From experiencing rapid physical changes to navigating high school politics, being a teenager is complicated. But when younger people are burdened with low self-esteem, these challenges can be much more difficult to endure. For some, a lack of confidence can even result in an increased risk for depression, self-harm, and other destructive behaviors. Talking to a counselor can help teens navigate these feelings, but if you’re a parent, you can also help your teen avoid these patterns by following these confidence-boosting tips.
5 Tips to Raise a Confident Teen
1. Set an Example
As the older role model in your child’s life, boosting your self-esteem will show how easy it is to reframe negative perspectives. When you encounter issues or are unhappy with yourself, express your opinions with positivity and self-encouragement.
2. Encourage Positive Self-Talk
If your child ever takes a critical attitude about themselves, point out the behavior and have them practice positive self-talk. For example, if they aren’t happy about their weight, you could have them look in the mirror and say, “I am beautiful.” While they may not believe it at first, repeating these statements can help diffuse negative thought patterns over time.
3. Support Diverse Extracurricular Activities & Hobbies
Whether your child has an interest in athletics, the arts, or all of the above, you want to support their extracurricular activities and hobbies. When you cheer your teen on and help them participate, they’ll have more opportunities to see what they are capable of. These activities will also give them a chance to build strong support networks with teammates and peers, which, in turn, can boost confidence.
4. Discourage Doubt
When your teen expresses doubt or feels unsure about what they want, encourage them to be more assertive. As your child practices saying “yes” to attractive opportunities and “no” to what isn’t right for them, they will learn to respect and value their own opinion. If there’s a viewpoint they cannot reframe or work through, have them speak with a counselor to explore the potential mechanisms behind the thought pattern, such as depression.
5. Promote Body Acceptance
Negative body image is one of the core sources of poor confidence in teen girls and boys. As such, counselors recommend refraining from critical comments regarding a child’s appearance, such as those about weight, clothing choices, or skincare. Instead, compliment your child’s individuality and the qualities that make them shine.
If poor self-esteem is disrupting your teen’s life, seek professional support when negative patterns continue or grow worse. Focused on helping Dallas-Fort Worth families, the team at LiveBeyond Counseling & Coaching in Keller, TX, offers many forms of therapy, including those for adolescent clients. Understanding that every person is unique, these counselors will employ individualized solutions that not only discourage negative behaviors but also promote positive perspectives. To learn more about their teen and adult counseling services, visit this Keller clinic online. If you’d like to set up an appointment, call (817) 745-4517.