When you lack in self-confidence, you lack in self-reliance. If you can’t believe that you’re worth it, or that you can do anything right, you lose the ambition to try. There is nothing more damning to the soul than the absence of hope.
When you’re a teen struggling to create your identity and discover who you are as a person, a lack of self-confidence can be detrimental. Teens are under tremendous pressure as it is, and low self-assurance effects multiple aspects of their life, from academic, social, and even recreational.
Dangers of Low Self-Confidence
Having self-confidence and self-assurance isn’t just about leaving the house feeling good about the day. It’s the core of a person’s thinking. Our perspective of the world, from job and school performance to relationships are all enhanced or skewed by our view of how well we think we can do.
For our teens, low self-esteem can lead to limited economic prospects, and studies have shown that low self-esteem and confidence can lead to criminal activity as the person fears they have no other options.
Building Confidence in Our Children
Since confidence and self-assurance is so important, what can we as parents do for our children to ensure they believe in themselves?
Give your child the chance to decide for themselves. This isn’t a quick fix, either. They may make the wrong choice, but that leads us to our next one…
2. Learning to live with their decisions.
Mistakes are made, but learning how to analyze and grow from our mistakes makes the fear of failure diminish. Failure ceases to be so scary and children start feeling more confident to take risks and strike out more. With each new failure, your child learns more about themselves, and that’s what confidence really is—understanding and believing in one’s strengths.
3. Physical activity.
Not necessarily competitive sports, but at any and all ages, your child needs to learn how their body moves. It’s how they get around and they’re going to be stuck with it for some time. The more familiar they get with their body, the more confident the become in their own body image.
4. Focus on the positive.
This can be tricky. Don’t be insincere with your praise thinking you’re doing them a favor. Kids can see through it and the lie instead makes them feel that since they’re not worthy of true praise, nothing they do must be right. Instead, simply focus on pointing out what they’ve done well and don’t only point out mistakes or problems.