Building Self-Esteem: Six Ways to Help Your Teen Feel Better About Themselves
Some are lucky enough to be born with confidence. Unfortunately, many people aren’t. For example, some 44% of high school girls are attempting to lose weight. 1 in 5 teens will experience depression. As a parent, there are several activities that help with building self esteem in your children.
Building Self Esteem Starts at Home
Building self esteem is different for every person. Sometimes, there are negative influences that harm the child’s self-image – bullying, for instance, is one of the common culprits. This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle: the stress of being bullied, leads to lower self-esteem, that leads to more bullying. In other cases, peer pressure can be just as dangerous – combined with impossible standards portrayed in the media, it is only too easy for a child to feel imperfect.
In order to start building self esteem in your child, it is important to:
- Listen. If there is a deeper cause to your child’s self-esteem issues, they will want support. By opening lines of communication and making your child feel safe, you encourage them to speak out and tell you what is causing the problem.
- Be a role model. Unhappy parents rarely make happy children. By building self esteem in yourself first, you will lead your children by example. Similarly, if you think of yourself as a failure, your child will have no frame of reference to feeling good about themselves.
- Focus on kindness. Don’t blame your child for their low self esteem; building self esteem begins by realizing it’s nobody’s fault. Making your child feel incompetent, will not make them work harder in the future.
- Show affection. If you cannot be proud of your own child, there is nobody to be proud of. If you remind your child that they are special, they won’t be able to help feeling better about themselves.
- Play to your child’s strengths. If your child prefers painting to sports, help them join an art club. If they feel useless, encourage them to volunteer – or, better yet, volunteer with them to strengthen your bond.
- Stay positive. Building self-esteem begins with not letting a few bad days get your child down. Help your child always look on the bright side, and the self-esteem will follow.