Every parent wants their child to be happy, fulfilled and mentally healthy. But when…
Tips & Activities to Improve Self-Esteem in Teenagers
Being a parent or teacher to teenagers has never been easy and the task seems to have become even more complex over the years.
The usual issues teenagers face, such as physical appearance, status among peers and success at school or sports, are now even more difficult to deal with, since teenagers have access to information from all over the world about the things they find extremely important. Consequently, the pressure is greater to perform and live up to their own, as well as expectations of others.
On the other hand, there are parents and teachers, whose job is to help children grow up to become independent, successful and responsible adults. They are also those who need to help their children and students build their sense of self and boost their self-esteem. Still, more often than not, those who need to provide support fail to do so because they themselves are struggling with some unresolved issues. That, of course, should not be an excuse, since every child needs most support at the age when they are the most vulnerable. So, what is it that we can do to help teenagers gain more self-esteem?
Setting clear boundaries
Setting clear boundaries sounds like something that’s easier said than done, but teenagers need boundaries, which reflect their family’s lifestyle and values. Needless to say, teenagers should also be made aware of the consequences if they fail to respect those boundaries. The clearer the message – the more likely it is to be followed. Also, don’t forget to talk respectfully with teenagers when discussing this issue, since they need to know and feel that they are valued.
Focus on positive reinforcement
Although it’s much easier to criticise and notice what teenagers are doing wrong, we should never forget that they also need to be praised for doing something right. This is especially important when it comes to something they do better than you, no matter how trivial or unimportant it may seem.
It’s important to remember that, apart from the achievement, we also need to praise their effort. Sometimes their effort won’t bear fruit, but we need to be there for them, provide consolation and assure them that hard work will definitely pay off eventually. Naturally, you shouldn’t praise every single thing they do, since the praise will lose its power if you do. So, find that nice balance when it comes to praising and don’t be afraid to use it.
Let them decide
Most teenagers are only too happy to voice their opinions on various matters, but they sometimes feel they are not being asked what they think about a particular matter. They want you to treat them like adults and that’s exactly what you need to do. For example, you should include them when deciding on your family holiday or renovation works at home. That way, your teenager will feel appreciated and will be bursting with self-esteem, especially if you turn their idea into reality.
Help them achieve academic success
Being successful at school is one of the best ways for a young person to become more self-confident. Unfortunately, not every child can be great at school, but what teenagers do need is every possible kind of help and attention when dealing with school tasks. Some will just need a gentle push in the right direction, while others may require an expert in high school tutoring to help them out. Whatever the need, make sure you try to address it since academic success plays a great role in everyone’s life.
Help them realise their full potential
A parent or teacher should be able to recognise a teenager’s talent and encourage them to work on it. It’s important not to pressure teenagers into choosing a career they don’t like just because you or someone in your family chose it a while ago. You do need to point out possible drawbacks of certain options, but don’t make a decision for your teenager, but rather let them reach their own decision and encourage them. A child who knows that they have full support all the time will be much more confident and successful at whatever they decide to do in life.
Needless to say, the list of tips doesn’t end here, but these are some of the most basic things all of us with teenagers in our lives can do to help them become as good adults as possible. After all, isn’t that our main goal?
Tracey Clayton is a full time mum of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles at https://highstylife.com/.
She’s also passionate about travelling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”