Self-esteem is a tricky beast for teenagers, especially with the roller-coaster of emotions roiling through them. Some days they might feel on top of the world, other days they’ll feel like the lowest of the low. The problem really appears when there are far more bad days then good days. Sometimes, it’s a big enough problem to warrant getting professional help but often, they just need a little more support from their family and friends.
Teens with low self-esteem often have trouble accepting compliments. Don’t let this stop you and be positive about your teenager, letting them know how you value them and what you like about them. Speak with them about self-esteem and try to understand what they’re thinking and where they’re coming from. Your teenager might resist this, but create a dialogue, sharing some of your own thoughts and feelings or stories from when you were a teenager. Help them learn to handle disappointments and failures, the things that are lowering their self-esteem. And let them know that self-esteem is something many people struggle with, especially teenagers. They are not alone.
Many teenagers stop trying new things, afraid of challenges because they are afraid of failure. Don’t let them retreat into themselves and into their comfort zones. Encourage them to try new things and celebrate the small achievements with them. New activities and new challenges can help them discover new talents. Foster your teen’s talents to help boost their self-esteem and encourage growth in these areas. Overcoming obstacles can build up your teenager’s opinion of themselves but don’t let failure bring them back down. Teach them to see failure as a learning opportunity. Mistakes are part of life and a big part of being an adult.
Bring your teenager outside of themselves. There are a number of ways that you can do this. Plan more trips and activities with the whole family. Include their friends and get to know the people your teenager spends so much time with. Volunteer with your teen, allowing them to see the struggles that other people have. This can show them more of the world outside of themselves and let them see that they can make a difference. Helping others can be a big self-esteem booster, especially for teenagers who often feel impotent in a world they have no control over.
Self-esteem in teenagers is important. It affects their lives and their decisions. Low self-esteem can lead to teenagers indulging in risky behaviors. Help your teen with their self-esteem, raising it where you can and helping them to raise it on their own. This is the foundation for their future as adults. Life if difficult enough with a positive self-image so help your teen learn to love themselves.