Teens are impacted by everyone in their life: friends, parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, significant others, and more. One negative comment or experience can cause a teen to see themself in a negative way. It’s difficult for teens to be who they are because of the overwhelming need to fit in and be popular while in high school. How can you help your teen build their self-respect and confidence among the pressures and difficulties they face? Here are a few tips to consider.
Maintain Friendships With Caring and Kind People
First, your teen needs to find a good group of friends. Perhaps they already have. Either way, a person’s friends say a lot about them, so it’s important to maintain friendships with caring and kind people who treat you well. It’s crucial for your teen to surround him or herself with people who make them feel good about themself. Without caring people by your teen’s side, they may feel lonely and isolated from their peers.
Try New Things
Sometimes it’s hard for teens to find people with similar interests. This is where trying new things is a must. If your teen enjoys listening to and/or making music at home, encourage them to try out for the high school musical. They may find friends among that crowd that they wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Perhaps your teen is among the 37% of people who look at outdoor ads and has seen ones in your community promoting classes open to the public. Dance, cooking, baking, and gardening classes and clubs in your community may be something your teen is interested in joining. Encourage their participation in such endeavors, as your teen will not only be going outside of their comfort zone, but they will also meet new people, discover new talents, and connect with people in their community.
Write Down and Talk About Your Feelings
Your teen is not going to feel confident overnight. In fact, it’s a lifelong process for most people. To help cope with negative thoughts and feelings, as well as appreciate and celebrate positive ones, encourage your teen to write in a journal once a day or even once a week. It could help them work through their own feelings. Always extend a listening ear, too. If your teen isn’t comfortable talking with family members, you could also discuss the option of hiring a mental health counselor.
Accepting imperfection is something everyone struggles with. Perhaps you’re a parent who’s recently started taking medications and vitamins to maintain your health, such as Omega-3 supplements, which are recommended to consume for those over 50 years of age. While it can be hard for adults to accept that their bodies are aging, it’s just as difficult for teens to deal with their changing bodies for the first time. When puberty hits, teenage boys and girls alike can feel bad about themselves between acne, weight gain, and the development of unfamiliar body parts.
Find Ways to Feel Good About Yourself
Talk to your teenager about their changing body and ensure them that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Brainstorm ways they can feel good about themselves. This may take the form of building healthier friendships and relationships, improving their grades through hard work, trying new things, or finding ways to feel more attractive and confident.
Many teens want to wear makeup to cover up imperfections and overall feel attractive. To build your own teenager’s self-respect and confidence, have a conversation about beauty products. It’s perfectly okay to use them, but it’s not okay to see it as the only way to feel beautiful or handsome. 42% of women aged 18 and over said that they preferred natural beauty products over synthetic versions. As a parent, it’s your job to talk to your own teenager about maintaining a healthy relationship with makeup as well as their usage of natural and synthetic beauty products.
Set Goals and Work Towards Them
To build your teen’s self-respect and confidence, encourage them to set goals and make strides to achieve them. If your teen wants to make the soccer team, they should set exercise goals for each week and create a schedule to enhance their skills in time for try-outs. If your teen wants to get a particular score on an upcoming exam, encourage your teen to talk to their teacher about studying strategies to work toward obtaining that higher score.
Give Back to Others
Many people feel good about themselves after volunteering their time for an important cause. Perhaps your teen would benefit from volunteering in your community. If they enjoy being around animals, perhaps they could volunteer as a dog walker at a local adoption center. If your teen is a math whiz, perhaps they could volunteer to tutor elementary students after school. Simply volunteering once a week or a few times a month can help build your teen’s self-respect and confidence.
As a parent, you want your child to be the best version of themself that they can be. Remember that perfection isn’t achievable and that your teen’s ability to understand this is crucial to their well-being. Encourage them to keep caring people in their life, get out of their comfort zone, reflect on their feelings, find ways to feel attractive, set goals, and give back when they can. Your teen will benefit immensely.