Ways to Make Your Adolescent Feel Confident
That awkward age - when your child slowly moves from childhood to the teen years. Parents might remember this phase of life as sometimes an emotional challenge. Try these quick tips for boosting your adolescent's self-esteem and letting them know you're on their side, no matter what.
- Build trust: give frequent chances to be trusted, treat your child like an honest person, and follow through on your own promises as a parent.
- Give responsibility: let your child make real decisions and handle tasks on his own, like feeding the dog before school or setting his own alarm clock. This is a chance for him to practice self-discipline and work within personal limits to get his assigned tasks done.
- Praise: give compliments, hugs and positive feedback for goals met and efforts made.
- Encourage talents and interests: put a recent piece of artwork on the wall or fridge, or ask about new music choices. You're showing your child that you value her individuality.
- Show them how to be useful: having a role in a family activity or being helpful in the community gives kids a real way to feel needed.
- Teach them how to accept failure: let kids talk about their frustrations when things go wrong, give them constructive advice for improvement ("Try throwing the ball like this," not "You're never going to make the team") and explain the opportunity to learn and try again.
- Strengthen relationships: by caring about and for family members, friends and neighbors, you can teach your child to be proud of belonging to these networks.
- Especially for girls, WomensHealth.gov offers parents in Hispanic and African-American communities videos and resources on communicating with adolescent girls, with issues ranging from generational differences, rule-setting, peer pressure and self-image. [go now]
- Download and print Helping Teenagers Deal with Stress, a tip sheet from our Parent Resource Library.