I know I’m not the only one thinking the world has gone completely bonkers! I chuckle when I think of generations past and how they must have felt about our generations. As parents and mentors, helping your teenager grow confidence in who they are is critical, more than ever, to their lifelong wholeness and happiness. The challenges our youth face today are unique and particularly troublesome. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a parent to change a young person’s life!
Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.Jess Lair
Parenting is tough. However, it’s also true that being a child, and especially a teenager, is extremely tough in today’s world. Not only do social media apps constantly tell us how we should look and behave, but we have to deal with a growing global awareness of tough issues.
Add that onto the pile of trying to be a good person, and the anxieties of teenage life to begin with, and we realize that teenagers (still defined as children) should be given a little more support to feel confident in themselves.
It might have been that we ourselves encountered a tough childhood and subsequent adolescence, but that doesn’t mean you have to pass this down. With kindness, consideration and good old tough love, we can help our children grow in confidence and become the kind of teenagers, and young adults, that we can be proud of. But most importantly, they will be proud of themselves.
Okay, okay, I admit that’s a big task for one article. However, we truly believe that the following advice will steer you in the right direction:
Show Them They’re Enough
Showing your teen they are enough can be a tremendous new way for them to think. Hearing from you, the most important role model in their lives, that they are enough challenges the voices in the world saying they’re not!
Many, if not most teenagers, are constantly evaluating themselves against impossible ideals fed to them by a toxic culture in need of change. This leads to an endless loop of insecurity, leaving many feeling hopeless and simply not good enough.
Show them it’s okay to not know all the answers in life; that it’s okay to have bad days and feelings about those days!
Showing your teen they’re enough means reminding them of all that makes them special. Forget about physical appearances.
What makes them unique? What gifts and dreams have they been given? Nurture those. Encourage your teen to pursue their passions unashamed of who they are.
Dare them to be different. It’s where their treasure in life will be found! Best of all, when your child is living the life they were created for, at any age, they will not only grow confidence but SOAR!
People accept what is the same. But they eventually respect what is different.Steven Furtick
Help Them With Their Challenges
Teenagers face many challenges in today’s world we couldn’t have even imagined growing up. Helping them overcome sometimes does not mean you’re weakening them. It may mean you’re providing the support necessary to help them grow.
Showing up and asking your child what they need communicates love and devotion to them like few things can. Kids notice when they have your undivided attention and this makes them feel worthy of love – now, and in the future.
Here are some other simple ways you can help them feel cared for:
- Spend time helping your teenager with homework they’re struggling with
- If acne and other hormonal skin conditions are causing problems, visit a Dermatologist together. It shows what matters to them matters to you.
- For dental correction, consider Invisalign aligners for a cost-effective braces alternative.
- Take walks in nature together and use them as an opportunity to catch up. Even if you don’t say a word!
- Limit technology time. Instead, encourage healthy activities that will strengthen their mental health and your bond!
- Consider volunteering together in your local area at a charity or special event. Giving back is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our kids!
- Attend church together, encouraging a strong, faith-filled foundation for a lifetime!
It doesn’t take much. We all simply long for safety, love, being heard and valued – no matter our age!
Assist Them With Routine
Routine can be an important virtue to have in a teenager’s life, because it keeps them directed and gives them a purpose. It might be that you invest in guitar lessons for them, or bring them to sports practice.
Curfews, “lights out time,” and limiting TV or technology are all beneficial ways to help build healthy habits for a successful life.
Helping them find their first job can also be a great confidence builder too!
In my own life, my jobs as a young teenager were lifesavers! I’d always believed I wasn’t worth much. Working a job, paying my own way, gave me the confidence that I was capable of doing what I put my mind to!
Offer Your Wisdom
Offer your wisdom. Remember, you were a teen once. We can often pretend to be so involved in the child/parent relationship that we forget to talk to them on a human level.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about the mistakes you made. What do you wish you could go back and do differently? Tell them! We can’t guarantee they’ll listen, but they’re listening more than we realize! You might be surprised how many mistakes you can help them avoid!
You don’t have to be perfect. You need only be real. – Holly ♥ #parenting #wisdomTweet
Some of the subjects won’t be easy ones, like entering the dating world and all that brings with it. (sigh) Can’t they stay tiny forever?
No matter the subject: just listen. As hard as it is, be both a listener and a guide. Remember how you felt all those days ago. (For some of us, much longer than others, ha ha! I kid!) 🤣
Love doesn’t mean allowing bad behavior. Correction brings maturity, but empathy brings connection. Both are critical in the parent – mentor/child relationship.
Correction brings maturity, but empathy brings connection – Holly ♥ #parenting #teenagersTweet
Kids Live What They Learn
We have to be honest with ourselves and examine our own behavioral patterns. What toxic thinking are we passing on? Are we showing unconditional love, acceptance and kindness for ALL peoples?
Take a moment to consider these startling statistics:
- 1 in 4 girls will be sexually molested by 18 years of age
- 1 in 6 boys will be sexually molested by 18 years of age
- 3.3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year
- 1 in 5 teen girls are victims of dating violence
- 1 in 10 teen boys are victims of dating violence
- Sixty percent of American children are exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities
- Almost 40 percent of American children were direct victims of 2 or more violent acts, and 1 in 10 were victims of violence 5 or more times
- A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
- 90% are abused by someone they know, love or trust.
- Over 60 percent of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
- Rates of depression, anxiety, drug abuse, PTSD, delinquent behaviors, failing in schools are all astronomically higher from unhealthy homes
If we want to change the lives of our teenagers, we must first change our own culture. As adults, we must take the lead and stand for our youth. We need to be funding and supporting mentoring programs. If possible, we should begin our own with the at-risk youth in our lives.
It all starts in our own homes. If our kids are emotionally healthy and hold themselves in high esteem – they too can make a difference in the lives of their peers! Helping your teenager grow confidence has a ripple effect that will change many lives, now and in the future.
If you want more kindness in the world, put some thereZero Dean
When you were an adolescent, what did you long to receive but didn’t? Old, unhealthy patterns don’t have to be repeated. You have the power to break them today.
Were you lonely, confused, unheard, unsupported, abandoned or rejected? Whatever you went through – be the opposite for the young adult in your life now. Use your pain for a purpose.
There is something very healing about being for someone else what you always wish you had.
Helping Your Teenager Grow Confidence Starts Early
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. – Peggy O’Mara #speakkindly #parenting #bekindTweet
The days we’re living in now are unlike any other time in history. Oh how I pray for all the families actively raising children right now. You reading this, my heart and my prayers are with you!
Healthy self-esteem and confidence starts early in life. When we provide a strong foundation throughout their lives of love, support and guidance – the lessons will stay with them when the going gets rough.
Teenage life is a sensitive process. You may not be perfect friends as they go through this coming-of-age process, but you can be strong allies. That’s what counts.
Always remember that how you speak to your child now determines how they will speak to themselves later.
Of course, we will have bad days and make mistakes! Ask forgiveness and learn together from it. Consider it just another opportunity to grow. Heaven knows we should never stop doing that!
What ways have you been helping your teenager grow confidence and be the best versions of themselves possible? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.Jim Henson
Did this help you? Please share with your friends. Thank you! ♥
Sending All Of My Love To You & Yours,