SSM Health: It’s normal for kids to struggle with confidence, and there are ways to boost it

MADISON, Wis. —  Coming off as confident is something that most strive to do, but doing so is a struggle that many have faced, especially as kids. SSM Health Psychologist Kathleen Hipke says it’s a common part of growing up that most youth struggle with as they figure out who they are, but that we should also be aware of the pressures that today’s children face.

“We, as Americans, particularly live in staving and competitive culture,” says Hipke, “so hitting those marks, whether it’s making a certain team, a certain academic accolade, or getting into a certain college, there could be a lot of pressure around that. So, I think a lot of kids do struggle with those questions about ‘Am I good enough?’ and ‘Am I making it?”

Dr. Hipke says parents and caregivers can help by reflecting on what really brings your child happiness, as helping them focus on their joys in life can help ward off those self-doubts. Dr. Hipke also warns that social media can be a challenge, as kids sometimes forget that everyone has struggles, even though it may not be apparent on social media pages.

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