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Teaching Your Teen: The Two Crucial Concepts of Esteem and Control – Guest Dr. Laura Padilla-Walker. Episode 14

Our conversation this week was with Doctor Laura Padilla-Walker.  Dr. Padilla-Walker is a professor in the  School of Family Life and the Associate Dean of the College of Family Home and Social Sciences at Brigham Young University. Her research focuses on the influence of parenting and media on adolescents’ positive and moral development. She teaches classes on parenting, moral development, and adolescent development.

We talked with Dr. Padilla-Walker about teenagers and what parents can do to help them as they advance toward adulthood.  Dr. Padilla-Walker focused on two crucial developments as teens head into these foundational years: fostering self-control and self-esteem.  We explored ways for parents to be positive and patient as they help teens to develop these bedrock traits.

Much of what we discussed is taken from an article in the Fall 2016 issue of BYU magazine entitled “Building the Teenage Self.”

In our interview we touched upon topics including:

  • How teens develop self-control and steps parents can take to encourage it.
  • Defining self-control and explaining its importance in teenage growth.
  • How self-control relates to self-esteem.
  • The Flourishing Families Study, which Dr. Padilla-Walker participated in.
  • Combating the teenage stereotype with research-proven norms in brain function and emotional behavior.
  • How parents can show support and love without enabling bad behaviors.
  • How letting teens struggle through their challenges is important to their growth.
  • How praise, in excessive amounts, can harm teens.  What parents can do to show love and approval in ways that will benefit their kids.

MOM SQUAD CHALLENGE:  Try to find something positive in each of your family members, including yourself, and express it.


For those interested in reading the brief of the Flourishing Families Study entitled “Flourishing During the Teen Years: Why ‘Not Being Bad’ Isn’t Good Enough” a PDF attachment is available here:

Flourishing Teens Brief_9_14_Revision

You can contact Dr. Padilla-Walker at her email:


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