Building Confidence in your Tween as they Head Back to School

By Susan Dewhirst in Natural Products

When my daughter was young, I remember hearing from other parents: "the days are long but the years go fast!" or "you'll miss this!". Looking back, their statements were all true. The baby stage was hard, really hard. But I loved it! Navigating the tween years? A completely different parenting challenge that's less physical and more emotional. Experts on raising kids say the first big drop in self-esteem happens between ages 9-12, so my parenting focus right now is instilling confidence in my almost-11 year old daughter.

Raising Confident Kids

I help build my daughter's confidence through open communication. I also encourage her to stay active, read, give back and stay focused on the most important things in our lives - our family and community. I also try to cultivate interests that will bring her joy, while she develops new skills and creates lasting friendships.

Tweens girls on stage

Listen While We Work

Fostering open communication can be tricky with a tween so I try to offer different opportunities where she is free to share - or not! - like cooking together. Preparing food together is an intimate setting where my daughter gains confidence by conquering new skills. The added benefit is that while the focus might be on swirling pancake batter or chopping garlic, the day's events often come spilling out in her sweet, excited chatter. While setting a pretty table for an al fresco brunch or getting her favorite chicken parm on the dinner table, we often process the latest events in our lives. In addition to enjoying the delicious food we made as a team, we celebrate the good stuff and work on solutions to life's challenges.

Tween girls looking at camera - showing their strength

Confidence Inside + Out

While I work to help my tween daughter build her intellectual and emotional confidence, I'm also looking for help to foster her physical confidence. And, let's face it, our kids can't be confident in their ever-changing tween bodies if they smell. Thanks to our innovation team, Tom's of Maine now offers a deodorant for kids when they're ready, to help them feel confident as they take on new territories and opportunities. I feel good knowing that when my daughter uses Tom's of Maine's Natural Wicked Cool! Deodorant she feels - and smells - good! I'm also happy knowing that when she uses the Summer Fun or Freestyle scents (she loves both) there is no aluminum, petrochemicals or artificial preservatives or fragrances.

Help is on its way!

I want to show my daughter that she has an array of people and resources she can lean on for support whenever life gets tough, especially at the start of a new school year. That's why this summer, we're teaming up to complete the self-esteem building activities on the Wicked Cool! Bucket List to help build her confidence before she heads back to school. The Wicked Cool! Bucket List was curated by Tom's of Maine in partnership with Dr. Michele Borba, globally-recognized educational psychologist, parenting expert and author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About Me World.

Wicked Cool! Bucket List Printable

Parents can print the Wicked Cool! Bucket List by clicking the image above to open it in a new window. Then, see how many items you can check off with your tween on the way to helping them feel #WickedConfident for the year ahead. Let us know how it goes!

Why It’s Good

Raising kids is hard work, as parents we need all the help we can get to help them navigate the tween years. Tom's of Maine has teamed up with parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba to offer a Wicked Cool! Tween Bucket List, a tool to help parents help their Tweens boost confidence as they prepare to head back to school.