Sierra is 14- year-old from Houston, TX. She enjoys writing, photography, and music is a huge part of her life. One day she aspires to be a publishing author.
What do you see when you look in your mirror? Or better yet, what do you hear? That must sound like crazy talk to you considering mirrors don’t talk. But you know what I am talking about, right? There is always that voice in your head telling you “Your forehead is too big” or, “Don’t buy that swimsuit because your too fat”, or “You will never finish or achieve anything so why try?” Does this voice sound familiar now? I know it does because at one point in all of our lives, no matter if we are a teen or parent, we have experienced this cruel voice. No matter what age we are all vulnerable to the voice of discouragement, and sometimes I think parents forget or overlook the fact that their teens don’t have as much confidence as they think; or the important of confidence.
I would like to ask parents this: What do you think your teen sees when they look in the mirror? Or more importantly, do you even care what your teen sees in the mirror? Or most importantly, do you even know what your teen sees in the mirror? Sometimes parents just need to simply take a look. I know there are tons of articles about how to feel beautiful, or society’s messed up way of making teens believe they have to look a certain way, but honestly how many articles are there on why adults need their teenager to feel the confidence that everyone deserves? In my experience I haven’t read many, especially ones written by a teen.
Why it is so important for my teen to feel confident.
When you feel confident you feel like you can overcome most obstacles life throws at you. And as a parent I know you’re thinking, “What problems can a teen have? They’re just kids.” Well we might not have your problems as an adult but we do have problems. If you would just take a look you might be able to seem them. Do you know what we are struggling in at school? Do you know if we are being bulled? Do you know how we feel about our home life? Do you think you know or do you really know? So yes we do have problems that we need to overcome even if you don’t see it, and confidence really gives us a boost to help us fight these things. Confidence also is just something we deserve as being humans. We deserve to be happy and love ourselves no matter what pant size we wear, nationality, or even what society says.
Teenage girls AND boys feel insecure
In a lot of cases adults don’t really consider the fact that teenage boys can have insecurities. Some do, but some don’t. I am teenage girl so it’s hard for me to understand certain male insecurities, so I talked to a few of my guy friends: “As a male teenager I feel a ton of pressure having to have an eight pack and huge muscular arms in order to feel like girls will even consider looking at me,” says one male teen. I think that as males it might be tougher to really open up about these insecurities because of the fact that as being a male you’re supposed to “be tough” and “be a man”, so you never have a chance to open up about how you feel because you will be looked down upon for being a “wimp”.
Parents might be more familiar with female insecurities because you always hear about teenage girls feeling they have to look a certain way and act a certain way in order to feel beautiful. This is very true and just because parents hear about these insecurities all the time they almost feel as if it is less important and “their daughter could never feel that way”. You would be very surprised what you would get out of a teenager by simply talking to them. I think as being parents you should take into consideration when you are raising your teen to actually talk to your teen to see how they feel about pressures of being in school and certain insecurities they may feel.
The best way to find out your teen’s insecurities
When I began writing this subtitle I was going to put “if your teen has insecurities” but then I remembered that no one has nothing that they wish they could change about themselves. Some people have learned to accept and love the things they wish they could change at one time but no one is perfect, therefore there is something wrong with all of us. In a lot of cases people put in articles certain things you should look out for to tell if your child is being insecure. But in my experience a teen can just fake a smile everyday to hide insecurities, so just talking works a lot better to see what your teen struggles with. For me the best way for parents to come up to me with questions they may have concerning my feelings is just for them to be real. I really hate when the conversation sounds like it is coming out of a book or it is being forced because “good parents have conversations with their kids”. When I feel like it is just a friendly conversation I easily gravitate to it more. Another huge thing of getting teens to open up is when we tell you things that you may not like don’t just yell at us or start an argument. Figure out our pattern of thinking and be nice about it.
Those are just little tips to get your teen to open up. In conclusion though, I would like to leave this article on the note of from teen to parent, it’s really a huge deal to instill confidence in your child just like any other moral. Thanks for reading!!
Photo by piesoup on Flickr