5 Awesome Tips to Increase Your Teenager’s Self-Confidence
Posted: December 11, 2019
Here’s a fact that’s pretty much beyond debate: being a teenager is hard! What’s easy though, is for adults to forget just how tough it can be. Kids experience a world of change as they develop. New experiences challenge everything they thought they knew; physical changes create anxiety and sometimes it feels impossible to find confidence and establish a sense of identity.
As a parent, we can feel a sense of helplessness. We all want our kids to build confidence, find healthy habits and discover themselves. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to guide your teenager into increased self-confidence.
How Can Parents Increase Their Teen’s Self-Confidence?
Like it or not, self-confidence is crucial to your teenager’s (and everyone’s) success in life. Self-confidence defines our trust in our own abilities, qualities and judgement. It impacts how we carry and conduct ourselves and plays a fundamental role in shaping our adult personalities.
According to a joint university study covering 31,000 students from five continents, self-confidence also plays a major role in facilitating happiness and healthier lifestyles. That’s why it’s important that your teen starts to develop their self-confidence to build and grow.
As a parent, you might not always feel like you’re being listened to – but the truth is, you’re still the most influential person in your teen’s life. Your words and actions have a major impact.
That means it’s possible for you to play a major role in shaping your teenager’s self-confidence – and to help get you started, we’ve rounded up five awesome tips.
1. Affirm And Compliment Your Teenager
Words of affirmation have enormous value, so be generous with them. When you affirm or compliment your child's actions or achievements, it helps build confidence and pushes them to keep trying.
You’ve also got to be consistent with your praise. Always let your teen know how proud you are to be their parent, and try not to let any achievement go unrecognized.
- Be sincere. Teenagers have incredibly sensitive “BS” meters, and can see right through false praise. Not only can that end up eroding trust, but it can also communicate a lack of interest or attention to their lives.
- Encourage a growth mindset. Although you should affirm your teen often, studies indicate if you overly lavish your child with extreme praise it can actually undermine their motivation.
2. Give Your Teenager Respect
This one is hard to admit, but hey, your teenager isn’t a little kid anymore. They’re getting closer and closer to adulthood, so you have to begin to show your teen the sort of respect you would give anyone else. Don’t patronize your teenager; they’ll resent it. And when they speak, listen to them intentionally. This communicates to them that their thoughts and ideas matter, both to you and to the world.
If you want your teen to develop self-confidence, you’ve got to expand their self-worth – and that’s a lot easier to do when your teenager senses a degree of mutual respect.
- Tone matters. Don’t be condescending when talking to your teenager, because that will hurt their self-confidence.
- Sometimes we all need space. Show your teen physical respect and give them space when they ask for it.
3. Encourage Your Teenager to Try New Things
One of the best ways for your teenager to increase their self-confidence is to try new extra-curricular activities. By getting out there and experiencing new things, your teen can discover hidden talents, face fears of failure and start to build their self-worth.
Part-time jobs, clubs, volunteer work or starting up a musical instrument are all great ways to branch out. Physical activities like martial arts are a fantastic way for your teen to build self-confidence, too.
Karate classes and martial arts classes in particular are brilliant at assisting teens in building self-confidence because they teach crucial life skills such as realistic goal setting and are built around positive encouragement.
A study by the University of Wisconsin also found martial arts are a great way to improve how children conduct themselves.
- You’re not choosing a hobby for yourself – this is about what your teenager enjoys. Find something they’re passionate about and encourage them to pursue it.
- Be a cheerleader. Show an interest in your teen’s new hobby, ask them questions and engage with them.
4. Show Your Teenager Positivity
As a parent, sometimes it seems like we can’t help but nit-pick. Because you want what’s best for your teen, you’ll also want to prune them and steer them in the right direction – but to be honest, sometimes pruning is the last thing your kid needs.
You should never compare your child to their friends, siblings or that mega-genius teenager at the end of the street. Comparison creates rivalries and the unneeded anxiety or competition that simply does not need to exist.
Instead of reminding your teenager what needs improvement, be positive and remind them what they do well.
- It’s ok to fail. When our kids fall short, they often leap to the conclusion they’re complete failures. Make sure they understand that failure is just a step on the road to success, and give them evidence to prove it.
- Turn weaknesses into strengths. If your teen is upset about what they think is a flaw, show them ways or situations in which that flaw can actually be a good thing.
5. Be a Role Model
To best help your teen develop self-confidence, you need to be the change you want to see. Even as your child nears adulthood, they’re always watching you and how you carry yourself.
If you’re constantly being critical of yourself or act unconfidently, you’ll be teaching your teenager to do the same.
That means you have to develop your own self-confidence, too.
- Love yourself. Try to embrace your flaws and do your best to show your teenager what it looks like to be comfortable in your own skin.
- You’re not in this alone. Be open with your teen about your own self-confidence and discuss how you can both work together to move forward.
Above all else, remember that this list is just the tip of the iceberg! No two kids are alike, and so what works for some teenagers and their parents may fall flat with others. There are so many ways to build your kid up!
Just be patient, be open and communicate with your teen. As long as you’re willing to show them the love and support they need to grow, you’ll be able to find exactly what you have to do to build your teenager’s self-confidence.
We believe martial arts is the best activity for developing self-confidence in kids and teens! Try a FREE class and learn for yourself how martial arts can play a positive role in your child’s development at any stage! Click the link to sign up NOW!