How To Raise A Self-Confident Adolescent

A study conducted by Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) revealed that 47 percent of girls aged 11 to 14 refused to take part of activities that show their bodies as a result of body confidence issues.[1]

During adolescence, self-confidence usually drops during its early stage (between the ages 9 and 13) and towards the end (between the ages 18 and 23). It is in these phases when the young person realizes that he must get used to functioning on an expanded playing field of life.

Having low self-confidence can be a burden to a teenager. Those who have low self-esteem are at high-risk of being bullied, using drugs and alcohol, bullying others, and having suicidal thoughts.[2]

Factors Affecting Confidence

Some factors can affect the teen’s confidence. These include:

  1. Quality of life at home
    The teen’s relationship with members of the family can change and influence their self-confidence. They usually copy their attitudes and reactions from their family. They grow up behaving the way their family members act.
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  3. School life
    The school is one of the vital places for learning. Hence, the teen’s relationship with his classmates, teachers, administrators, and counselors can also have an effect on his self-confidence. His experiences including accomplishments and failures in both academics and extracurricular activities have roles to play in building his confidence.
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  5. Society
    The society which includes influences from one’s culture, religion and race can change one’s image of himself.
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  7. Life events
    Good and bad experiences, choices, and their consequences can either make or break the teen’s confidence.
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  9. Feedback
    Feedback from others especially those from family, friends, and role models also has a role to play in shaping the image of one’s self.
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Raising The Teen’s Confidence

Having self-confidence is having that belief that you’ll be successful in completing a particular task or doing well in a given situation. It is related to one’s self-esteem which refers to how one feels about himself. It’s also related to resilience or the ability to bounce back from stressful situations.[3]

Building confidence in teens is crucial as it helps them make safe and informed decisions. Confident teens avoid people and situations who/that do not do good for them and seek those who/that do.

A confident teen is more likely to be assertive, engaged, positive, persistent, and enthusiastic. These attributes can affect the way they handle stressful situations including those that involve relationships and how they engage with others (confident teens are more likely to join activities). The following are practical tips on how to raise a confident adolescent:

  • Provide opportunities to try new things
    By having the opportunities to try new things, one would discover the things he is good at and things he enjoys. Being constantly exposed to different things would make one realize that some people are good at some things while others are not and that’s totally fine.
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  • Encourage the child to keep trying
    If the child fails at one thing, make it a point to explain to him that everybody makes mistakes, but they can try again to improve the outcome. Explain or cite examples why failure is failing to try.
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  • Help create a bigger picture
    It’s too easy to be short-sighted especially during childhood and early to mid-adolescence. However, if you explain to the child that what he does now can have an impact in his future, then you are helping him build that confidence in exerting more effort in the present so that he’ll be able to achieve what he wants in the future.
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  • Be a role model
    As a child develops, he learns from the people who surround him.If you are helping your child build his confidence, then be a role model. You can do that by sharing to him one of your goals and what you’re doing to get there. If you fail, share what had happened and how you plan on bouncing back.
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  • Be aware of your response
    In many instances, how the parent reacts to the child’s misdoings can have an impact on his confidence. Fixating on the problem and making the child feels that he is a failure for committing a mistake is one sure way of destroying his confidence.
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  • Moderate parental authority
    When you become too strict or commanding, you discourage your child from deciding for themselves. This can kill their trust in themselves when it comes to making decisions.
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  • Praise the child’s efforts
    Whether it’s in a game or interview, praise the child for the efforts exerted even if the result isn’t the one he wanted. You can then suggest ideas on how he can improve or how he can do things differently next time.
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These tips may not instantly make your teen confident, but as you do them consistently, you can gradually help build his confidence.

Published by Hypnosis in London on 24 March 2017, written by Malminder Gill.  

Image: State Farm
References:
[1] Tighe, Sophie. “Nearly Half Of Young Girls In The UK Miss Out On Everyday Activites Due To A Lack Of Body Confidence”. Uk.style.yahoo.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
[2] Walsh, Kathryn, and Kathryn Walsh. “Factors Affecting Self-Esteem In Teens”. LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
[3] “How To Build Confidence In Teenagers | Raising Children Network”. Raisingchildren.net.au. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.