It is important that parents instill self-confidence in their teenagers. The media bombards us with messages telling us that we should "raise confident kids." Though this is true, just what benefits do confident teens reap that their less confident peers miss out on? Here are some compelling reasons to instill confidence in your teenager.
A Teens Today study, released by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Group in 2003, showed that a teenager's “sense of self” can be an influential factor driving his reaction to pressure from peers. The study indicated that when a teen feels confident and has a positive outlook, he is less likely to use drugs or alcohol. These substances are often used by teens as devices to feel confident or positive.
As a teen experiences success, she realizes that with each success, her confidence increases. She is able to see that the better she is at what she does, the more success she will enjoy. The more confident she is, the better she is at what she does. She works to develop her skills and abilities and has a consistent “can do” attitude.
A confident teen bounces back faster and easier from challenges, setbacks and adversity than a less confident teen does. He will experience a setback, and instead of getting down, angry or depressed, will rise up to meet the challenge and press on.
When a teenager is confident, she can accept the things that she can't change, such as certain abilities. She is better able to recognize the things that she can change. What's more, when she recognizes what she can change, she is better able to tackle any obstacles in her path, overcome those obstacles and achieve her goal.
The teenager who is confident will be more inclined to take risks while pursuing his goals, but the less confident teen is not likely to take risks. The less confident teen is afraid of losing, afraid of failure. Confident teens don't see winning or accomplishing their goals as some impossible feat. They see it as an exciting challenge that is completely doable.
Confident teens see failure in a way that is different from the way a teen with low self-esteem does. The confident teen sees failure as a result of factors that she has power to change, such as poor preparation, lack of effort or poor skills. Teens who are not confident tend to take a negative view of failure, seeing it as something they can't change. A confident teen tries again and again, not seeing failure as a setback, but as a challenge.