Our young people face tremendous pressure growing up today. As parents and adults supporting them we want to know how to boost a 12 year olds confidence, so they can enter their teenage years understanding themselves better, and having pride in themselves.
Each person faces different pressures. From my work with girls I see the key pressures as:
Our media culture tells them that all that matters is their appearance. This is challenging for grown adults, but for young people whose bodies are growing and changing it can be really confusing and daunting. And frankly horrible! Girls have so much more to offer than just their looks. As adults we need to support them to see the amazing individuals they are.
Pressure at school to perform, this generation of young people is being tested and measured more than any other. Added to that the disruption to their education due to the pandemic and related lockdowns. It’s a lot to deal with.
Social media can be an immense pressure for young people. In so many ways! An example is constantly comparing themselves to others can significantly affect their well-being and how they feel about themselves.
In this blog, I share ideas on three key areas that parents and adults can use when they are asking themselves “How to boost a 12 year olds confidence?”
Note: Confident Teens focuses on empowering girls, but these tips can be used for all young people.
Developing self-awareness to build pride in their individuality
When considering how to boost a 12 year olds confidence the first step is supporting the young person to develop their self-awareness.
Getting to know ourselves as individuals – developing our self-awareness – is a part of growing up.
It’s a core life skill.
But for girls growing up now there’s so much noise and distraction getting in the way.
Girls can doubt themselves and constantly compare themselves to others, instead of recognising all the amazing qualities they have, and are developing. This affects their confidence.
An approach I recommend is to support girls to get to know themselves better, including helping them to see what qualities they have, and think about what do they enjoy doing.
What’s important too is to look at all the ways they are improving – instead of focusing on what is difficult for them.
Developing this self-awareness leads them to value themselves as individuals.
And builds their confidence – step by step.
Being supportive to themselves through kind self-talk
We all hear the voice in our head – our inner voice – more than any other voice in our lifetimes.
More than our partners, parents, siblings, friends or teachers.
As an adult your inner voice has a significant impact on how you feel about yourself.
Imagine the difference it makes to girls growing up.
Supporting girls to recognise their self-talk is a central aspect of how to boost a 12 year olds confidence.
They have a choice, either
- Say supportive, kind, encouraging ideas to themselves,
- Constantly criticise, run themselves down or find fault in everything.
You’ll spot which option is more likely to improve their confidence!
As adults we can guide girls to develop kind self-talk. It can make a massive difference.
It’s not about flipping the positive to negative.
It’s tuning into what we are saying to ourselves. Making the choice to be kind, forgiving and most of all encouraging to ourselves.
Self-talk is a key theme running through all my classes, including the “Be Yourself. Love Yourself” online classes (more details at the bottom of the page).
Fostering self belief to build confidence
One of the central aims of my confidence-building work with girls is fostering a well of self-belief.
Girls face so many pressures as they grow up. Whether that’s from school, friendship groups, social media, body worries and so much more.
In my online classes girls enjoy doing a range of exercises to develop their thinking, and explore fresh ideas.
These help them develop the habit of self-reflection. And they get to know and understand themselves better.
Of course it’s not the case of suddenly turning on a switch to have self-belief. It’s a gradual process, made up of life experiences, learning and personal growth.
Getting into the habit of self-reflection and understanding themselves better sews the seeds of self-belief.
Girls gain an enormous amount from hearing what other girls think and feel too. They realise they are not the only ones to doubt themselves.
It is a good antidote to the “highlights only” world of social media.
Self-belief grows through having confidence to try new activities and reflecting on all the amazing qualities they have. Of course, it’s a lifelong journey.
In this blog I have shared three key areas that parents and adults can use to help them understand how to boost a 12 year olds confidence. By supporting young people to develop their self-awareness, have kind self-talk and foster self-belief we can empower them to build their confidence step by step.
If you’d like additional input to empower your daughter to develop her self-awareness, build kind self-talk and foster self-belief, I run online classes with girls aged 10-12 years old.
In the “Be Yourself. Love Yourself” online class I teach each girl to develop her self-awareness – enabling her to see her strengths, understand her uniqueness and become proud of her individuality.
Click on the image below for more details and to see upcoming dates.
“I’ve learnt to ignore what others think, do what I love and learn to be happy with myself”
12 year old girl
“These are brilliant workshops that have helped me a lot”
11 year old girl
“It is really fun and interesting and you get to improve your confidence”
10 year old girl