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Self-Confidence, Beliefs and Motivation in Adolescents

by Jenny White, studioD

Parenting your children during their teenage years can be a dramatic and challenging task, but one you can get through comfortably. As kids transit from childhood into adolescence, they experience psychological, social, institutional and emotional changes that affect their well-being. These changes can affect their attitude and influence their views on personal, family and societal issues. Your duty is to ensure a smooth transition, providing them with the guidance and tools to develop good personal values, as well as self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem.


Gender has a role in shaping an adolescent's personality because boys and girls respond differently to hormonal changes. Boys naturally develop self-confidence during their teen years, while girls need to forge strong daughter-father relationships to improve their boldness. According to a 2005 excerpt from the book "Why Gender Matters," on the NBC-TV "Today" show website, author Leonard Sax notes that boys and girls are "hardwired" differently. Sax noted that young boys are encouraged to play with toys such as tracks and guns while girls play with dolls. This influenced their attitudes later on in life. Adopt a suitable approach toward managing your teens depending on their gender.

Cultural Values

It is common for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to experience differential parenting in their development, according to a 2007 report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Your cultural background often influences your choice of parenting style or disciplinary strategies. As a result, your teens learn the values and beliefs that are practiced in the cultural context they are raised. These values influence their views of people from other communities or races. If you are uncomfortable with using your parental authority to firmly discipline your children because of your cultural background, it can be difficult to raise confident and motivated adolescents.

Quality of Life

Although your ability to provide for all your children’s needs depends on your financial status, the quality of life you give your children affects their sense of self-identity. Teens who are raised in a family where there is parental support in every aspect of their development are often motivated and high in self-confidence. A 2001 publication in the journal “Social Science and medicine,” identified family as a key agent in promoting positive development in children. If you are unable to provide for all your teen’s needs, be sure to create a close relationship with them to help motivate and nurture their beliefs without difficulty.

Social Activities

Your teens need to make new friends and interact with people in social functions to increase their motivation and confidence levels. Although most parents are wary of friends who might influence negative behavior in their teens, it helps to shape his personality when you allow him more time to engage in social activities. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services, in a 2002 report published on its website, asserts teens can develop self-confidence, learn to make joint decisions, express empathy and deepen their perspectives through positive friendships. If your teen is nonsocial, encourage him to find some friends and go hang out.

About the Author

Based in Orlando City, Jennifer White has been writing professionally on parenting topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “Diverse” magazine, “Tampa Pay Parenting” magazine and “Colorado Parent” magazine. White holds a Masters in educational psychology from Florida State University.

Photo Credits

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