Raising a teenager in today’s modern times is challenging thanks to the popularity of social media. It’s easy for the comparison trap to take hold of already vulnerable teenagers. Mix in cyberbullying and you’ve got very insecure teenagers who are confused, scared and unsure of themselves. Even children who were confident as a child might struggle to have self-love and confidence when they hit their teen years mainly because adolescence is a very confusing time.
They struggle with their body image, how they fit in and are unsure of who they are, which is why it’s important as a parent to help them build self-esteem and confidence during these fragile years of their life. While your teen might not entirely become confident overnight, these tips will help instill confidence they’ll continue to maintain throughout their adult years! Remember to talk to your teen and try to communicate with them as much as possible, even if they don’t want to.
1. Praise efforts
Instead of praising your teen for their accomplishments or the outcome of a situation, switch it up and praise their effort instead. The outcome is sometimes out of their control, but their effort isn’t. They can always control how much effort they put into something, whether it’s sports, school or even housework and responsibilities at home. This shows them that it’s important to at least try and it’s fine if they don’t succeed all of the time.
2. Teach them to be assertive
This might be hard since many times teens are rather timid since they don’t want to ruffle any feathers, especially when it comes to their friends. However, they need to know how to speak up in the right way. As their parents, teaching them assertiveness skills not only helps in their teen years, but will come in handy when they enter adulthood. An assertive teenager isn’t just one to speak up for themselves when something’s wrong, but also ask for help when they need it. A teen that’s assertive are less likely to also be treated badly by their peers, which his important when it comes to their self-esteem.
3. Be confident yourself
In order for your teen to be confident, you’ll need to model it for them. They’ll learn how to self-love from you, so you’ll need to be aware about what you say and do. If you’re self-loathing or talking about your body or life in a critical way, they’ll hear you and do the same.
4. Have a balance of guidance and freedom
Teens don’t want micromanagers as parents. They’ll only pull away and not listen. You have to find the right balance between guidance and freedom. Gosh, this is where it’s hard being a parent of a teen because you want to guide them to do the right thing, but they’ll only push away because they want their independence. Provide your teenager with lots of opportunities to practice what you’ve taught and instilled in them. However, also let them experience consequences naturally so that they learn from their mistakes. You’ll see that over time, they’ll develop more self-confidence in their ability to make better choices!
No one said parenting was going to be easy, especially when your kids become teens. There’s a reason why they say, “Parenthood is a walk in the park – Jurassic Park!” Just continue being the best parent you can be and pour yourself a glass of wine every now and then to get though rock road that parents walk with teenagers in their home.