Parents: Build Your Teen’s Self-Esteem

mom comforting daughterMerriam-Webster defines self-esteem as: “a sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual’s identity.”

Self-esteem greatly develops as a teenager. It builds their character and defines who they are. As a teen grows into adulthood, positivity and self-respect is needed for a teen to gain self- esteem. Many teenagers with lower self-esteem are influenced to make poor decisions that impact their health, mental state, and achievements.

As a parent, take an active role in your teenager’s self-esteem. Support your teen with love and respect. Be sure your teen knows that they are cared for by their parents. If you are worried about your teenager’s self-esteem, look to the following tips.

Communicate. Communication is key to every relationship. By keeping open communication channels with your teenager, you build a positive relationship. Your teenager will be more willingly to come to you for advice if they know you are open to discussing their concerns.

Avoid negativity. Negativity is extremely hurtful. Focus on what your teenager has done correctly. In a gentle manner, tell them what they can improve on. Be sure to recognize the good they are doing as you critique the bad.

Give encouragement. Help your teen set goals. Whether it is to do well on an upcoming exam in school or to participate in extra-curricular activities, always support them in what they want to do. Encourage your teenager to chase their dreams and do what they truly want to do in life.

sad teen boyUnderstand their needs. Your teenager has different goals for their life than you do. Even if you disagree with their needs, continue to understand. Teach your teen about other possibilities as you work with them to achieve their wants.

Get involved. If your teenager wants to go out for the baseball team, help them by playing catch in the backyard. Whatever they want to do, help them achieve that goal. Listening and encouraging them is always helpful. Take an active role in helping your teen be more involved and active.

Exercise together. Physical activity helps to increase a teenager’s self- esteem. Join a gym or intramural league together. Encourage your teenager to exercise regularly to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Be a supporter. Support your teenager’s decisions as they decide what they want to do in life. As long as their decisions are healthy and safe, support them and let them know how much you care.

Listen. Always offer a free ear for your teenager to share their feelings. Respectfully listen and offer encouragement.

Photo credits: Top © Galina Barskaya / Fotolia. Bottom © Heide Hibbard / Fotolia.

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