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How to help teens become more confident - share with #iwill - chance to win £300 NOW CLOSED

(245 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Jan-18 11:55:52

The team at #iwill would love to know how you help teens become (more) confident

What is #iwill?
The #iwill campaign promotes creating more opportunities for young people to get involved in social action - enabling more 10-20 year olds to say #iwill to doing activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering in their communities to make them a better place.

By doing so, young people create a double-benefit – improving the lives of others around them, as well as improving themselves. By getting involved in social action, young people can develop their employability skills, boost access to further and higher education and enhance their well-being, communication skills and character.

So far more than 700 business, education and voluntary sector partners across the UK have pledged #iwill to embedding social action into the lives of young people so that all young people are able to experience the benefits of taking part.

They’d love to know your top tips on encouraging teens to develop their confidence in school, outside of school, during work experience or with adults. Do you encourage them to volunteer with local clubs etc, to mix with other young people from different backgrounds, have they flourished with some support from a mentor at school or do they need help to get through exams and school tests? If you had some confidence boosting experiences when you were a teen, please share what helped you become a confident teen too.

If you’d like to know more, do visit the #iwill pages here where you can sign up to get your FREE #iwill guide and monthly newsletters to find out more about the benefits of supporting your children to take part in volunteering & social action.

Check out their video here:



Please share your top tips on teen confidence below - everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where one person will win a £300 voucher for the store(s) of choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

Standard Insight T and Cs Apply

Sleepysausage Mon 08-Jan-18 17:23:16

I always talk to teens with respect and demonstrate I'm listening to them. I think everyone needs to feel that their opinions are valued and valid to feel confident

Winningbeauty Mon 08-Jan-18 19:37:34

I'm very honest with teens, I volunteer to go into schools to talk about my career and I tell them the things no one else told me, I honestly tell them how I got to where I am. I didn't get my a levels first time, I repeated the year, I was enthusiastic and chose volunteer jobs that would show me a greater insight into the field that I wanted. I worked hard and today am a surgeon.

I find that teens relate better to honesty and real life, not sugar coated, I help them to make informed decisions

Aquiver Mon 08-Jan-18 20:33:10

Mutual respect, space and responsibility are key for me. Young people deserve our respect and space to make decisions (and mistakes!) for themselves, but to know that we as parents / teachers / mentors are there if needed for advice, a shoulder to cry on or just to air thoughts.

I strongly believe that young adults thrive when given the opportunity to take responsibility, stretch themselves and stand on their own two feet - and are told they are capable and have our support - whether during work experience, with school work or in their personal lives. We

Lemonadesea Tue 09-Jan-18 10:37:27

I encourage DD to volunteer and also always talk to her about what is going on in the world and what is structural and what can be changed by individual action. Citizenship at school seems to provoke a lot of discussions about social welfare, civil society and so on.

voyager50 Tue 09-Jan-18 10:39:07

I was bullied throughout my school life and as I got older I found new ways of avoiding them. I loved theatre and I started working backstage at the school productions - none of the bullies were involved in them.

I got to know children that were older than me and was praised by the teachers for me work and this really helped me feel better about myself and gave me confidence and the experience eventually led to a career in theatre.

So my advice is if your teenager has an interest in something encourage them to pursue it whether it's taking photographs, baking or computer coding- it will boost their confidence and it may help them decide what to do when they leave school.

ErinSophia Tue 09-Jan-18 10:42:18

I volunteer at my local Youth Group and often encourage the youngsters to do what they want to do with their life, I help them with college applications and inform them of volunteering opportunities that will build their confidence and help them get to where they want to be.

InMySpareTime Tue 09-Jan-18 11:17:08

I have teenaged DCs, and I boost their confidence by giving them responsibility in household tasks and decisions, by encouraging them to take adventurous opportunities (DD is the youngest in a group of Explorer scouts climbing the Atlas Mountains in Morocco this summer), and by keeping communication open between us.
People constantly tell us how confident, mature, and brilliant the DCs are, so I tell them to say that directly to the DCs. They need affirmation from as many non-parent sources as possible!

hollowtree Tue 09-Jan-18 11:24:05

Treat them like an adult growing out of the body of a child. Not a child growing into the body of an adult.

JoJomse4 Tue 09-Jan-18 13:37:12

I think by treating them with respect and dignity goes along way with teens! They are mini adults and they have got a lot to learn but if we treat them with respect they pay it back to their peers and to their families.
Giving them responsibility for things also really helps! They like to feel that they have ownership of something and they value this.

NauticalDisaster Tue 09-Jan-18 14:26:38

Open communication from an early age helps keep the lines open as they grow up. Allow them to make their own decisions, with support if required, and accept the consequences of what they choose or find a way to make a change if it doesn't work out. Participate in organised sports also helps a lot.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 09-Jan-18 15:22:26

I wasn't a confident teen at all so I have tried really hard with my girls. They are confident but not cocky. They're nice, polite girls who treat others well. They are both quite popular and have some lovely friends.

