Being a teenage girl is a lot harder than many adults realize or remember. The stress of school, friendships, and finding oneself while going through so many changes is a lot for anyone to handle.
The teen years for a young woman are not just challenging but also crucial for their future. These years lead a young woman into her identity, confidence, and success in life. Building confidence at this delicate and important age is a key aspect of maturing into adulthood with the necessary skills for overall wellness.
The Importance of Confidence in Teenage Girls
Teenage girls often crave external reassurance. Feelings of inadequacy are common in the teenage years, especially for women. With bodies, minds, and relationships developing and changing at an alarming rate, being a teenager requires a lot of adjusting.
Self-esteem tends to be at its lowest during the teenage years, so building confidence during that time is a great way to begin the journey of self-discovery. Without confidence, teenagers tend to isolate themselves and feel lonely. They may withdraw from their peers and be incredibly self-critical.
Developing confidence requires a level of interaction with others, whether through sports, extracurriculars, hobbies, or simply talking. Isolation and a lack of relationships can lower self-esteem and lead to poor behavior and decision-making skills. When teens struggle with confidence, they may look elsewhere for an easy boost, meaning peer pressure can become a problem.
Destructive behaviors like using drugs or alcohol often appear in teenagers with a lack of confidence. To help teenagers build their self-confidence without needing approval from others, it is essential to understand what could be causing such a struggle.
A Lack of Confidence in Teenage Girls
For teenage girls, society is often judgmental. Whether in regards to their looks or attitude, social status, or online presence, society has a lot of demands. From teachers to parents and, of course, social media, teenage girls face a lot of criticisms and worries.
Teen girls may want to please their parents and teachers but also be drawn to things they know they would disapprove of. They might want to be successful, but not so much so that they are intimidating. They might want to fit in but also be unique. When a young girl feels she needs to meet such opposing and impossible demands, it can make her question her decisions, leading to a lack of confidence.
Low self-esteem often isn’t something that will pass with time or maturity; without attention, it can carry into adulthood, leading to:
- Negative emotions: Sadness, guilt, or shame can lead to mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
- Relationship difficulties: Lacking self-esteem can cause someone to believe they don’t deserve love and respect, leading to unhealthy relationship dynamics.
- Fear: Someone struggling with low self-esteem may avoid challenges or change out of fear. They may also fear failure and push themselves too hard.
- Difficulty coping: Without confidence, people struggle to cope with stress, rejection, or other life challenges.
- Self-harm: Low self-esteem can put someone at risk for substance use disorder, eating disorders, self-harm, or even suicide.
How to Improve Self-Esteem
When teens have healthy self-esteem, they can recognize their own value. When lacking self-esteem, teens are more likely to feel unhappy or unsatisfied. Although faced with numerous pressures, teenage girls also have a lot of opportunities to build up their self-esteem.
By facing new challenges and experiences, a teenage girl can grasp her capabilities. A girl who previously doubted herself might feel accomplished and proud of herself for trying something new. This allows her to see herself in a new and more confident light.
Self-esteem can often be impacted by those around teens. Words and actions from parents, teachers, and friends matter. Encouraging teens to take risks by trying out for the school play, learning a new language, or picking up an instrument shows them their social sphere has faith in their strength. This isn’t about forcing teenagers to do something they don’t want to do but about giving them the courage to try anything they want to.
Providing teenagers with a safe space, whether that be home, school, or elsewhere, allows them to receive support. Teens can be more self-confident when they know they have somewhere to go to be heard and understood. When teens receive attention from others, they are more likely to give attention to themselves through self-care, trust, and emotional growth.
When teens express themselves and are met with understanding, they feel less alone. Letting a teen open up about their fears, worries, and anxieties gives them a chance to realize how important their words and feelings are. When a teen feels comfortable opening up about more complex topics, they are building trust and confidence.
Parents often provide their teens with praise. This isn’t bad, but external praise can often lead teenagers to desire attention and praise over their own sense of worth and accomplishment. When a teen succeeds, their parent can tell them they’re proud, but they should ask them how their success makes them feel. How they feel about themselves is most important for self-esteem building.
Teenage girls are a vulnerable group for many reasons, as the teenage years are a vital time to grow self-esteem. Confidence plays a major role in how a teen matures emotionally and mentally. Teens are at a challenging time in their lives, but also a meaningful one. Havenwood Academy makes building confidence not just a goal but a focus for the girls in our care. We use individual, group, and family therapy to instill the importance of self-care, honesty, and self-esteem. Through education, goal-setting, and progress monitoring, we help teenage girls enjoy their journey with us and beyond. If your teen daughter struggles with self-esteem, especially as a result of trauma or mental health struggles, Havenwood Academy can help. Reach out to us at (435) 586-2500 today for more information on how our long-term care facility can help your teen daughter and your whole family.
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