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5 ways to help your teenager gain confidence

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Adolescence is like a twilight zone, because your child is no longer a child, but also not an adult. Most adolescents are confused, insecure, and unconscious of themselves. But as a parent, you can help your teenager gain, develop and strengthen self-confidence. Remember: the way you make a child today will affect the course of his whole future life. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop self-esteem and adequate self-esteem in him.

What is self confidence?

It is no secret that self-confidence is the most important key to success in life. Self-confidence is what a person feels, perceiving himself, this is his positive assessment of his abilities and capabilities.

  • Self-confidence affects how a person acts publicly, in people.
  • It also clearly reflects the actions and behavior of a person.
  • A healthy sense of self-confidence plays an important role in shaping your personality.
  • The positive development of a sense of self-confidence directly affects the degree of human happiness.

Why does a teenager need self-confidence?

Self-confidence gives a teenager the opportunity to boldly face all the problems and uncertainties of life, as well as better overcome all disappointments, ups and downs.

  • Relationships, emotions, peer pressure, competition, and high expectations can seriously shake a teenager's self-confidence.
  • Positive self-esteem helps him achieve his aspirations and goals in life.
  • Self-esteem helps a teenager to establish interconnection and relationships, to become a happy and internally strong person.

The role of parents in adolescent self-confidence

The role of parents is most important in adolescent self-confidence. Your support is able in the long run to help a teenager form his own personality.

  • The teenager is most affected by your actions and words.
  • The way you relate to him, and the way you teach him to relate to himself, directly affects his level of self-confidence.
  • The way you relate to a teenager sets the criteria for other people to relate to him!

Ten tips on how to enhance a teenager's sense of self-confidence

In adolescence, the child transforms into an adult. And only the parents have the necessary tools that can help him go through this sensitive process (for example, patience and perseverance). The following are some of the simplest and most helpful tips on how to develop your teenager’s self-confidence.

1. Show respect for the teenager. Do not forget that before you is no longer a child, but an almost adult person, and therefore he deserves respect, like any adult.

  • When you speak to a teenager, always show respect. Do not allow yourself an arrogant or scornful tone!
  • Always respect the problems and fears of a teenager. Never regard his worries and fears as childish anxieties.

2. Praise the teenager often. You should often praise the child. Be generous with sincere compliments.

  • When you praise a teenager for doing something good, it raises his self-confidence to heaven and encourages him to do even better next time.
  • Always express your positive attitude and let the child understand how good it is that you have it and how much you are proud of it.

3. Avoid criticism. Try to avoid criticizing your child as much as possible. Criticism can harm a teenager’s self-esteem.

  • If you don’t approve or don’t like something that your teenager is involved in, take the time to sit down and talk to him about it.
  • Teens often take criticism as a mockery or attempt to shame them. But if criticism is inevitable, try to carefully monitor your tone.

4. Encourage extracurricular activities. A teenager needs some kind of hobby.

  • Encourage his participation in various activities. It is important for a teenager to succeed in what he loves.
  • Extracurricular activities are a great opportunity to find out what success, victory, failure, problems are. Such activities add to the teenager self-confidence.
  • Extracurricular activities develop a positive team spirit and help you learn how to work together to achieve a common goal.

5. Maintain the friendship of a teenager. You will not be able to control, appoint and choose your child’s friends. Better teach him respect and acceptance.

  • Mutual understanding and respect are important in any relationship. Teach your teenager to value their friends.
  • Your teenager’s circle of friends also affects their self-confidence. Tell him the difference between good friends and bad ones.

6. Appearance does not matter. Most teens fall under peer pressure. For them, appearance is very important. They crave to look like models and celebrities, and when they can’t achieve what they want and gain a bright, impressive and unforgettable appearance, their sense of self-confidence rapidly falls.

  • It is important to explain to the child that appearance does not matter.
  • What really matters is good manners, hygiene, a clear and healthy mind and body.

7. Focus on the strengths of the child. Teach your teen to focus on their strengths. Never compare it with peers, friends, siblings or cousins.

  • Your teenager should realize that each person has his own strengths, comparison only promotes competition and does not bring benefits.
  • He should also understand that you need to compete only with yourself, and a great way to improve your own results is to focus on your strengths.

8. Teach your teenager to be strong. Help the teenager develop a certain immunity in relation to teasing or calling names of peers or other people. Mimicking affects each teenager's self-confidence.

  • A good rule of life is “Steadfastly endure trials and hide your feelings behind a friendly smile.” A teenager must learn to tolerate negative emotions to a certain extent, without losing composure.
  • Your teenager should know that verbal bullying does not hurt, and it should in no way affect his self-confidence.

