Raising teenagers should come with an instruction manual. One day they’re happy, and the next day they’re dejected. While you can’t save them from the hormonal and emotional changes that they’re experiencing, you can guide them into becoming confident adults. Here are four tips for boosting your teens’ confidence.
Teach a Healthy Balance of Self-Esteem and Growth
You want your teenagers to feel good about themselves, but you also don’t want to stunt the necessary things they need to take on age-appropriate responsibilities. Many parents struggle with knowing exactly where the line is, particularly in areas where the teens struggle. If, for example, math does not come naturally to your son, he may become easily discouraged and learning can grow stagnant. Encourage him by recognizing and rewarding his effort and any small victories without letting him give up when he’s frustrated.
Support Them in Managing Conflict
When your teens experience difficulty with other people, it’s natural to want to jump in and solve the problem for them. After all, you have been their protector their whole lives. They don’t learn healthy conflict management strategies unless they use them, though. When it comes to interpersonal strife, take the role of adviser. Let your teens know you are there if they need to talk something through but that ultimately, managing the problem is their job.
Encourage Them To Try New Things
The teen years are a prime time to discover what they like to do. Many teens will get stuck in a rut of doing what their friends like to do. As a parent, however, you can help them broaden their horizons and thus their individual confidence levels by recommending new things to try. If your daughter loves music, nudge her to seek out singing opportunities for teenagers. If she enjoys gaming, look at local comic shops for tournaments. Discovering new talents can help them learn where they fit in the world.
Model Positive Self Regard
It’s hard to raise confident teens when you yourself do not display confidence. Many people grow up with negative self-talk that in adulthood becomes the default. Watch how you talk about yourself when you are frustrated or having difficulty getting something done. If teens see you being gentle with yourself, they are more likely to understand positive self-regard as the norm.
Raising teenagers is not easy, but there are specific things you can do to help them navigate this confusing time of life. You can build confidence in your teens by balancing freedom with responsibility and showing them your own assertiveness.