Special thanks to Prep U for sponsoring today’s post and for creating a line of safe, natural products made just for guys.
As parents, we hope each of our children is a confident person. Unfortunately, so many kids, especially teens, suffer from a lack of confidence. That’s why I want to share some tips to help you raise a confident son.
As a society, we tend to focus on girls’ self-esteem. When I was a teenager, I definitely struggled with self-confidence issues.
But now that I have sons AND daughters, I realize that we underestimate how much boys struggle with self-confidence too. And during the teen years, the rapid physical and hormonal changes, coupled with the stress of new responsibilities and demands can cause a lack of confidence in teen boys.
I have three sons (a 21-year old and two 16-year olds) so this topic is near and dear to me.
Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to help counteract the forces that have a negative impact on our sons’ self-esteem. Even better, it’s a wonderful opportunity to arm your son with skills that will benefit him throughout life, not just adolescence.
How to Help Your Son Be a Confident Person
Even though teenagers don’t often act like they value our opinions and advice, they do. In many ways, the teen years are like the toddler years — your child is just testing his boundaries and your resilience.
So, even if you don’t see an immediate, visible response when you’re working on building your teen’s confidence, don’t give up. Your efforts and words are doing their work beneath the surface.
Here are some things you can do to help your son be a confident person:
Identify Confidence Factors
One of the easiest ways to help boost your son’s confidence is to figure out what is affecting it. Since teens are notorious for being tight-lipped with their parents, this might take some guesswork on your part.
That’s okay, because you can figure it out by simply paying attention. For example, one of my 16-year olds all of a sudden wanted to go shopping for new jeans since his were all high waters (a typical problem when you’re 5′ 9″ and 105 pounds).
He also asked me about what type of hair product he could use. Apparently, his appearance matters to him right now.
Meanwhile, my other 16-year old son is showering twice a day — in the morning before school and in the evening after wrestling practice.
I understand why he wants to shower after rolling around on the wrestling mat, but shouldn’t he still be clean the next morning? Clearly, personal hygiene has become a priority.
Also, my wrestler tends to get really fit during wrestling season from all the conditioning. He’s pretty proud of those muscles (a lot of humble bragging goes on between November and February), but less thrilled about the random aches and pains that sometimes have him moving like a robot or senior citizen.
Evidently, muscles are good, until they are sore. Then they get in the way of a teen boy’s swagger.
So pay attention to your son. Is he eating differently? Dressing differently? Starting new hobbies or sports?
All of these changes are clues about what matters to your son right now. And if it matters, it’s going to affect his confidence.
Arm Him With Tools
Once you know which things are affecting your son’s self-confidence, provide him with tools to master those areas.
The right clothes
For my son who was concerned with his appearance, we went shopping for clothes that fit him better. It took some looking, but we finally found several pairs of 16 slim jeans with adjustable waists so he could tighten them enough to fit properly.
I don’t think you have to dress your kids in designer clothes to protect their self-esteem. But well-fitting clothes that they are comfortable in CAN and DO make a big difference!
The right grooming products
We also picked up some hair putty and experimented with a couple of styles until we found one he liked and could do on his own. Relying on your mom to style your hair is NOT a confidence booster.
Again, I didn’t head to a salon to get the most expensive hair putty I could find. Instead, I chose one that has a scent he likes and is easy to use.
The right hygiene products
For my shower-obsessed son, I wanted to provide shower products that helped him get really clean quickly and easily. And, because I’ve been on a long campaign to eliminate harmful chemicals from my home, I wanted products that were all natural, especially since he’d be applying them directly to his body.
I was super excited to discover Prep U products. They are natural, effective body care products that are designed specifically for boys.
I got him the Prep U Charcoal Face & Body Scrub to use every other day. Dead skin cells that don’t get sloughed away can contribute to acne and ingrown hairs, but unless you make it easy for them, no boy is going to willingly work exfoliating into their hygiene routine.
The Prep U Charcoal Face & Body Scrub is made with Bergamot oil which not only has a fresh, clean scent, but also helps relieve joint and muscle pain — perfect for the days he has tough workouts or matches! It also contains Eucalyptus and Neem Tree oil, whose antifungal properties I’m hoping will keep ringworm at bay (a common wrestler ailment).
Make Him Feel Valued
I knew feeling clean and smelling good was going to help my son feel more confident. What I didn’t expect was the confidence boost that came from having products that were designed specifically for him.
The Prep U packaging declares the products are “For Guys” which seems like such a small thing, but makes a big impact. Have you noticed that there’s a real shortage of body care products that are “just for guys”?
There are plenty of products made just for kids, perfect for when you have young kids. And there are also a lot of products designed for men.
We women own the body care product category since so many are made just for us. But look around next time and you’ll see there aren’t any products that are just for older boys who are still on their way to manhood.
The simple act of providing my son with products that were meant just for his use made him feel more valued. He isn’t using whatever I found on sale or something I bought in bulk. This was a product chosen specifically for him.
You don’t have to buy special things to make your son feel valued, my example is just one of many ways you can send that message. For example, my other teen son is nicknamed “Tech Support” because he is the most technologically savvy member of our family.
Whenever we need help with anything electronic, we ask for his help. His talents are valued by all of us.
Likewise, my wrestlers are strong. So when we need help moving something heavy, we ask for their help. Their strength is valued in our family.
Teach Him Positive Self Talk
We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where a character gives himself a pep talk in the mirror before heading into an important meeting. While that’s a wonderful example of positive self-talk, it’s not one many people are comfortable doing and it’s not the only way to do it.
Whenever you catch your son engaging in negative self-talk, help him rephrase in a positive way.
- Instead of “I’m never going to understand this” try “I’m going to keep working on this until it makes sense”
- Instead of “There’s no way I’ll make the team” try “I’ve been working really hard. I hope the coach sees my potential”
Encourage your son to identify positive things about himself. If he struggles, tell him the strengths you see in him.
When your son complains about something, first help him evaluate whether there is actual evidence that his belief is true. If so, talk him through what actions he can take to change things.
With enough influence from you and practice on his part, positive thinking will come naturally and confidence will be an unavoidable outcome.