9. Seek professional help. If your teenager suffers from a serious lack of self-confidence and this begins to affect his academic performance and / or social life, you may need help from outside sources.

  • Initially, you can try to find ways to solve the problem at the family council with relatives.
  • If this does not help, then it is better to seek professional help that will identify the real cause of self-doubt and help the child get rid of low self-esteem.

10. Support the teenager. You probably can’t even imagine how simple, ordinary gestures and words can strengthen your child’s self-confidence. The teenager must understand that at any moment you are ready to help him no matter what.

  • Your support can act as a catalyst for your teenager’s self-confidence.
  • If the child knows that he has support and can rely on you and count on your help, he will try to overcome life's difficulties with even greater strength and self-confidence.

Try to politely and courteously deal with any difficulties raising a teenager. Remember that this is just a certain stage of life and in the near future it will end. Remember that teenage problems and anxieties are part of the growing process. Just be patient and help your child with all sincerity.

1. Go in for sports

It is important for adolescents to exercise regularly, especially given their tendency to sit in front of the screen. Studies show that physical activity in itself improves the self-perception of children and adolescents. In addition, the conditions in which sports are held are important. Teens who work under the guidance of a trainer in an educational institution or gym show a more noticeable improvement in self-perception than those who work at home.

At this age, much attention is paid to their own attractiveness and athletic form - many teenagers are dissatisfied with their appearance. Regular sports activities kill two birds with one stone, improving both the figure and the psychological state. When children get out of the house and engage in physical activity, they feel stronger, healthier and more capable. That is why it is so important to maintain and develop sports programs within the curriculum and beyond.

2. Focus on compassion

The focus on self-esteem makes teenagers constantly ask themselves: “what have I achieved?”, “Am I good enough?”, “How do I look compared to others?” Psychologist Christine Neff advises to stop judging yourself and concentrate on self-compassion, that is, treats himself with kindness and acceptance.

Studies Link Social Media to Depression

She considers compassion a healthy alternative to the endless race for results, on which self-esteem depends. Christine conducted a study and found that adolescents with higher levels of compassion show a higher level of well-being. They accept their shortcomings and understand that their problems and difficulties are exactly the same as those of other people. Such children treat themselves kindly and in a difficult situation support themselves as if they were their best friend.

3. Do not compare yourself with others

Teenagers are very keen on differences between themselves and other children. Social networks exacerbate this problem. Studies establish a connection between social networks and depression, anxiety, loneliness, and fear of missing out on something among teenagers. Children get upset when their posts don't get as many likes as friends post and feel isolated when they see photos where classmates have fun without them.

The situation in the school also contributes to social comparison: public grading, labeling, and grading depending on academic performance. All this violates the natural learning process, prevents children from experimenting and making mistakes.

To reduce social pressure at school, an alternative approach can be used: not to publicize the grades publicly, to provide the opportunity to re-check and correct assignments, not to classify children according to their abilities, focus on the individual development and progress of each child, and recognize small successes.

4. Building on strengths

Pay attention to the talents and interests of the teenager, help him develop his strengths. Perhaps his son is not given sport, but he lights up while working on a school science project. Maybe in your classroom behind the last desk is an angular ninth-grader who is afraid to answer at the blackboard, but amazes you with her essays.

Researcher Susan Harter has studied adolescent self-esteem and self-perception for many years. She claims that self-esteem depends on eight areas: physical and academic abilities, behavioral skills, social acceptance, close friendships, romantic appeal, job satisfaction, and physical attractiveness.

Talk with teens, find out what their personal values ​​and priorities are.

Share tests with them that reveal strong personal qualities like courage, honesty, and leadership skills. Get involved in activities that will help develop these talents. Emphasize and promote abilities and interests so you can help them feel more confident and inspired.

5. Help strangers

A study conducted in 2017 with 681 adolescents aged 11 to 14 showed that children who help strangers improve their self-perception. Recently, I managed to see with my own eyes the confirmation of this theory.

Last Friday, I watched my daughter and her friends implement the Change the World project. The social science teacher gave the eighth-graders the task: to choose the direction of sustainable development, to study the problem and possible solutions, to plan a program of activities and put the plan into action.

Many teens suffer from anxiety and perfectionism

As a result, middle school students spent the whole day collecting neighbors' votes in support of activities to protect strangers, such as local refugees and homeless youth. Children also opposed animal testing. I had never seen my daughter and her friends so energetic, confident and involved in society.

Many teens suffer from anxiety and perfectionism, and our first impulse is to intervene and solve their problem. But a more effective approach is to encourage and help develop strengths that will support them throughout life.

Amy L. Willow - Teacher-psychologist at the Center for Higher Good Science at the University of California at Berkeley.

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