• 4 Ways to Build Confidence in Your Teen | Shari Medini | Episode 186

  • Build confidence in your teen

    Self-confidence is an important core support and driving force behind our teens’ ability to move forward in building their lives; however, it’s too easy for our kids to focus on their failures, to be afraid to try, to compare themselves to others and feel like they’ll never measure up. Shari Medini, author and co-owner of AdoreThemParenting.com, joins Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler to discuss our teens’ lack of self-esteem, how that impacts their behavior and relationships, and four healthy ways to build confidence in your teen.

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    With low self-esteem, our kids hold themselves back to lower the bar for themselves or they try to appear confident through talking themselves up and putting others down. 

    High Points From Our Conversation on Ways to Build Confidence in Your Teen:

    Quote about how to build confidence in your teen

    A lack of self-confidence can leave our teens feeling stuck.

    We wonder why our kids won’t try things, or why they don’t perform up to the potential we’ve seen them show before. Fear. Fear is a very big thing for our kids—fear of failing, of not living up to expectations, of not knowing what to do next.

    That fear and lack of confidence can show up everywhere: in schoolwork, in relationships, in your family dynamics, in job performance or friendships.

    Lack of self-esteem manifests differently depending on the person. Some teens withdraw, don’t put themselves out there, don’t try new things. Others overcompensate, throw themselves headfirst into everything.

    Our kids haven’t lived as long as we have; they have shorter histories and fewer experiences, and that makes things (especially new things) scarier. We have skills and perspectives they haven’t had the chance to build up yet.

    Share your perspective with your teen. Communicate. If they’re facing a situation that you faced once, share that story. Tell them, this happened to me, and this is how it felt for me. How does this feel for you?

    Work on building up an emotional vocabulary between you and your teen, so that they have the words to describe their feelings and you have a common point of understanding in various situations.

    Build confidence in your teen by looking back on their past successes, especially small ones (being there for a friend, helping a parent, caring for a pet). Help them focus on their natural strengths and what comes easily for them.

    Focus on the traits, skills and experience they have that you and others value. Further build confidence in your teen by pointing these out and reminding them that these are things that they have direct control over.

    Sometimes perfection is not necessary, or even possible. Sometimes good enough is good enough—you don’t need to throw everything you have into everything you do. Leave time to pursue other interests or passions.

    If your teen doesn’t have the confidence they feel they need yet—tell them to fake it til you make it. Help them explore and observe what confident people do (body language, speech patterns, facial expressions, eye contact, conversational topics) and then let them imitate it. Eventually they’ll become so used to those patterns and habits that they’ll feel natural instead of forced.

    When you look and act confident, people treat you differently.

    The clothes make the man (or woman or both or neither)! Build confidence in your teen inwardly by helping them feel and look confident in their outward appearance.

    Parents unintentionally sabotage our kids by harping on/commenting on what they’re doing wrong. We need to develop the habit of commenting on the positives—our kids are already cycling through their negatives, let’s not make that worse. 

    Consider developing a routine before events or classes or hangouts to help build your teen’s confidence: How are you feeling? Why do you think you’re feeling this way? Is there anything I can do to help you feel better about this? If they’re still anxious or self-deprecating, go through a quick checklist with them: Did you prepare? Did you do what you need to do to be ready? Do you have all of your things? Your outfit? Your mental space? Be encouraging but realistic. Help them believe they can do what they set out to do.


    Parenting while Working from Home by Shari Medini and Karissa Tunis

    The Surprising Reason Kids Can’t Handle Disappointment or Failure | Dr. Gilboa | Episode 2

    Society and Body Image and Its Impact On Our Kids | Dana Suchow | Episode 32

    Use Resilience Parenting To Raise Teenagers Who Are Ready For Life | Chris and Holly Santillo | Episode 81

    Why Finding Your Authentic Self Is So Important For Teens | Cathy Lander-Goldberg | Episode 98

    How To Build Self-Confidence In Your Teenager | Dr. Melanie McNally | Episode 129 

    Our Guest Shari Medini:

    Shari Medini discusses how to build confidence in your teen

    Shari Medini is the co-author of Parenting while Working from Home and the co-owner of AdoreThemParenting.com. Her parenting articles have been published in dozens of print and online publications. Shari’s past experience includes working as a freelance writer and marketing strategist for companies across the country, mentoring and speaking as a mindset coach, and working with children and families in the mental health field. She understands the demands of working from home and loves sharing tips to help balance it all. When she’s not on her laptop, Shari can be found spending quality time with her husband and two sons exploring their hometown of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://adorethemparenting.com/ 

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