These expert tips will help teens develop their sense of self and gain confidence.
Adolescents are not alone in feeling unsure of themselves. Temporary self-uncertainty arises because young people transition from the safety and comfort found at home into an uncertain world where they don't know yet what will happen or how adults work - but it's perfectly normal! Teenagers must redefine themselves during this stage before figuring out who "they" really want (or need) to be, personally AND academically.
Questions like, who am I, who, and how do I want to be? What can and can't I do? What do I want, and how do I achieve that? Those are complex questions that can be challenging even for adults, let alone for a young, developing mind. For most, those questions accompany us throughout our lives. During puberty, however, teens can be overwhelmed because there are usually more questions than answers. A lack of self-confidence in teenagers is, therefore, not an actual psychological deficit but a regular part of a maturing process.
Becoming a CEO of Confidence takes time. I can't do it. This won't work …. are phrases parents and teachers often hear from their teenagers.
Self-doubt remains a part of teenagers' identity development until they are firmly established. However, this lack of self-confidence can make it difficult to deal with peers or new challenges partly because teenagers know they do not have all the answers and are still dependent on their parents. Something most teenagers will fiercely deny.
Fortunately, it is possible to build self-confidence. And parents can contribute to that process.
How to strengthen your child's self-confidence
- Give your child your undivided attention occasionally - even if it's only ten minutes a day when you visit them in their room! They will feel that you are attentive. This is needed at this time in their lives and positively affects their self-confidence.
- Empower them with tools and resources. The Book, Becoming a CEO of Confidence should be a staple for all teens.
- Express your affection, for example, through loving gestures, hugs, and offers to talk.
- Get the teenager's opinion more often and take it seriously!
- Set reasonable expectations, and don't overestimate grades.
- Have confidence in your child's (developmental) abilities and show this by letting them decide things for themselves more often. This strengthens their self-confidence immensely!
- Show understanding of "weaknesses." Nobody is perfect, especially when they are in a difficult phase in life.
- Appreciate the child's friends and hobbies! Show interest, but do not control them.