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Building confidence in adolescents is key in raising healthy kids. But, of course, it’s not always easy. Research has shown that giving teens some form of responsibility can boost their self-confidence. Additionally, encouraging them to develop problem-solving skills — and resisting the urge to step in and help when things don’t go their way — can give teens an uptick in confidence, too.

Young people’s formative years are some of the most critical in developing good habits and decision-making. Here’s how you can foster more self-esteem in your teen and keep them out of trouble. Some might say it’s as easy as changing a tire.

Getting Started

While you may be reluctant to hand over the keys to your teen, you may also be surprised to know that not using your parental authority could potentially be damaging, as it can instill in your loved ones a sense that disobeying authority is OK. With that in mind, try not to unload all your worries on your teen, as expressing fear and frustration about everyday life, low test scores, unruly friends or dubious weekend plans can be negatively interpreted.

Instead, express to them some level of confidence. By doing this, your teen will remember that even though they experienced some struggles, they still had a vote of confidence from both parents. Of course, giving your child permission to drive is a big deal. So before you hand over the keys, set a curfew and a few other ground rules.

And while your teen may already have their driver’s license, it’s your responsibility to teach them about vehicle safety and mechanics. Teaching your teenager about the ins and outs of the car they’ll be driving promotes responsibility, and it will give them something to care about.

Changing a Flat Tire

Sure, you may changed a flat tire dozens of times, but it’s also important your teen learns on their own. Try not to be too overbearing or bossy, and only provide assistance when your teen asks for it. Instilling in them this sense of responsibility can foster greater self-esteem and achievement down the road.

Of course, one of the first things to teach your kid about replacing one or more tires is to let them know about which tell-tale signs to look for when experiencing a flat. Provide your teen with a list of steps to change a flat tire and then give them an opportunity to harness those skills.

Ultimately, both you and your teen can learn something from this activity. Parents, know that you’re nurturing growth in your teen with this challenge. And remember: A challenge can be just what your teen needs to avoid rebellion and boredom. It may be simple, but changing a flat tire provides many lessons, from problem solving to persistence, which can be valuable learning experiences for your teen. As a parent, recognize your teen’s willingness to try, and be supportive while attempting not to be too overbearing. In the end, this will help your teen build and better exude confidence.

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