Self-esteem and self-confidence can easily be the victim of comparison to peers or others. It can be difficult for teens to feel successful or feel good about themselves when their environment pushes them to do otherwise.
As a parent, you can help your teen develop a sense of their self-worth, rather than letting the people around them influence them. A teen who feels a sense of belonging, security, and good health will be a winner no matter what happens.
How can you help your teen develop a sense of self-worth? Try these tactics:
- Love them unconditionally. Unconditional love lets your child build their sense of self-worth on a solid foundation, not in competition with others.
– Ensure your teen can tell that your love does not depend on other factors, like grades, performance in sports, or popularity.
– A teen that feels that you only love them when they get good grades or win a tennis championship may feel inadequate or worthless if they fail. Love them for who they are, not for what they can do for you.
– That doesn’t also mean you can’t have disagreements with your teenager. But stress that you love them no matter what.
- Rather than push your agenda on your teenager, give them all the support they need with their choices. If your teenager chooses to participate in dance, sports, or a club, support them.
– Instead of shaming them for not pursuing a particular path (and telling them you’re disappointed), help them find a course that better suits them. Parents have a significant influence on their children.
– So when parents force their teen to pursue a specific path, it places so much pressure on them and can cause them anxiety. But, with unconditional love and support, teens will be free to make good choices for themselves.
- Welcome a growth mindset rather than a fixed one in the home. Growth mindsets encourage teens to be open to new challenges, whether they’re learning a language, trying a new sport, or tackling a complicated math problem.
– Embracing a growth mindset is healthier for your teens’ mental health than a fixed mindset. Many children have fixed mindsets when it comes to their abilities. That means they believe their test scores and grades tell them everything they need to know.
– But, if your teen has a growth mindset, they learn that they can constantly improve and continue to grow in confidence.
- Teach them to be assertive. Teens have to learn to take charge of their lives, set boundaries, talk to others respectfully, and speak up for themselves. That can be difficult for parents, but ultimately, it benefits the teen in the long run.
– You can teach assertiveness by practicing it yourself, setting clear rules, and saying no to your teen when they ask for something unreasonable. When they learn such skills early, they’ll apply them to other situations.
– Not only will they speak up for themselves when people treat them poorly, but they’ll also be able to stand up for others when they need a shoulder.
- Become a model of confidence. One of the most important things parents can do early on is instilling in their children a belief in themselves. By believing in your teen and reminding them that they can achieve great things, you help build confidence.
– Confidence is an essential trait for your teen to develop because it’s important to be able to stand on their own two feet and have confidence in themselves.
So maybe our society isn’t perfect. But until we can create an ideal world, we can still do everything in our power to make it better for the next generation.
And one of the best ways to do that is by supporting your teen, listening to their thoughts and opinions, and encouraging them to chase their dreams.