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Helping your teen with self-esteem

We all remember our teenage years—wrought with social anxiety, navigating the new and scary world of dating, and to top it all off, we had to worry about acne breakouts—the horror! If your child is entering teenagehood, or they’ve been a big bad teenager for a few years now, you may have noticed they’re struggling with low self-esteem. Many teenagers struggle with confidence issues thanks to a variety of factors, including body changes, peer pressure, sports, and academic struggles.

If you notice your child has become more withdrawn, is struggling in school, or speaks negatively about him or herself, they may be struggling with low self-esteem.

Praise their efforts, but don’t overdo it

Hispanic Mother and Daughter Ready for School Isolated on a White Background.

It’s important to let your child know how proud you are of their achievements, but it’s also essential to avoid overpraising. Praising your child for every action and every effort can make your child believe that results don’t matter. This may lead to a low standard of performance, and as they get older and discover their results don’t match those of their colleagues and peers, their self-esteem may plummet. It’s important to be sincere with your praise and compliments; if your child senses your compliments are less than genuine, this may further affect their self-esteem in a negative way.

Encourage cultivation of passions

LEARNING MUSIC

Teenagers are in the midst of discovering themselves, and part of that is discovering what passions and talents they may have. Encourage your teen to examine his or her passions. This might mean paying for guitar lessons so they can take part in musical pursuits, or sports gear that will help them on the field. It’s not just about facilitating their passion with the equipment they need; it’s about being vocally supportive and being there when they need you. Attend concerts and games they take part in, allow for band practice in your garage, and let her attend that dance class she’s been talking about. The more room you allow your teen to try their interests, the more encouraged they’ll be to remain dedicated to whatever activity it may be.

Encourage volunteerism

Mother embrace daughter shot against a white background

Helping others helps us feel better. Our teens want to feel valued, within their circle of friends, within their family interactions, and within the community. Volunteerism is a wonderful way to help your community and help your teen in one fell swoop. Sign up for volunteer events as a family. This will help your teenager feel useful and they’ll undoubtedly receive positive feedback—both facets that contribute directly to self-esteem. For some teens, volunteerism is school-mandated, so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone by helping your child in their academic pursuits.

Changing bodies

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During our pre-teen and teen years, the body goes through a great deal of changes. As your children get older, their physical appearance takes on a great deal of importance. Your teen likely places a great deal of emphasis on their clothing options, their skin, and their hair, and puberty isn’t always kind, resulting in weight gain, acne, and other physical attributes that may cause your child stress.

It’s important to help your child through their body changes. Your teen will likely prefer to shop for their own clothing, and so long as their choices adhere to school regulations and don’t pose a danger to their person, it’s important to allow them to wear as they please. Clothing is a form of self-expression, and as they cultivate their own image, will help them bolster their self-esteem.

If your teen is struggling with weight, it’s important to help facilitate healthy choices. Purchase a family gym membership and make exercise a priority, especially if your teen isn’t involved or interested in sports. Keep healthy snacks on hand so your teen can make better food choices at home. Focus on healthy lifestyle options instead of weight loss.

Teenagers also deal with a host of skin ailments, especially acne. If your child has the occasional blackhead or whitehead, they’re likely not too worried, and a simple gentle cleanser will help. However, if they’re dealing with painful, hormonal cystic acne, it’s important to get them the treatment they need. If left untreated, this type of acne can be painful and result in life-long scars, and greatly affect your child’s self-esteem for years. Make sure they’re keeping up with their hygiene routine, especially if they’re in sports that result in heavy sweating.

Traversing teenagehood isn’t always fun, and if you notice your teen is struggling with low self-confidence, keep these strategies in mind and help them through hard times.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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