3 Tips for Teens to Boost their Self-Esteem
What does it mean to have healthy self-esteem?
You may think it means you need to love the way you look; or feel great about accomplishing some big goal in your life.
While both of these factors can lead to feeling good about yourself, healthy self-esteem actually means you like and appreciate yourself – faults and all.
Good self-esteem can be the difference between a happy, resilient individual, able to face life’s challenges head on, and someone who suffers from depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed with life.
Anxiety Among Kids and Teens is Increasing
Kids and teens are facing a lot of challenges right now – COVID-19, remote learning or a hybrid version of school, social isolation, loss of dreams as well as relational, emotional and financial stressors. All of these challenges can affect a child’s sense of self.
As parents, it can be especially difficult to know how to help your child right now through this tough season. Perhaps your once outgoing and confident child is now insecure, anxious and indecisive. You wonder how you’re going to help pull them out of their negativity and into a more positive and empathetic view of themselves.
3 Tips for Boosting Your Teen’s Self-Esteem
While you can’t wave a magic wand and change things overnight, there are some things you can do to give your child’s self-esteem a much-needed boost:
Face the REAL reality.
Is your child someone who makes generalizations? By that I mean, do they make statements about themselves such as, “I’m an idiot”, or “I’m not pretty enough or smart enough?” The truth is, we can all find people who are smarter and more attractive than we are.
If your child is going to work on their self-esteem, they need to first recognize that they often lie to themselves with these generalizations. The generalizations may sound convincing from your child’s point of view, but they’re still lies.
To stay grounded in reality, have your child make a list of their top 10 strengths and top 10 weaknesses. If they have a hard time coming up with strengths, have them think about what others have said about them – they’re a good listener, they’re thoughtful, they play soccer well, etc.
When they’re done making this list, they’ll see that there are plenty of things they’re really good at. And some of the weaknesses may be things they can absolutely change over time and with some effort.
Forget about perfection.
Perfection doesn’t exist. They may think all those Hollywood A-listers on the cover of magazines are theepitome of perfection, but even they are airbrushed, photoshopped and have a team of people following them around so their hair is never out of place.
Remind your child to stop spending their energy trying to have the perfect face, body, grades, or dating relationship. None of that exists. Have them focus their energy on achieving attainable goals like being a good friend, doing their best in school, and enjoying activities and hobbies.
Get to know the authentic self.
We spend so much of our lives comparing ourselves to others that we really don’t take the time to get to know ourselves. Beyond strengths and weaknesses, who is your child as a person? What makes them happy or excites them? Are there specific hobbies do they enjoy? What kind of brother or sister are they?
The more they know about themselves, the greater the chance they’ll discover things they really like about themselves.
Begin Online Therapy for Kids and Teens with Anxiety in Illinois and now Florida!
As an experienced and caring therapist, I love providing counseling for anxiety. To start your child’s counseling journey, call me at 224-236-2296 or email Helena@BrieflyCounseling.com to schedule a FREE 20-minute consultation.
Whether you’re on the North Shore, in Naperville, Chicago, Champaign, Barrington, Libertyville, Glenview, or downstate Illinois, I can help.
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Schedule your appointment or consultation today. I look forward to working with your child to quickly and effectively help them in activating their strengths, resources, and resilience, in order to live with confidence and hope.