Many people suffer from self-esteem issues. Teens are often more effected by esteem issues. They are going through changes, both physically and mentally. This can radically effect how they view them selves and their capabilities – and your ability to understand what they’re going through can help a lot.
Self-esteem is more than how a teen views their appearance. It is how they view themselves as a whole. It could be how they see themselves in academics, sports or performance based activities. Doing well in these areas can build self-esteem, but may not be the case. Many teens that are outstanding in these fields and are judged good looking by their peers can suffer from self-esteem issues. It is in how they view themselves and their performance.
Help a teen improve their self-esteem gradually. Radical highs and lows can result in depression or other problems. Show them that they can feel good about themselves as a whole.
Self-esteem issues may be reflections of how adults around them behave. Think of your own behaviors. If you are constantly brow beating yourself your teen sees this. They notice that you only seem to point out your negatives. They will emulate this learned behavior. Start by having a healthier self-esteem level yourself.
Show them that body image isn’t the key to everything. A teen that has low self-esteem due to looks, weight or other physical features may be resistant to these. The teenage years are one of adjustment. They are learning to be comfortable in their own skins. We live in a society that endorses beauty and thinness as the things to be. Teens, even those that fit this model, struggle with this. Teach teens that difference is what makes the world a more enjoyable place. Show them we don’t all need to look like we belong on the cover of a magazine to be beautiful. It comes from within. This is an issue we all need to get comfortable with, not just today’s youth.
Help them to celebrate their success and forgive their shortcomings. If they do well on a test give them praise. If they don’t do well show them that is ok too, that they can forgive themselves and move on. Consider all areas, not just academic, sports, clubs and other activities, no matter how small should be included. Encourage them to try new things as well. Even if they fail, they are better for trying.
Learning to deal with criticism is part of growing up. Teach your child that constructive criticism is good, but always balance criticism with praise. A growing youth needs to know they do things well. This will help balance out the negative they may be getting.
Most of all be there for your teenager. A teenager with the love and support of family and friends often has higher self-esteem. If they are secure in this area, they are often more secure in other areas. Knowing that you are unconditionally accepted does a lot for a teenager.
Be aware of the signs of low self-esteem in your teen. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, eating disorders, alcoholism or other problems. Making yourself aware will help you know when your teen may need professional help.
Developing a strong sense of self and healthy self-esteem will get a person far in life. Helping your teen develop this is one of the best things that you can provide. Lead by example, give plenty of praise and show them they are wonderful worthwhile person are good first steps.
Need More Help?
Teens don’t come with an instruction manual, but you can certainly find the guidance to help you understand your teen. Click here to find out more about the Real Life Guidance to Understanding Your Teen and get instant access to your practical guide.
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