Low self-esteem is a common problem for teenage boys and girls. Not only do they have changing bodies to contend with, they have pressure from peers, academic studies, and relationships to face up to on a daily basis. As parents, we boost the self-esteem of our children often without thinking about it, with regular compliments and rewards for jobs well done; however, there are also occasions when we can damage self-confidence or miss opportunities to make a teenager feel good about themselves.
A teenager with good self-confidence is one that will excel in every area of their life. Here are some tips on how you can help build self-esteem.
As parents, we spend a lot of time telling our teens what they have not done right instead of telling them what they have done right. Praise your child for the things that he/she does well and compliment efforts, whether hard work has succeeded or failed. Remember to keep your praise genuine though, otherwise you may come across as being insincere, and teens will pick up on that immediately!
When teens go all self-sufficient it can be hard to get anything more than a one-word answer out of them, making it difficult to tell what is going on in their lives. Make it clear to your children that they can come to you about anything. Communicate in ways that suit them – texting, social media (not publicly!), written notes – so that they feel comfortable about coming to you with problems.
CRITICISE IF YOU NEED TO, BUT DO IT CONSTRUCTIVELY
Nobody likes to be criticised, particularly if it’s done in a way that is aggressive or demeaning. Think about how to approach criticism with your child. Rather than say, “How on earth did you fail that English test?” Say something like, “It seems like the English test was a bit of a struggle, but with some extra studying I’m sure you’ll pass next time.”
If your child has a particular talent, encourage it – even if it is something you never envisioned for them. Find out why they have a passion for the talent and support them all the way. With parents’ backing, children will make successful and secure decisions.
Building self-esteem will help your child succeed as a teen and thrive as an adult – these tips should help you do just that.