The teen years can be hard to manage with the increase in independence and the judgment of other teens. Everyone feels insecurity occasionally, but some teens suffer from it more often than not. Even if your teen doesn't tell you how she's feeling, chances are she's insecure in certain circumstance. Understanding teen insecurity and how to deal with it can help your teen now and as she gets older.
Insecurity can arise for many reasons. Your teen might feel insecure if he doesn't have the most trendy clothes or shoes or if his hair doesn't fall just right. Struggling with certain subjects can make a teen insecure as well 1. If your teen has difficulties in math or writing, he might worry that he doesn't measure up to his peers. Worries about having popular friends, getting into college, being accepted by parents and teachers and excelling at sports are other instances that can make your teen feel insecure.
The occasional feelings of insecurity aren't likely to cause lasting harm to your teen. Chronic insecurity, on the other hand, can lead to a host of other issues that can affect your teen's life. The anxiety that accompanies insecurity can lead to depression and complaints of stomach, joint and head pain, according to the PsychCentral website 2. The effects increase if your child experienced insecurity as an infant or young child. Insecure feelings can also get in the way of forming strong relationships, can damage self-esteem and generally make your teen miserable for years. Helping her overcome her insecurity can make life easier and help her gain confidence in herself 3.
What Teens Can Do
You don't have to abandon your teen to his insecurity. The Health Guidance website suggests identifying what makes a teen insecure so he can work on each item. For example, if he's insecure around teammates, practicing to improve his skills can reduce those feelings. Teens can focus on positive thoughts and feelings rather than stewing about negative ones. Spending as much time as possible with supportive friends and engaging in activities that don't cause insecurity can help your teen feel better about himself.
How Parents Can Help
Helping your teen with her insecurity helps her understand that you support her and are available when she needs you. Try to control your own anxiety, so your teen doesn't pick up on your feelings. Reassure your teen when she needs it, but be prepared to back off and give her space when she needs it, suggests the Empowering Parents website. Don't make your teen feel like her insecurity doesn't matter, but instead acknowledge it and help her find a solution to the problem. Compliment your child about her looks and abilities without exaggerating. Little boosts of confidence build up to a positive self-image, regardless of what others might think about your teen.
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