Staying confident as a teenager can be harder than ever. With constant messaging on social media about what it is to be beautiful, it’s no wonder that many teens struggle with issues like body image and whether or not they are good-looking enough to even fetch those thumbs ups and likes. For a parent trying to counteract these messages, things can feel daunting.
Rest assured, there are still ways you can help your teenager learn how to be body confident now and in the future. From helping out with a makeover to giving them room to experiment with style, you can even use this time together to increase your bond. As a parent, you want your child to be not only happy but confident. To learn more about how to facilitate this, read on.
One way to make your teen feel better about themselves is to give them options when it comes to glasses or contacts. While some teens love the look and style of glasses these days, others would rather opt for contact lenses. Ask your teen which they prefer or offer both to help them feel great whether on the athletic field or in the classroom. To keep the price down, you can order contact lenses in bulk with a Just Lenses coupon code.
Teeth Repair & Braces
The perfect smile can go a long way in helping your teenager right away. If you hope to help them explore beauty safely, consider braces or at least a trip to the orthodontist for recommendations. Even dental treatments like a tooth whitening can go a long way in helping a teenager feel better about their appearance. If cost is a worry, you might be surprised to learn the affordable cost of Invisalign and other tooth straightening options.
Orthodontics and dentistry have come a long way in the past few decades. For teens concerned about chunky metal braces and elastic bands, there could be other options. Explore these together to do what you can to help your teen go to school with confidence.
Playing with Style
Even preteens love to play with style. There are non-permanent ways you can allow your teens to express themselves without worrying about the long-term consequences of bigger decisions like tattoos and body modifications. One big trend at the moment is gel nail wraps and polishes. Whether you make a day of it and take your teen to the salon or buy them in packs, this is a fun way for a teen to express their mood at a relatively low cost.
If your teen or even preteen is into nails, consider one of the many subscription boxes out there that send various designs of stick-on nail applicators. These nail accessories are easy to use, provide something they can do with friends during sleepovers or even on their own and will make your kid smile, too.
If your teen isn’t into nails but still loves style, rewarding good behavior with trips to the mall or online gift cards can be one way to support their growth. When a teen makes the honor roll, think about rewarding them with a low budget shopping spree at their favorite sure. You can still set boundaries around what you believe is and isn’t appropriate clothing. But in meeting them halfway, you might be surprised how easily they will agree. Who knows? Together, you might be able to reach a compromise and even find a new style for yourself.
Makeup & Hair
Makeup and hair can often be fun places to start when working to encourage positive beauty routines in teens. While some parents may resist bold hair dyes or striking cut statements, the more open-minded you can be about this, the more your teenager will appreciate it. Remember: hair grows back and make-up washes off.
Have healthy and honest conversations with your child about what you believe is too much and ask them to respect those boundaries. If they hold your trust, reward them by showing interest in the latest style they’re experimenting with. All too often, parents and their kids allow temporary situations to become bigger issues. In supporting your child’s harmless experimentation now, you are sending messages that you accept them. Whether you know it or not, you are teaching them. A child whose parents support them and has the skills to compromise is more likely to stand up to bullies and expect people to treat them with the same respect they’ve been shown at home.
It isn’t always about make-up and accessories. Instead, the messages you’re sending are about trust and boundaries. A teenage boy, for example, might want to play with facial hair or makeup himself. Instead of making a big deal about it, allow him room to experiment. He already gets enough judgment from his peers.
Diverse & Body-positive Media
Body image can be one of the hardest issues teens face on a daily basis. Messages from the media but more importantly social media tell teens that anything less than perfect is unacceptable. This leaves teenage boys feeling skinny, small, not big or strong enough, or even fat. It causes teen girls to skip meals, cake on the makeup, and hide their bodies under clothes that don’t fit (or go in the other direction for negative attention). Knowing this, it’s important to do what you can to expose your child to diverse body types and messages.
Don’t reach for the book with the perfect model on the cover. Instead, gift your reader child a book with an ordinary-looking person on the cover. Exposing them over and over to body diversity will do wonders not only for them but for the kids they go to school with. The same goes for movies and other forms of media you bring into your home. While you won’t be able to entirely shield them from social pressures on the internet and at school, you can at least put it out there.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways you can help your teenager through anything is candid conversation. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Ask your child directly how you can support them. And most of all, remind them as often as you can how beautiful and perfect they are to you. Someday, they might even believe you.