Being a teenager takes a toll on confidence. Whether it’s starting high school or going to their first school dance, teenagers face a lot of uncharted, oftentimes, scary territory. Instinctively, parents want to do everything they can to boost their child’s confidence and instill a powerful, can-do attitude without adding any arrogance or entitlement. While every teenager is different, there are a few things parents can do to help support their teen as they navigate the halls of high school and their formative teenage years.
Instill Good Study Habits
Transitioning from middle to high school can be overwhelming for teens. From trying to fit in among peers to the additional homework, organization and good study habits are a must.
As they get older, it’s natural for teenagers to want independence and to not be told what to do. However, with so many changes going on at one time, it’s easy for teens to get lost in a sea of homework and fall behind.
Creating an organized space where your teen can study without distraction does wonders to boost a feeling of independence and self-esteem. Encourage consistency when it comes to homework. Give them a window where they choose when they complete it but they still have a timeline in which is needs to be done. However, remember that grades aren’t everything. Helping them become a kind individual who loves life and maintains good mental health is more important than making an A-plus on everything. Encourage them to do their best but be there to support them even when they feel they fall short.
Look For Alternatives They Are Comfortable With
Remember when you were in high school and the only thing you wanted was to be part of the most popular clique? In high school, teens go through a slew of physical changes, and their physical appearance plays an enormous role in confidence levels. Even something as common as needing braces can cause an unnecessary amount of drama. If something makes your child uncomfortable, look into alternatives or compromises.
For example, if your teen needs braces but can’t face their peers with a mouth full of traditional metal braces, you can opt for a clear, Invisalign option. Virtually undetectable on their teeth, not having to worry about teasing at school will also do wonders for your child’s self-confidence. While you may know that things like braces are incredibly common and will probably not single out your child, investing in an alternative that your child feels comfortable with will help them feel more comfortable during this confusing time of change.
Let Them Know You Are There
Not quite an adult, yet not quite a child. So many teenagers feel this way but are afraid to say it. They want to explore their new horizons, but they also need the security that you are there. Stress the importance of feelings, not accomplishments. Sure, you want your teen to get good grades, but how they feel on a daily basis is even more important. Carve out time for just the two of you. Provide the opportunity for them to speak openly with you but also remember not to force it. When they’re comfortable and want to talk, they will.
Even with the best of intentions, there will be times when your teen questions themselves and lack the confidence they need. As a loving parent, just know that while you can guide them, they need to take the first step and understand that it’s all part of growing up. Remind them frequently of how proud you are of them. Even if they don’t shower you with hugs and kisses, it means more than you can imagine.