Shamed teenage young man leaning against wall

Shame In Teens

By guest author
Licensed Christian Counselor
Specialist in Christian Counseling for Teens
Life Training Christian Counseling

As a Christian counselor for teens, I often interact with teens who are being raised by shame-fueled parenting. These individuals lack the ability to allow themselves to be imperfect, resulting in self-hatred and inner disappointment. As these teens begin to look at the possibility of their future after high school, they either look to please others with their career choices or refuse to believe they can be successful due to their past mistakes. It is still possible for parents to make a change to pour into these yearning souls and give them tools to move forward.

Is’t Okay For Parents To Ask For Help For Their Teen

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

Step one in helping the children to leave behind their shame cycles is for their parents to first seek help. Sin no longer has a hold on an individual who is made new in Christ. They are viewed by the Father as fully covered by the blood of Jesus. That step is taken care of immediately. Yet, the process of healing from old wounds and breaking old habits takes time. If your unhealed wounds have caused you to parent from a place of shame, know God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). Take steps toward growth in yourself; seek counseling, find a church group, begin developing your own relationship with God. As you grow and heal, you will be able to lead your children to do the same by acknowledging your faults and minimizing the continued hurts while they heal.

Teach Them About God’s Grace

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:1-2

Step two in helping these teens leave behind their shame cycle is to teach them about God’s grace. This world is heavy on everyone having accountability for their actions. The “eye for an eye” attitude flows thick in our veins.

Our decisions still have consequences. But understanding grace is accepting that eternally the consequences of our sins have been paid for by the cross. Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). My mistakes no longer define my value nor my ability to learn. God’s grace gives us the freedom to LEARN from the bad things we’ve done. There is HOPE and REDEMPTION in Christ. Begin applying this in your home. Absolutely provide consequences to teach your children how to make good decisions. Then, allow your teens to move past the incident. Do not bring up past offenses and throw them in their faces when they have failed or made you angry. These teens stuck in shame cycles are going to require encouragement to forgive themselves for their pasts. Choose to speak hope and love into their hearts as they navigate accepting God’s grace for themselves.

Teach Them To Listen To The Conviction Of The Holy Spirit

“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

John 16:8-11

Step three in helping these adolescents leave behind their shame cycles is to teach them how to listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. For someone stuck in shame, it is difficult to know when the Lord is trying to redirect them because all criticism sounds like condemnation. Help your teen grow in their understanding of scripture. Nurture their prayer life and encourage them to be still. Teach them of God’s mercy in His correction and provision of opportunities to grow. As they grow in their understanding of God’s character, they will grow in their willingness to accept His direction. The Lord’s love will create the safe space necessary to release them from their shame.

Counseling For Teens Helps Them Deal With Shame

Kayla Wright joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky in May of this year. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of  Teens and pre-teens.

Kayla is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association. She possesses an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky. She is highly skilled in teenage substance abuse counseling and teenage depression counseling.

Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky. She also offers online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our Counseling for teens and pre-teens in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at

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