The world in which our teens occupy looks a bit different from what it was 10 to even 15 years ago. You can still find millennials (the early 1980s to mid-1990s) who didn’t have a cell phone until high school, social media until college, and had to learn how to read a paper map because GPS didn’t exist! Today, generation Z’s (the late 1990s to 2000s) environment is faster paced and abundantly more technologically centered. Everything is online, in the cloud, and transparent for social media. Although they may be navigating this environment not knowing or understanding the time that came before them, you can’t help but wonder how technology — amongst all the other concerns teens face like bullying, keeping good grades, and being a good athlete — impacts their self-esteem.

At TreeRunner West Bloomfield, not only is our park full of outdoor adventure from our obstacle courses to ziplining, our park cultivates skills and builds confidence in teens so they can live healthy and full lives. Follow along in today’s post as we explore self-confidence amongst the trees at The Adventure Park At West Bloomfield.

Building Self-Confidence Through Outdoor Adventure

Teens face a lot of pressure and studies are finding they’re experiencing increased anxiety and perfectionism is becoming more of an issue over time. So, how can self-confidence and positive self-perception be ignited? By spending some time in nature, high in the trees, of course!

Be Physical

Being active and getting regular exercise for teens is crucial, especially when a majority of their day is consuming entertainment on a screen. In a research review that looks at 38 studies, it was indicated that physical activity alone improves self-esteem and positive self-concept in teens. The environment in which teens get physical activity plays a role as well. Teens who participated in supervised and group activities reported better self-esteem than those who worked out alone or in other settings.

TreeRunner West Bloomfield, is the ideal environment to get your teen out and about and moving around. Not only are they getting physical activity, they’re able to get a group of friends together and laugh and play in the trees.

Self-Compassion > Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can get a little tricky for teens because it’s an evaluation of their overall worth which can become muddled in them questioning, “what is my worth?” “How do I compare to others around me?” “What do I contribute to those around me?” This is where teaching self-compassion to teens is more beneficial. Self-compassion is using less judgment on ourselves and being open and accepting while treating ourselves with kindness. This takes a sharp turn away from perfectionism.

Self-compassion is fostered in the trees at TreeRunner West Bloomfield. Through our varying levels of difficulty on the obstacle courses teens learn how to trust themselves and be less harsh on themselves and really get into accomplishing the goal at hand.

Point Out Specific Skills

Watch your teen and what they naturally excel in, and then further support them in exploring and cultivating their strengths. Perhaps they may be really great at pitching in softball, but they light up when sprinting and running fast. Allow them to really examine their interests and encourage them to learn new skills.

New skills, both physical and emotional, are developed every day at TreeRunner West Bloomfield. It’s not every day that your teen gets to climb high, at almost treeline, and problem solves through a course of different challenges and hurdles. They’ll build new skills and may even find something they’re really good at.

Help Others Out

Teens can build self-esteem and confidence when they get outside themselves and help others out, especially when it comes to strangers. Helping someone out helps them to feel good and it shows. Research highlighted in a 2017 study found that teens who were more helpful and kind has greater self-esteem, and those who helped out strangers grew in self-esteem.

Our adventure park is the perfect space for your teen to help someone out. The obstacles can be difficult and some are wary of heights, so helping someone work through these bumps is helpful to both your teen and the other person.

TreeRunner West Bloomfield takes teens to new heights and brings the great outdoors to them. Self-esteem and self-confidence are not always innate and most teens need help navigating this uncertain and trying time in their lives. Help your teen find more confidence by being active, teaching them self-compassion, highlighting certain skills, and helping others out.

When teens can get out and do something beyond their myopic view and think beyond just themselves, this may help them be more empowered and resilient.

To help your teen develop better self-esteem and life skills that reach far beyond our tree sanctuary, book an obstacle course with us today at TreeRunner West Bloomfield.