Low Self-Esteem in Teenagers
Teenagers often have struggles that they did not have as younger children. One of these issues is low self-esteem. There are some things that you can do that may help your teen raise their self-esteem and confidence. Positive self-esteem is important for proper development, problem solving, and a teen’s ability to function. Low self-esteem can cause a host of issues.
Low self-esteem can cause a teen to avoid situations in an attempt to reduce the risk of failure or embarrassment. This means that they may avoid schoolwork, making friends, trying new things, and more.
It can also lead to problems with relationships and poor motivation. Low self-esteem in teenagers is often accompanied by poor body image, sadness, anxiety, and anger. Low self-esteem may also be a symptom of underlying issues like anxiety or depression. If you think that your child may be suffering with mental health issues, then you may want to consider teen therapy.
Causes of Low Self-Esteem
Teenagers compare themselves with their peers. This comparison can contribute to low self-esteem because they may begin to feel incompetent or unworthy. This will happen when the teen compares themselves to others in an activity, subject, or situation that they care about.
Social media may also contribute to low self-esteem because it offers a glimpse into other teen lives that is unrealistic. A teen will likely only include positive experiences and images online. Then, when another teenager sees those posts, they do not see the negative things about their peer. This can make them feel like their peers are doing much better than they are.
If a teenager feels like the adults in their life are disappointed in them or their performance, then they may develop low self-esteem. Teens are expected to do more than what was expected of them when they were younger which can also contribute to self esteem issues.
This is a good way to give a boost to your teenager’s self-esteem. When children are younger, we will praise their efforts no matter how well they perform. When children hit their tween or teen years, then the pressure to do well increases.
Instead of only praising a teenager on their performance such as a good grade, you should commend them for their effort. For example, if they studied for a week leading up to and exam, they deserve praise for the amount of effort that they put in even if they do not get a great grade. This also teaches them that effort is important even if they do not succeed or if their peers still did better.
Teach Positive Self-Talk
What your teen thinks about themselves is important to the way that they feel. Self-talk is the voice inside our heads and if it revolves around negativity, then it is more likely to contribute to low self-esteem. It is important to help your teen develop positive self-talk.
To do this, you need to help them identify the times when they are being too harsh on themselves. If you hear them say things that are not true them help them replace those things with healthier, more realistic thinking.
Be a Good Role Model
Teenagers will learn from the actions of their parents and other adults that they respect. You need to be confident in the things that you do. If you are critical of your own performance or your body, then you will teach your child to mimic that behavior.
Try to model confidence and courage in everything that you do. Show them that it is good to be proud of your performance, learn from failure or mistakes, bravely face new or difficult situations, and to love yourself.
Promote New Experiences
It is important to encourage your teen to try new things and to challenge themselves. Teenagers may avoid new experiences because they are afraid of failure or embarrassment. Try to get them to pick up new hobbies, take new classes, or even get a part-time job. These types of things will help them build confidence and develop new friendships.
Teenagers often have a hard time with assertiveness. However, teaching assertiveness can reduce the risk of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and more. Teens need to learn to speak up for themselves and their ideals.
Try to explain the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness to your teen. You can also help them practice at home. Let them know that they have a choice in some of the things that you do at home and allow them to respond depending on their needs and desires.
Final Thoughts on Teen Self-Esteem
Building good, positive self-esteem is important for teenage development and wellbeing. Try to model positive self-image, confidence, and courage for your child every day. You can also encourage them to speak up for themselves and try new things. However, if you feel like there may be an underlying mental health condition, then you may want to speak with a mental health professional who specializes in therapy for teens.