Teenage mental health is an issue that continues to increase over time. Studies have shown a dramatic increase from the 1930s to the 1990s, and further studies are currently measuring the current rates in today’s youth. With increased pressure from school, home life, and the new added pressures from social media, it’s no wonder that it can be hard for a teen to stay confident when they’re being pressured from all sides.
Fortunately, your teens aren’t alone. They have you. Parents can take an active role in preventing these issues with confidence and wellbeing.
By taking these simple, yet incredibly important steps, we can ensure that we raise our children to be confident adults.
It’s easy for parents to get into the habit of constantly correcting their children, or to dismiss their opinions or ideas. It’s nothing malicious most of the time. It’s a leftover habit from when they were children and knew nothing of the world. We get locked in that mentality of them not knowing any better, and we need to teach and guide them. Yet when we’re constantly putting down their ideas and not listening, it instead teaches them that we don’t value their thoughts and opinions, which can put a nail in the coffin of their self-confidence.
If you don’t believe in them, they’ll think no one will. You know them best, so if you don’t put in the effort, they grow to believe they’re not worth the effort. Be encouraging with your children. Don’t just say nice things, but instead be encouraging. Go to events, attend recitals, or just be interested in what they’re interested in.
3. Teach them how to fail.
Not just failing, but what to do when they fail. Life is not about success, but about how we deal with our failures. An inability to adjust to failure, and never picking ourselves up again stops their progress in life at the first sign of difficulty. Anxiety stems from fear of the future, specifically the worst-case scenario and fear that they can’t deal with it when it comes. If we teach our children that failure can be overcome, that all they need to do is learn from it and try again, it can give them confidence in trying new things.
4. Teach the difference between confidence and arrogance.
It’s a fine line that many teenagers have to learn, like the difference between infatuation and actual love. When they’re inexperienced in either, one can very easily seem like the other. Confidence is an assurance in one’s own abilities based on experience. They’ve done it before, so they know they can do it again. Arrogance, however, needs to be proven to others. Those that are arrogant need to make others feel like they’re not as good. Helping your teen recognize the difference, and to monitor their own behavior will help them not only hone their own sense of confidence, but teach them to be better people by not feeling the need to put others down in order to feel good about themselves.