There’s no doubt that teenagers in today’s society have constant demands on them to look and act a certain way. Social media has opened up a whole new world of seemingly living a “perfect life” and teens can easily get sucked into that obscure version of reality. After all, it’s easy to post a picture showing a very small section of your life while hiding the mess in the bigger picture.
Build Confidence in Teens
Therefore, it’s important that we foster self-love and confidence in our teens at home. That we instill self-esteem early on so they can counter any hate that may come their way. The teen years are critical times for their growing bodies and minds, and we, as their parents, should be helping them build their sense of self. Here are 5 ways to build confidence in teens:
Be Intentional with Praise
From the moment kids begin to move on their own, they can become accustomed to hearing the word, “no.” We want them to learn not to touch certain objects, do things, or say bad words. In a world where they are constantly told what not to do, be sure you counter those rules with praise. Focus on the development of new skills and or the effort they exerted rather than the outcome. Also, as you praise your child for how they look, be sure to not put all the emphasis of your praise solely on appearance.
We all fail at some time or another. We need to not only allow our children to make mistakes and to fail, but to accept those flaws as part of who they are. To let them know that even though they may have struggled with a project or failed at sports, they are still loved and accepted. You can guide them to strive to become better and to be persistent while still showing acceptance and love.
As parents, we often try to micromanage our children. This only reinforces the idea that they can not be trusted to make their own decisions. Therefore, allow them the freedom to play a part in decision making. Provide opportunities for your teen to practice decision-making skills, and don’t be afraid to let them fail now and then. Understanding their choices come with consequences further develops their confidence and life application skills in this area.
When conflict arises, we often look for someone to blame. We want to be able to point fingers and let someone else know they hurt our feelings. But, we need to teach our teens that they are responsible for their own actions and feelings. Although you can let your child know how you feel in a situation, don’t place the blame on them. Be willing to have an open discussion with them and support them as needed. Knowing they are accepted and heard can greatly affect their self confidence.
As our teens begin to “come into their own” and develop their own passions, we need to encourage their dreams. Be their biggest fan and be proactive in supporting their goals. At the same time, teach them to look others in the eye, stand up for themselves, and to walk away from bad situations. When your teen feels as though they have your support and can see your confidence shining through, they have a better understanding of what confidence looks like and are more likely to be more successful in portraying it themselves.
The bottom line? Love your teens no matter how they want to dress or what dreams they want to pursue. They may act like the last thing they want/need from their parents, but, in the end, I think we all know that isn’t always true.