8 Ways to Improve Your Teen's Self-Confidence
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Thursday, April 20, 2017
By Twelfth+Grace
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Your daughter is confronted with a variety of tough issues, and learning how to deal with them can put a strain on her confidence. Tough issues range from dealing with changes to her physical appearance to being accepted in friendship groups. This is then reflected in how she behaves in public, how well she performs in school and other areas of her life, and family expectations. By becoming more accepting of herself, your daughter will become better equipped to deal with hurtful things that may damage her self-confidence.

I want to share with you some things I’ve learned about building self confidence through the years I struggled with it.

  1. When you tell your daughter that she is beautiful, make it count. Remember to also share the other attributes that makes her unique and important, as well. Smart, funny, helpful, caring – whatever it is. This way, she doesn't feel like the only thing she has to offer is her physical beauty.
  2. Help her find a special talent. Maybe it’s piano or dance – but maybe for your daughter it is drawing, service, writing, helping with jobs around the house, or anything that brings her joy and peace. Even teens that don’t seem to be building a talent- are, it just looks different than you may have originally imagined.  Every talent helps your daughter find self-worth.
  3. Help her learn to be aware of her self-talk. Learning to be aware of self-talk is probably the hardest lesson when it comes to building confidence (I'm still learning this one myself!).  The best piece of advice I received about self-talk is to ask yourself if you would ever speak to a friend in the same way you talk about yourself.  That concept stopped me dead in my tracks and made me so much more aware of how I talked to myself.  I would never pick apart a friend's physical appearance, so why should I pick apart my own?  I would never tell a friend that she wasn't capable of doing something, so why should I tell myself I can't do something?  I suggest taking note of the thoughts you have about yourself (whether it be physical attributes or abilities), as well as the tone of the words (positive vs. negative) you speak about yourself .  Then, pay attention to how your daughter talks about herself.  Does she degrade herself or constantly talk about what she doesn't like about herself? Remind her that she is beautiful just the way she is and there’s no need to be so hard on herself.  Then ask her if she would ever speak to a friend in the same manner and ask her to keep that question in the back of her mind the next time the negative self-talk starts to sneak in.
  4. Create activities where your daughter is surrounded by supportive people. Plan fun activities with family members or friends that add happiness to her life. Let her be silly or goofy.  Serve with her.  Serving others is probably the fastest way for anyone to start feeling better when self-confidence is low.  Doing something for someone else brightens your mood.  When you serve others, it immediately boosts your confidence.  It doesn’t change the situation, but it helps us get out of our own head and realize that everyone around us is struggling with something.
  5. Work with her.  Chores are a pain for teens.  I wish I could say I remember but I actually enjoyed helping my mom with chores around the house.  But if your daughter despises chores, work together to get them done.  You may both find that the dreaded chore isn't so bad when you work together...in fact you might actually enjoy your time together.  It could happen, maybe not always, but at least it opens up opportunities to talk as you and your daughter are folding socks.
  6. Know what is going on in her life. Okay, this one can be so frustrating – stalking teenagers.  With all the new smartphone apps it is nearly impossible to track what’s going on in your daughter's life – but it is worth the effort. Through monitoring her texts, calls, activities and more – you can see patterns and the different groups of friends that play an important part in her life. You can’t always control it, but you can try to identify things that may be concerning – which leads me to my next point.
  7. Be her friend. I believe that a parent should be a parent first, and a friend, TOO. If your teen is used to having conversations about her everyday life – the good, funny, exciting…. my theory is, at least, when the hard things happen, you can more easily discuss them. You have to build up the trust bank account before withdrawals can be taken – or you have a deficit.  Watch the YouTube videos she wants to share, try to be engaged in seemingly meaningless social media things with her (yes, even the Snapchat filters!), go to the park, eat popcorn together, invite her friends over – it is her love language.
  8. Schedule a Professional Photo Session. You may have noticed your daughter loves taking “selfies”.  There is something about seeing yourself in beautiful images that boosts confidence!  Even I get a little boost in confidence when I see great, professional images. So why not plan a day around your daughter to celebrate who she is RIGHT NOW.  You don't have to wait until Senior Year for a session!  You can schedule a best friend session with your daughter and her closest friend(s) to celebrate their friendship.  Or an individual session to show off your daughter's uniqueness, her talents, and her hobbies (as they are RIGHT NOW, she may not have the same interests come senior year that she does this year)!  This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight her unique personality and interests, while making her feel special and beautiful!  The Grace+Teens Program is geared towards boosting self confidence through an experience that leaves the girls feeling confident, embracing the unique characteristics they have been given and to make new friendships that will last a lifetime!  

Confidence building, self esteem boosting and individual uniqueness are key in navigating the teen years and Twelfth+Grace can help.  Read about upcoming Grace+Teens program HERE.

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