High self-esteem is what we all should have. Low self-esteem is never welcome. Self-esteem basically means how you think about yourself, how you judge yourself and how you score or rate your success in life. We all need high self-esteem and teenagers are particularly important in this area.
Teens who are down on themselves, who have a low opinion of their appearance or talent or success are in a potentially dangerous position. A poor self-esteem is sometimes associated with teens who harm themselves or worse, commit suicide.
There are steps every parent can take to help boost their teen’s self-esteem. These steps are simple and can be taken by every parent. The results are often promising.
Start with becoming a listener. There is nothing so calming for a teen who feels unhappy in being able to talk openly and fully with a trusted parent. And whilst a parent may not have all the answers to a problem or be able to dispense advice such as would be given by a therapist, just the fact they you can listen is a benefit in itself.
Every parent should develop their ability to listen. Kids want advice, money and information. But they also want a listener and you as their parent are in the best possible position to lend an ear.
Positive beats negative every time. Even if you feel you should say something you believe your child does not want to hear, stay positive in giving your opinion. Carping criticism is irrelevant. If a teen is in trouble they don’t want a lecture. They want help. They want an honest response which is what you should give but always, always take the positive approach to the matter.
Be a part of your teen’s life. There are times when the last thing a teen wants is a parent hanging around. But the opposite of this is the parent who takes little interest in their child’s activities. If they play sport, perform in a play or band, or are building a model railroad, take an interest – a genuine interest. Kids know when people are being sincere. If you want to boost your child’s self-esteem and image, become a part of their life.
Don’t judge. It’s been a while since you were a teenager. The things you were able to do then have changed a lot. Your teen is able to go to places and do things you had then never even heard of. Just because their interests are different is no reason to knock them. But whatever attitude you take, criticizing your teen and their friends is not going to boost their self-esteem.
Don’t be afraid of calling in help. Professionals may sound a bit drastic but so many parents have failed to act when their teen had a low level of self-esteem with sad even tragic results. Don’t panic but do be prepared to talk the issue through with your family doctor and take on other professional help if required.
Your teens are going through a changing time in a changing world. Give them the best support you can and then look back on those teen years with pride.