Building self-confidence and self-esteem is in direct relation with some of the choices they make when they encounter adolescent challenges. Teenagers are very impressionable and are making choices and taking various paths everyday. The degree of self confidence can determine in which direction the teens choose. The message here is, we as adults, need to do whatever it takes to help boost our teenagers self-confidence and self-esteem! Here some strategies to help increase your teens self-confidence!
- Say "I love you!" Even if this is not something that has been part of your family practice over the years, YOU can start something amazing by saying these 3 powerful words to your teens. Don't just assume that they know and understand it just because you are their parents. Let them hear it so they can feel it!
- Show unconditional love and support for teens!- In all my classes success rate was never based on comparing individual talents, behaviors or scores. Each teen was a unique individual and they recognized that as long as they were showing great effort, a willingness to self improve, and have good character, they were "A" ok in my book! Because of this relationship, they were excited about coming to class, demonstrated continuous improvements in both character and abilities, and carried these traits to other areas of their life. As parents, you have wonderful opportunity to show love and support, on a continuous basis. They really do cherish, desire, and need your belief in them. You will be amazed at the responses verybally/non-verbally you will get with patience. Good luck!
- Show your teens you are proud! Teens have told me over and over and over again, " I don't think my parents are proud of me!" You know that you are proud of them, do they know? How can you let your teen know that you are proud of them? That thoughtful and warm gesture can go along ways!
- Praise your teen! It really does not matter how minute you may think the behavior, skill or task was performed. Let them know how appreciative you are, what a great job they did, and encourage them to keep up the great effort! When teens, hear uplifting words about them, or a pat on the back, they realize they are believed in. When they have support, they start believing in themselves, and success starts to follow.
- Encourage your teen to pursue their interests! Support them in finding peer groups of similar interests or share familiar experiences. When teens find comfort, they find the confidence within themselves to show their skills and efforts along with the group, which can start a domino effect of positive friendships, self motivation, and success. This was extremely evident in school with the availability of extracurricular activities. These activities can range from, sports, music, art, crafts, games, carpentry, community volunteering, and much more. When students were involved in these activities they were involved with others with similar interests, were more sociable, had self respect, self motivation, and were not bored and "hanging on the streets."
- Spend quality time together!- Time does not mean quantity, however it does mean quality. Spend some time together doing things that you both enjoy. Spending dinner time together can be difficult every night, especially if they are involved in these positive extracurricular activities, but when possible, make it a point to eat together. How about making sure at these times everyone concentrates on positive things to talk about. Create a pleasant place so that the family looks forward in being together.
- Encourage and allow teens to learn new skills!- When teenagers learn new skills and show their abilities, it is so evident that they feel much more confident in themselves. Allowing your teen to use their skills and abilities even around the house, shows that you have confidence and trust in them, which only boosts their self confidence. Trying and failing without deep consequences can also build that confidence. When teens realize that there is not any pressure be perfect, they have the courage and confidence to try more new things and become a more well rounded individual. Praising effort keeps positive energy rolling along!
- Parents give some space and promote teen independence!- Are you pampering or over protecting your teen? Remember, they are now young adults and their needs are different than they were when they were a child. Adjustments must be made by everyone involved, including the teenager. If the teenager, is always protected, and saved when problems, fear, or hurt comes their way, are they going to grow? Are they going to step out into confidence? In order for their confidence level to increase, we need to allow the teenagers to do what they are extremely capable of doing. When I observed failure, praised effort, and encouraged "right back at it" attitude, teens just kept on trying new things and even things they repeatedly failed. Never quit attitudes were born.
- Encourage and model healthy habits!- With today's society constantly dictating to our teens through movies, billboards, videos, tv, music, advertisements, etc., which way the cool, hip and most attractive way to look is, it's no wonder many struggle with their self image and self confidence. What can you do as a parent? Balanced meals, buy gym memberships, do activities together, model healthy behavior yourself. What are your rules if any about sitting and playing video games for hours on end? Can adjustments be made? How can grocery shopping habits change? What can you do as a parent to offer a healthier environment for your teen? Remember they can't be someone else, they have already been taken! Support them in becoming the self-confident and successful teen that you love!