Building Confidence in Teens
“Confidence in teens” is a strange set of words…kind of like a magnet. Sometimes they click together quite strongly and other times, they seem to repel each other! If you have a teen, you know that confidence in teens is tricky. They can be full of confidence flying down the interstate and weaving between cars one minute (when we’re not there to dramatically grab the dashboard and yell, “What are you thinking?!”), and completely doubting themselves around their friends at co-op the next!
It’s a wild ride, these hormones.
I remember as a teen arguing some misguided point with my parents at home, and then at school, walking around the campus, clinging to my purse as though my left arm was frozen, head down, walking quickly and hoping no one noticed me walking awkwardly (which I didn’t even know was awkward until some friends were teasing me about it one day).
Yep, I had that full magnet thing going on when it came to confidence! I wanted confidence so badly, but it wasn’t always there for me.
Confidence in teens isn’t always just going to “be there.” As parents, we need to be intentional to help our teens develop their confidence in the right ways.
Of course, we certainly want to try to help them find the balance and be truly confident, rather than controlled by their current feelings…which are many and varied, depending on the time of day! We want them to be confident enough to walk tall, but not so confident that they drive us crazy with their ridiculous arguments!😆
So, I’ve put together a few tips that will help you build confidence in teens:
1. Help them know their identity in Christ.
This is first and foremost on the list because helping our teens know their identity in Christ is where true confidence is developed! There is great security in knowing who our Heavenly Father is, and knowing that no matter what (and unlike fickle friends), He accepts us if we love and follow Him!
A good movie about identity is Overcomer by the Kendrick Brothers. I love how at the end of the movie the girl, Hannah, writes out all the identity statements found in Scripture. Have your teen do the same! And of course, encourage them to have their own personal devotions daily and talk to God as his best friend.
2. Identify their gifts.
Building confidence in teens can be done through identifying their special God-given gifts. While our main identity is in Christ, every person wants to feel they have an area of expertise and special gifting. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17) and God has given us all good gifts to use for His glory!
Unfortunately, many teens have not yet figured out what those gifts are. It is easy to get so caught up in checking boxes that we forget to allow our kids to pursue their gifts in homeschooling. If you have not been as faithful with this, don’t worry! There is still time. And the “Who Is This Child?” Journal can be a great help for doing this.
According to Malcom Gladwell in his book, Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours to develop a natural talent and become an expert in any field. Imagine if your child was given such a gift before going out into the world to earn a living! Identifying and encouraging your teen’s gifts will not only help build their confidence, but also help them discover a sense of purpose for their education and give them goals to work towards to become a true expert in their interests.
3. Encourage them to start a journal.
One of the best things for me as a pre-teen and teen was journaling. (In fact, to point #2, it was my fifth-grade teacher who identified a writing gift in me and told my parents I should start journaling daily. It built my confidence immensely to know that I had a special gift and was not “stupid.”)
Journaling allowed me to truly process all those crazy, mismatched feelings and figure out what I believed about different events and issues. And it also further strengthened my writing gift.
Being a writer, I was never intimidated by the blank pages staring at me. But if you have a teen who gets overwhelmed at all those lines in a blank journal, you may want to check out the Teen Confidence Planner. You can even sign up for a free sample below! Whether your teen is a writer or not, journaling is a wonderful way to process emotions and build confidence.
4. Encourage and praise them.
Encourage and praise them to build confidence in teens. So many changes are happening during this time and teens can be very frustrating, not just because they seem to suddenly enjoy being difficult, but also because they are just genuinely difficult! Their brains are changing and boys, especially, seem to go through a “dumb phase” (sorry, it’s just true!).
Because of this, teens can be very sensitive about their abilities and appearance. We need to be especially careful about teasing or making comments that may be misunderstood and hurtful to them. It’s easy to think teasing is harmless, but I know when I was young it could be very hurtful and it often seemed as though teasing was a method of trying to get me to change things about myself without caring enough to tell me outright.
By simply praising our teens and encouraging them when they do well, we can build their confidence to continue trying new things and persevering in the pursuit of their gifts.
4. Find Godly Friends and Mentors.
Friendship can be crucial during these years, and it can also be one of the biggest challenges as a homeschooling family. The opportunities for building good, solid friendships can be limited to church or co-op or outside classes (if you participate in those). And, just like conventional school, you may not exactly love all the kids in those groups.
This is where prayer comes in! When my oldest was just five years old, I found a note written in the fog on the bathroom mirror: “I will never have a friend.” You better believe that broke my heart as a mom! I had a heart-to-heart with Konur and said, “If you want a friend, God cares about that. Let’s pray you find one!” And God answered that prayer just a few short weeks later with a friendship that lasted years.
Pray for and with your teens to find solid, godly friendships and especially mentorships. Don’t be afraid to look for godly adults who can also mentor and disciple your teens. Perhaps the worship leader can sit down to coffee a couple times a month with your son who loves playing guitar. Or maybe the grandmother who enjoys sewing can teach your daughter while she pours godly wisdom into her. Look for opportunities around you and just ask! But God will make divine appointments and connections if you just ask Him first.
Confidence in teens is important, but it doesn’t just happen overnight or without some input from Mom and Dad. Persevere in helping your teen develop into a godly Christian by following these suggestions and you will see confidence grow in his life!
Most importantly, commit to praying for your teen daily and asking God for more specific revelation on how to help your unique teenager build more confidence in who He created him to be. There are no magic bullets in this walk of faith, but God desires to help us as we seek Him and pray for our teens!
Welcome to the Homeschool Giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with bloggers who share your passion for creating an enriching homeschool experience. As a token of appreciation for the amazing homeschooling teen community, two families will each receive a $75 gift card to support their teen’s homeschooling journey.
How to Enter:
Entering is a breeze! Click on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of the blog this page , follow the instructions, and you’ll be in the running to win a fantastic gift card!
- Entries accepted through January 16, 2024.
- Winner announcement shortly after.
- For all terms and conditions, refer to the Rafflecopter.
If you have more questions, read the Terms and Condition on the Rafflecopter.
We understand the dedication it takes to homeschool, especially when your teen is your focus. This giveaway is our way of saying thank you for being part of this incredible community.
Feel free to share this news with your fellow homeschooling friends. The more, the merrier!
Best of luck in the giveaway!