As a parent, it’s often difficult to see your children suffering. The tendency can be to compensate for the cruelty of the world by heaping tons of praise on your child. Also, by constantly offering them reassurance and advice, but this is not always healthy. Especially in those difficult adolescents and teenage years when kids want to exercise independence! Advice and compliments can induce eye-rolls from a young human trying to establish their self-sufficiency.
As such, when our kids slowly start to become adults we need to give them room to breathe and discover themselves, but this doesn’t mean we can’t try and understand what’s going on and commiserate from a distance, offer well-thought-out advice on the rare occasion that they ask for it. The child needs to be brought up differently at each stage of life, thus parents must take care and understand their child’s emotion.
How to Make a Child More Confident?
One of the biggest problems plaguing teen culture today is low-self esteem. Pop journalism is constantly repeating the refrain that digital media (Instagram and Snapchat) makes children compare themselves to others compulsively. But, it often goes deeper than this. A large number of the population in North America suffers from ADD and ADHD, including a large portion of the adult population (in case you’ve never considered yourself as a potential case). A recent condition tied to ADD is rejection-sensitive dysphoria (RSD). For people who suffer from RSD, the fear of rejection – which is often based on a gross distortion of reality, or a skewed perspective – is almost unbearable.
People who suffer from RSD often either become people pleasers and lose track of what defines them as individuals or completely shut down and refuse to put any effort into socializing or finding a career. Surprisingly, RSD cannot be treated through therapy or the experience of a secure relationship, so sufferers need to either find coping mechanisms or else take medication.
Of course, children with ADHD and ADD are often already on medication, and most parents are hesitant (rightfully so) to throw even more medication at a problem. Therefore, medication or none, how can you get to the root of the problem, which seems to be a lack of fundamental confidence. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Meditation and Exercise:
This first one can be a tough sell, depending on your teen’s willingness to try new things. Meditation alone can go a tremendously long way towards helping people accept themselves for who they are, but it can be tough for people to stick with it, especially if they are busy or easily distracted. Yoga, rock climbing, judo and other physical activities build confidence and increase endorphins. Elements of mindfulness can be incorporated to help with being in the moment developing a positive, carefree attitude.
2. Music Lessons:
Music is something that definitely boosts confidence, so if your teen shows any interest whatsoever in pursuing an instrument, take them down to your local Long &McQuade music store and rent them a guitar. Between self-expression and mastering a certain skill set, their confidence will skyrocket.
3. Creative Writing:
Again, this could be a tough sell. Self-expression is a huge part of overcoming low self-confidence and fear of rejection. Let your teen can take their angst and put into words, or a creative short story. It will help them out a lot in the long wrong. Often times difficult feelings fester because the sufferer can’t figure out how to communicate them to the outside world. This is a recipe for perpetuating sadness.