”7 WAYS TO ENCOURAGE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEEN” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
Kids who soar through elementary and intermediate school with a seeming fearlessness can become timid and unconfident when they reach their teenage years. It can be a shocking transition for parents. To help your teen build up their self-esteem and feel better about their mind and body, try a few of the strategies below. The encouragement you provide them can create positive changes that last long after their teen years.
Focus on Rewarding the Efforts, Not the Results
While it’s easy to look at the outcome first and talk about that, instead it’s better to pay attention to the effort that your teen put into a project. That’s true whether it’s school-related or not. For example, they might have auditioned for the class play. If they didn’t get the lead role like they wanted, avoid making that the focus. Instead, praise your son or daughter on how hard they practiced their lines at home and how much courage it took to stand on the stage and say them aloud in front of people. By taking this approach as a parent, your teen will learn that if they don’t succeed it won’t be the end of their existence. They are more likely to try new opportunities when they come, and you will encourage them to do so when they are healthy safe choices.
Be a Confident Parent
While you might not always be sure of yourself, your child doesn’t need to know that. Help them stand strong by showing that you are a confident person. Whether you realize it or not, your teenager looks up to you. They admire you and likely want to emulate what they see in you. They are also likely struggling with body-image issues and feeling self-conscious. It is important that you have confidence in who you are even if you don’t always feel it. If you do not have self-esteem it will be hard for them to understand what self-esteem is and to feel good about themselves.
Take Them to an Orthodontist
If your teen feels self-conscious about their teeth, they likely avoid smiling. They might avoid social situations because they worry that their peers will judge them based on their misaligned teeth. That can severely impact their self-esteem. If they express a desire to get braces, look at orthodontistemontreal.com to book an appointment or find out more about their services. Braces or Invisalign clear aligners can adjust crooked teeth, so they straighten. This process could improve their quality of life.
Take Them to a Dermatologist
Remember the acne years? I had severe acne on my chin and around my nose when I was going through puberty. Oh the joys of hormones! My mom was so great to take me to the dermatologist after we tried so many things at home to fix this epic breakout. It didn’t take much time for my skin to clear up (well as much as a teenagers skin can clear up) and helped boost my self esteem.
Give Them Some Freedom
If you don’t let your teenager make mistakes, they won’t build their life skills and risk being emotionally devastated in the future if they fail at something. However, you worry about giving them too much freedom. It’s important to provide them some freedom while still ensuring you know what’s going on and can help to guide them. If they try something and it doesn’t work out how they planned, then have a discussion with them about how they could get a more positive outcome next time. Of course, make sure they understand safe and healthy choices especially avoiding smoking, drugs, or binge-drinking.
Get Excited about Social Activities
At your daughter or son’s high school, what extracurricular activities are available? Do the community centers nearby offer classes? Get them involved, if they’re not already. Joining sports teams or another activity will help to improve a teen’s confidence level. They will learn about successes, failures, how to socialize, and how to maintain friendships. Encourage them to pursue something that they genuinely like doing, rather than what’s popular right now. That way they will start to learn more about themselves and might even one day build a career from that hobby. When they go off to college, they might already know what they want to do with the rest of their lives, which is exciting for any parents to see!
Welcome Their Positive Friendships
When you see your child making friends with those who encourage them and make them feel good be sure to mention that you like seeing that. Not saying anything could mean that your teen doesn’t realize there are relationships that can be unhealthy. Support their social time but also teach them responsibility and teach about how who you spend time with reflect on who you are as well. For example, give them a curfew and have reasonable repercussions if they do not follow house rules.
Seek Help, if Needed
If your teenager has severe low moods and no self-confidence, they might be dipping into depression. If this is the case, they might need the help of a professional, such as a counselor. Another option is to encourage them to talk with a family member. If you’re not sure if it’s time for this step or not, ask yourself if they are having trouble functioning at school or doing basic things like maintaining good hygiene. Sometimes kids might feel extremely down and you will not be able to detect it because they might be hiding their feelings. By getting them to talk about their feelings, they can release pent-up emotions and start to feel better about themselves and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Always check in with them and encourage them through life. You never know what is going on within their hearts and they need to know they are loved and wanted.
Raising a More Confident Teenager
Perhaps the best advice is to love your child unconditionally. This does not mean to be an enabler for bad behavior though. They will not always make the same decisions as you but, hopefully, they will learn from mistakes and you will teach each other a lot over the years. Have open, honest conversations and let them know that you are available when they want to talk about anything troubling them.
Confident and resilient teens are those who feel good about themselves, have energy, and can handle stressful scenarios or setbacks. Having a good sense of self-esteem can help teens make responsible decisions and build the life skills that they will take with them into adulthood. Remind them too that you are there when they need you and even if you don’t look at situations the same way you will respect one another. The opinion you offer them could make a difference that is positive and bring you closer together. As a parent, do your best to guide them, be a positive role model, and encourage their efforts. If you feel unable to help them, then speak with their teacher, a counselor, family member, or someone else you trust about what to do.
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/