It is fair to say that the teenage years are undoubtedly the hardest in a young person’s life. But it is during these years that we learn and develop some our greatest skills that we will carry with us through life. When it comes to confidence, only the lucky ones are born with bucket loads. For most of us, it is an attribute that needs careful nurturing along the way. That is where parents come in and the guidance given can go a long way to creating confident, resilient young people.
Here are 5 tips to build confidence in teenagers:
- Helping others
A recent study found that teenagers who helped people and strangers reported higher self-esteem. Encouraging your child to participate in service learning opportunities, volunteering or getting a part-time job where they come into contact with new people, could boost their confidence. The teenage years are a particularly good time of life for this as adolescents tend to be more self-focused.
- Being active
In another review, the effects of physical activity alone resulted in an increase in self-esteem and self-concept. While any form of exercise in any setting is beneficial, the review found that supervised activities, through clubs, schools or recreation centres, reported greater growth in self-esteem levels than other settings, such as at home or alone.
- Explore their talents
Giving children the opportunity to try new things and potentially unearth new interests could provide the ultimate confidence boost. And it’s not all about talent or being the best athlete, musician or student. They could develop a great friendship, discover they have leadership qualities or find a passion for a certain cause – strengths or skills they didn’t realise they had.
- Praise effort, not outcomes
It’s easy for all of us to focus on results, such as grades or the final score of the game. Placing too much importance on the outcomes can be damaging to a child’s self-esteem. Instead try acknowledging the effort and offering positive, constructive suggestions for next time. Making mistakes, listening and learning from others is all part of the process.
- Lead by example
Help build confidence in your teen by being a positive role model. Share examples of when you were a teenager and tried something difficult, of a time you were resilient or when you were scared or unsure. Use recent examples from your work life and of how you remain positive or plan to succeed next time in a similar situation.
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