Teenage is like a twilight zone, because your darling now is neither a child nor an adult. Most teenagers are confused, insecure and conscious about themselves during their teens.
What should be done to help teenagers in such a crucial phase?
As a parent, you are the one, who can tremendously help increase your teenager's self confidence. How you mould your teenager today will decide the course of his or her life tomorrow. It is, therefore, extremely important to build a positive self confidence in your teenager.
What is self confidence? It is no secret that self confidence proves to be the most important key to one's success in life. Self confidence is how one feels about himself or herself.*l It affects the way one acts in public.
* Also it clearly reflects the way one conducts himself or herself.
* A healthy sense of one's self plays a crucial role in forming one's overall personality.
* A positive development of one's self confidence directly affects one's happiness quotient.
Why is self confidence necessary in teenagers? Self confidence gives a teenager the ability to face life, its challenges, uncertainty and even tackle disappointments, ups and downs of life better.
* Relations, emotions, peer pressure, competition and expectations, together these things can play havoc on a teenager's self confidence.
* A positive self esteem can help a teenager go out and conquer his or her aims and goals in life.
* It helps him build better bonds, relations and be a happy and mentally strong person.
Parents' role in increasing teenagers' self confidence: Of all people, parents are the most important when it comes to building self confidence in teenagers. Your support in building confidence in teens can go a long way in molding his personality.
* Your actions and words impact your teenager the most.
* How you feel about them and how you make them feel about themselves directly affects their level of self confidence.
* The way you treat them also sets a benchmark about how others should treat your teenager.
Tips on how to increase self confidence in teenagers: Teenage is where a child is molded into an adult. It is such a sensitive process that only the parents have the tools (such as patience and courage!) to do it. Here are some of the easiest and useful tips on increasing your teenager's self confidence.
Show respect: Do not forget - your teenager is not a child anymore and is a near-adult, and as such, deserves respect just like any other adult.
* When you address your teenager, always show respect. Do not let disdain or contempt show in your tone!
* Always treat their problems and fears with importance. Never shun off your teenager's fears as a childhood worry.
Praise often: You must praise your teenager often. Be generous with your compliments.
* When you praise your teenager for something good they did, it boosts their confidence in heaps and bounds. It encourages them to do even better next time.
* Always express yourself and let them know how good and proud you feel to have them as your kid.
Avoid criticism: Try and avoid criticizing as much as you can. Criticism can be detrimental for your teenager's self confidence.
* If you disapprove or dislike something that involves your teen, take time to sit with them and talk it out.
* Teenagers often take criticism as ridicule or shame. At times, when criticism is unavoidable, watch your tone.
Encourage extra curricular activities: Let your teenager follow his hobbies.
* Encourage him to participate in more and more activities. It is important for your teenager to excel at anything he likes and enjoys.
* Extracurricular activities prove to be great opportunities for learning about success, failure, challenges and they add a great deal to your teenager's confidence. These activities build a positive team spirit in your teenager and help him learn about working together towards a common goal.
Support optimistic friendships: We know you cannot possibly control, pick and choose the kind of friends your teenager will make. Teach him about respect and acceptance.
* Mutual understanding and respect in any relation is important. Teach him that value is what matters between friends.
* The kind of friends your teenager makes also affects his self confidence. Teach him ways to differentiate between good and fair weather friends.
Looks do not matter: Most teenagers fall under peer pressure. To them looks matter a lot. They crave to look like models and celebs and inability to do so affects their self confidence immensely.
* It is important to sit and explain to your teenager that looks do not matter.
* What matters are good manners, hygiene, healthy mind and body.
Focus on strengths: Teach your teenager that he should focus more on strengths. Never compare your teenager to his peers, friends, siblings and cousins.
* Your teen should realize how different people have different strengths. Comparison creates rivalry.
* Make your teenager understand that his only competition is with himself. And the best way to do even better is to focus on strengths.
Teach them to be stronger: Teach your teenager to build some tolerance level towards teasing or heckling. Teasing affects every teenager's self confidence.
* A good rule in life is grin and bears it. Your teenager must learn to tolerate negative emotions to some extent, without losing his cool
* Your teenager must know that teasing cannot hurt and it should in no way affect his self confidence.
Look for professional help: If your teenager suffers from severe lack of confidence and it is starting to affect his academic and/or social life, you may need help from external sources.
* Initially, you can try for family counseling with your teen's favorite relatives.
* If the above does not work, it is best to seek professional help, which might uncover the real issue behind this lacking and help your teenager come out of it.
Be your teenager's support: You probably don't even realize how small gestures and the little things you say and do in regular life boosts your teenager's self confidence. Your teenager must know that you are always there for him, no matter what.
* Your support can act as a catalyst as far as your teenager's self confidence is concerned.
* The moment your teenager knows he has someone to rely on, to fall back upon; he can face his life with even more confidence and strength.
Deal every difficulty politely and positively when it comes to your teenager. Remember, this is just a phase and it shall pass on soon. Teenage issues and angst are a part of your teenager's growing up process. So be patient and help your teenager.
The writer is an online activist and ----Akruti
regular contributor at
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