Last Updated: February 2021
Teenagers today are facing unprecedented social pressures. Social media features a highlight reel of other people’s lives, while photo filters create fake images that no teen can achieve.
Living in a constant state of comparison, teens find themselves lacking in nearly every aspect of life, and the result is devastating to their confidence.
As a parent, you know that your teen is beautiful inside and out. So, how do you convey that to them in a way that is believable and meaningful? Learn more about how to help your teen gain confidence.
How Social Media and Technology Can Impact Your Teen‘s Confidence
A quick look through history will show your child how the definition of beauty has changed drastically over the years.
At one point in time, the more prominent a woman’s forehead was, the better. Sometimes, men with facial hair were considered attractive; at other times, they were supposed to be clean-shaven.
Trends in beauty and body type will come and go, so it is crucial to develop a strong sense of self-confidence in young people.
Beauty ideals can change daily, and through social media, everyone has access to them instantly. The truth is that there is no possible way any person could fit the image being set before us continually.
If you are seeing a lack of confidence in your teen, consider having him or her embark on a social media or technology fast. During this time, have your daughter or son refrain from scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms where teenagers often find themselves comparing – and falling short. Being so entrenched in social media, as many of today’s teens are, is dangerous for their mental health and physical health.
How to Build Teen Confidence Through Better Health
Because teenagers cannot live up to continually changing cultural beauty standards, encourage your child to focus on their health. Too often, beauty and fashion trends can make teens do very unhealthy things to their bodies. They try to gain or lose too much weight, build muscles their frames cannot carry, undergo dangerous cosmetic procedures, or lay in tanning beds that increase their chance for cancer.
Help your teen gain confidence in themselves while improving their health by having them consider:
- Joining a local gym
- Leading a family effort to live a healthier lifestyle
- Meeting with a nutritionist
Through healthy living, you can increase your teen’s confidence as they learn to listen to their body and appreciate it, even when it does not meet society’s unrealistic expectations.
Ways to Stop Body-Shaming in Teens
Body-shaming is one of the most harmful things to a teenager’s self-confidence. It is essential that, as parents, we do not participate in body-shaming and that we stop it when we see it. It is not okay to bully and try to shame people for not meeting a fickle beauty standard.
Body-shaming is made worse by the internet and is commonly seen in cyberbullying. If your teen has experienced body-shaming, talk to them about it. Let them know that only insecure people bully others, and they have nothing to be ashamed of. This is another reason to refrain from social media and focus on building healthy confidence.
If your teen lacks confidence and needs help overcoming damaging cultural “norms,” contact Embark Behavioral Health for support today. Help your teen build their confidence from the inside out.