Ge can expostulate and iterate on most any topic, for a full minute--with everyone watching and clapping at the end. (For more ideas, read our booklet, Learn to Speak with Ease.)
Ever progressing on piano ...youtube it...because practice uses up time PRODUCTIVELY becoming something better than you were i.e. an eventual ego booster. Have him or her work through our self-taught, easy-to-do Quick Piano course.
Inventions and problem solving over a practical project. Fix these wheels, adjust that brake cable, repair a door hinge, clean out the drain pipe under the kitchen sink....
Woodworking.-- shop kinds of things. My hubby made a little stool/table in 9th grade and to this day is still proud of it. My brother made a wooden chess board and was way proud of it. My cousin built a chest out of aspen wood.
Fixing one meal a month, or a week, perhaps (if necessary and allowable, budget-wise) using one of those delivered-to-your-door meal preparation boxes.
Writing the story of his life so far....
You get the point...anything that builds the IDENTITY with real substance, not trivia. Real accomplishments and WORK can't be beat for building ego stability.
For further ideas for teenagers, order our book for Savvy Teens.