Nine ways to help boost your child's self-esteem

They grow up fast - but there are times when even older children need a little guidance. Mumsnetters share the ways in which they've helped their teenagers develop self-confidence

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1. Remember the importance of listening

"Show an interest in the things your child says and tell them when they make good points in conversation or say something that interests you."

2. Encourage them to take up a new hobby

"Music lessons! Guitar or drums or the oboe, whatever they want. Joining the school band or orchestra will bring a social scene to school days and give them the skills to find friends, wherever and whatever they do in the future."

3. A bit of puppy power can work wonders ...

"Try some volunteer work with dogs. They break down all social barriers and can bring even the loneliest soul out of their shell."

4. ... or just-about-any-animal power, for that matter

"My son was quite shy and a bit of a loner in his early teens. He joined the Wildlife Trust and got involved in conservation work in a local nature reserve, which boosted his confidence hugely." 

5. Treading the boards can boost morale, too

"An acting class could be really good for your child - I've seen it work wonders for self-confidence in teenagers. It's also very useful training for giving presentations in GCSE and A-level subjects."

6. When it comes to exercise, lead by example ...

"Try doing something together. My son and I have just started doing a Couch to 5K training programme. We're both getting fitter and spending time together. I know my son would never have done it on his own and it's really boosting his confidence."

7. ... and consider less conventional activities

"My son joined a martial arts class when he was being bullied. The teaching methods of his karate class were all focused on improving self esteem, while giving good instruction and exercise too. It's an ideal sport for the non-sporty, as well as for more athletic kids." 

8. Persevere with compliments - even if they're 'not cool'  

"I try to boost my son's confidence whenever I can verbally - I tell him I love him, that I'm proud of him etc. Even if you think it's not going in or having an effect, it definitely will be."

9. Because your encouragement is invaluable

"I try to encourage my daughter by saying how clever and lovely she is whenever I can. I think every teen girl's self-esteem is a fragile thing and needs boosting."

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Sky Academy uses the power of TV, creativity and sport to help young people unlock their potential, building confidence, communication, creativity, resilience, planning and teamwork, in young people.

The initiatives help build practical skills, experience and confidence, harnessing Sky’s strengths in media and technology, as well as the passion and expertise of its people. 

Since launching in November 2013, Sky Academy has helped over 250,000 young people across the UK and Ireland, with a goal of helping one million by 2020.

For more information on Sky Academy, visit their website or follow Sky Academy on Twitter

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Last updated: almost 3 years ago