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From Self-Consciousness to Self-Confidence – Tips for Parents of Teens
As a parent, it can be painful to watch your teen struggle with self-consciousness and low confidence. Is there anything you can do to help build your teen’s self-confidence? Here are some tips.
Learning to Fail
We want our children to be safe, physically and emotionally. But sources say that this can become too much of a good thing. If you feel the need to protect your child from any difficulty – not allowing him to date, for instance, to protect him from a broken heart; or not letting her try out for a sports team because you don’t think she’ll be the best – then you may end up undermining your teen’s self-confidence. Learning how to try and fail and try again is one of life’s most important lessons.You may think that failure will destroy your teen – after all, if you allow him or her to fail, won’t that destroy his or her self-confidence? Surprisingly, failure can be an opportunity – it’s a chance to self-assess and ultimately build self-confidence.
Equip Your Teen
Letting your teen flounder on his own without providing guidance can compromise his sense of confidence. He needs some practical tools so that he feels confidently equipped to tackle problems and issues in his life. Have heart-to-heart talks about dating, schoolwork, and parental expectations, and arm your teen with practical advice on what to do in these areas of life. Sometimes, teens just need help formulating a plan of action to feel confident.
Don’t Always Blame Others
We all know that parent – the mom who yells at the coach when her child strikes out, or the dad who yells at the teacher when his child is reprimanded. But is that parent you? Think carefully – do you tend to take up your teen’s cause no matter what and assume the world is against her? Sometimes, in your eagerness to be a friend to your teen, you may forget that sometimes your teen is in the wrong and needs your correction, or at least your admission that she is on the wrong track.
Most teens are not aware that the images they see on television and in magazines are largely staged. Celebrities who seem perfectly beautiful aren’t necessarily so – they have the advantage of being able to spend most of every day working on their appearance, and they also have the advantage of a camera lens between themselves and the rest of the world.
Introduce your teen to the deceptive nature of magazine photography and movie cameras, and point out that keeping up appearances can be so exhausting that few celebrities have normal, healthy lives and relationships.