Confidence and young people

Confidence is a broad term, meaning many things to different people. Most people see confidence as having belief in yourself.

Youth Mental Health Confidence Young PeopleBeing confident helps us deal with challenges in life. If we’re confident, we believe in our abilities and personal strength.

We’re also more likely to feel comfortable with ourselves and therefore, less vulnerable to peer-pressure.

It’s also an important part of building relationships and interacting with other people.

What are the signs of a confident person?

Some of the qualities and behaviours of a confident person include:

  • belief in their own ability to do things
  • doing what they believe to be right, even if it’s unpopular
  • having a sense of their own worth
  • taking responsibility for their actions
  • feeling optimistic about life
  • admitting to mistakes and learning from them.

How can you help your son or daughter’s confidence?

Be sure of them

View your son/daughter as capable and let them know it. Children are likely to become the sort of people they think others believe them to be.

Be careful what you say

Young people can be sensitive to parents’ and others’ words. Praise your son/daughter for doing something well. Remember to praise not only for a job well done but also for effort they put in.

But, be truthful. Praise is an important way of showing encouragement and support.

Try not to say things like “you’re not really sporty”. These sort of comments can have a dramatic effect on their self-belief which can affect their motivation to try.

Encourage different activities

Help your son/daughter find tasks/hobbies/sports that are challenging for them. They should be things that are difficult enough to inspire and satisfy them but not so difficult that it will cause them to be overly anxious.

Show interest

Take time to show genuine interest in what they’re doing. Ask them questions about it. Giving attention to your son/daughter on a one-to-one basis can be a powerful way of improving their self-confidence.

Be positive about failure

Help your son/daughter to see the value of mistakes and failure and that they’re normal steps towards success.

Identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs

It’s important for parents to identify their child’s irrational beliefs, whether they’re about perfection, attractiveness, academic ability, sporting ability etc.

Help them set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves. Encourage them to see the situation in a more objective way. This will help them to have a healthy self-concept.

Be a positive role model

If you’re excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your son/daughter might mirror your thoughts and behaviours. Nurture your own self-esteem and they will have a good role model.


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