It is quite superficial, but if they are confident in how they look, what they are wearing, etc. it is a help. Yes, it would be fab to live in a world where is doesn't matter, but we don't.

They are also confident enough to not be sheep and to know that with popularity comes responsibility. Both girls have stood up to bullying and reached out to others in need of a friend. My eldest is nearly old enough to sign up for a local mentoring scheme, which is great.

maclinks Tue 09-Jan-18 16:24:30

My young teenage DD has recently started her DoE and is finding the volunteering work really rewarding much to her surprise. She even understands how this experience is making her a better more employable person. So she sees it as a win win ...the charity wins and she gets the kudos and warm fuzzy feeling that only can be got by giving.

NerrSnerr Tue 09-Jan-18 16:37:03

To allow them to be their own person with their own interests. It’s good for teenagers self esteem to mix with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and ages.

Butterfly1975 Tue 09-Jan-18 17:27:26

Martial arts have really helped my DS with his confidence. Meeting new people and the kudos it brings him in school have been amazing for him.

It's been much harder to help my DD the confidence she needs particularly because she's disabled. Supportive teachers and joining groups have helped her but disability adds a really difficult dimension for any child that might feel they don't 'fit in'. A lot of activities that should be inclusive for all teens just simply aren't able to cater for the needs of disabled children and teens.

kateandme Tue 09-Jan-18 18:01:37

help them see that exactly how they are is wonderful.that body confidence comes from who they are not who anyone is telling them they should be.
that all the difference be it hobbies or education mean they are unique not wrong.
teach them kindness.when peole are kind to others it swell your own heart.and the ripple continues.
do good to feel good.
listen to them.
make them feel worthy.
teach them that they don't need to be amazing at everything.
don't be scared to try.
help them feel confident with skills like cooking,household tasks.making decisions.
to always realise there will be bad people and horrid commenters but it is always a decision they can hold within themselves to take it on board.or instead know the bullys are wrong not them

AnneOfCleavage Tue 09-Jan-18 18:30:48

Take the time to truly listen to them not just hmmm-ing whilst cooking or distracted by something. Encourage them to give their time for others e.g. Volunteering or chatting to an elderly neighbour.
My teen is an anti bullying ambassador at her school as she's had some issues and wanted to be able to help others.

I chat regularly about resilience to my teen and practice scenarios so she can role play what she'd say. She knows we have her back and that we listen to her worries but don't always offer solutions as sometimes it's helpful to agree that their day was shit and to offer chocolate rather than advice. A hug goes a long way too.

foxessocks Tue 09-Jan-18 21:53:29

Keeping the lines of communication open is really important. So they trust you are always open to listening to them.

10thingsIhateAboutTheDailyMail Wed 10-Jan-18 08:15:00

I think a lot of teens benefit from being treated like grown ups a bit more

Let them make their own decisions, let them make mistakes,and then learn to deal with the consequences of their mistake

My youngest has joined cadets, which is great for getting kids involved with the community and fundraising for charity and things like DoE

The advantage a young person has is that they are not jaded and cynical. If you let them be, they will come up with good ideas by themselves

Sammyislost Wed 10-Jan-18 09:29:29

Gosh it's actually quite difficult because I'm sure we would all agree that as teenagers it seems harder to accept certain knowledge and understanding.

I would say surround yourself with people who make you feel good and happy. And cut out the toxic people that make you doubt yourself.
And don't compare yourself to others!

TheKnackeredChef Wed 10-Jan-18 11:11:00

I think if you have a child who's naturally a bit of a shrinking violet, it's incredibly hard to change that. My DTs are typically chalk and cheese - DS will strike up a chat with absolutely anyone and has so much self confidence he could bottle it and sell it. DD on the other hand has a hard time so much as making eye contact with anyone she doesn't know well. Same upbringing, totally different personalities. I do try and encourage DD to come out of her comfort zone by supporting her in hobbies and making sure she's always got freedom to bring friends home, but I don't push her too hard as I think ultimately it's not something you can force on somebody - if has to come from within and as long as she feels happy and secure at home, the rest will come when she's matured a bit.

sharond101 Wed 10-Jan-18 11:17:40

By listening and respecting their opinions.

claza93 Wed 10-Jan-18 11:35:41

I encourage mine to help out and volunteer and always think about others. My 12 year old is very quiet but has found that she loves running - she has joined a running club and is now entering competitions and loving it. I don't think she will ever be the loudest but this is definitely helping to improve her confidence. She is so keen to do it and take part smile

CMOTDibbler Wed 10-Jan-18 12:14:40

My ds is 11, so one of the things I do to build his confidence is volunteering with him - we do parkrun together, he helps at the cycling festival I run, marshals at running events, and is a whizz serving food at other events. The small wins of people thanking him, giving adults instructions, and being successful really boosts him

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 10-Jan-18 12:21:21

Trust & communication are key.
I've always encouraged my DC to talk - to me, DH, each other, their friends / family etc.
We listen. We advise. We encourage.
We let them make their own decisions where ever they can and have done that from a very young age.
There is mutual trust and respect too.

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