Teenage girls can often be shy and it can be hard to know what to do to help them. This article provides advice on building confidence in teenage girls because there are so many issues that young girls face today that we could have never imagined when we were their age. Sometimes we need to think from a different perspective to help our girls move in the right direction. So if you feel you need some help, you have come to the right place.
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford
The Blank Slate
No person is born with an adult’s mind. That’s not a weird thing to say if you think deeply. Every adult with a behaviour, a concept, a code of living was born a child and at the point of birth didn’t have any of those qualities. A child is said to be born on a blank slate, with no ideas or thoughts, no confidence or fear. What the child becomes is learned from every experience and every person that leaves an impression on the child’s mind.
If the paragraph above didn’t make much sense, maybe this story will. Janet, an adult was supposed to give a speech on her brother’s wedding. She really wanted to but she knew she couldn’t because she had never given a public speech before and she had some serious fright of speaking in front of people.
A few years later, she had an accident that caused her to lose her memory. In the course of trying to help her remember, she develops interest in helping people like her until she began giving lectures on the subject of memory loss. The point is, because she returned to the blank slate, her confidence could be rebuilt positively.
The importance of the teenage years
Sadly, many parents have not come to the understanding that their actions shape the lives of their children and rub off on the confidence of the child. That period when your child is neither a baby nor an adult is critical to what he eventually grows up to be.
Teenage girls are generally more sensitive than their male counterparts. Hurting their confidence at an early stage affects their conduct, personality, happiness and social interactions. Also, society isn’t really helping, girls are usually left confused and insecure as they progress into their teenage years. They become conscious of the attention the society places on certain things, suddenly leaving once confident kids unsure of themselves.
Confidence is a major success factor in girls as it is in boys and a positive self concept should be deliberately cultured in these young girls by parents.
Parents should learn to praise their daughter’s effort rather than the result
Girls when in their teens shouldn’t only be commended when they succeed at doing things. Rather, when they make effort, their efforts should be appreciated as they cannot always control the outcome of things. This way, she believes she can do anything which is a positive effect on her confidence. Don’t overdo it, give them positive feedback, remember it’s the effort not the result that should be appreciated so even when they do not win, it doesn’t hurt their confidence.
Be careful not to disrespect your daughter
She’s a teen now and she knows it, let your respect as a parent reflect in how you address her. Don’t show contempt or disdain in your speaking, be encouraging at all times, don’t ignore her problems and fears rather treat them with utmost importance. If you disapprove of a conduct, avoid criticism if you can, sit her down and talk it out.
Give your daughter a say in issues that concerns her
This goes a long way into developing a child’s self-worth. Allow your daughter an age-corresponding say in matters that concern her. This is not a hundred percent liberty, the point is to support her interests, help them get prepared for things they really want to do and guide her in decisions she makes, you could also allow her influence your decisions.
Encourage your young lady to speak up
This can help little girls become more confident, knowing that you as parents want them to voice out things that discomfort them or they don’t have the same opinion about. An assertive girl is less likely to be bullied or treated badly by her peers reason being that she can speak up and affirm what she wants, this is a survival skill for teens.
Consciously, teach your daughter to improve her own self-esteem
Once you see a child’s self-image start to improve, you will see significant gains in achievement areas, but even more important, you will see a child who is beginning to enjoy life more. – Wayne Dyer
High self-esteem is associated with really confident people and you will do well as a parent to teach your child to think positive and have faith in herself. Encouraging them to apply positive self-talk, letting them know telling themselves (not others) how smart they are isn’t arrogant. One great way to do this is encourage her to take part in extracurricular activities that interest her, put her in training classes if need be.
Let her know that she can solve problems herself
Teaching her problem solving skills instead of solving all her problems for her will help her have a positive mindset towards problems allow her engage in critical thinking, let her see the bravery in working things out herself and also knowing when to get help.
Don’t forget the importance of reading and learning
Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know it just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers. – Richard Bach
Reading helps build a confident child in different ways. It’s your duty to allow your daughter see the importance of developing a love of learning. Learning can be passive or active, from books, events or experiences. A child that loves learning new things will be smart. Smart children are confident of themselves, take your time as a parent to teach your child basic things yourself. She trusts you and will be willing to learn, it will boost her confidence.
Try to also encourage your daughter to realise the importance of critical thinking skills in her learning. Developing her critical thinking will lead her on a path to success and independence. For more information on how to support your daughter with developing her critical thinking, click here.
Encourage and help her develop good social skills
Social interactions in this age are different from what most parents experienced while growing up. Healthy social skills should be taught, if not the tendency of negative influence is high. At the same time, don’t be paranoid, allow your daughter be with friends, new and old but monitor by knowing who her friends are, if they have positive or negative influence.
It’s important to teach kids to know what to look out for in a friend, kids tend to chose friends based on social status as they grow older, watch out for this, it can be toxic. You could go together with your daughter to see a friend of hers to see their kind of interactions and get to meet the other parents.
Spend time with your daughter as a family
Good family relationships go a long way to building up a confident teenager. It creates a loving and secure environment for your daughter and sets a foundation for building healthy social relationship with others. As a family, engage in habitual fun things, as simple as board games, family soccer, fun bike rides, go skiing together, go on a tour, consider visiting a zoo or local museum, go shopping together, make a garden, give surprises and presents and stuff like that. What this does to your daughter is more than can be explained, she reciprocates this love confidently and it reflects in her social judgment.
The teenage years for a young woman are full of adventure and are often filled with many exciting opportunities. However, navigating this time can also be tricky as your daughter is learning to take more responsibility for herself, which can make her nervous. Never underestimate the power of family support and continuous learning. The closest adults around a teenage girl are her best educators.