Parents play a vital role in building up their kids’ self-esteem, sometimes without even realizing it. It may be through a simple compliment for a job well done, disciplining them for doing the wrong thing, or simply kissing them goodbye as they leave for school in the morning.
Unfortunately, we all have those days when we unknowingly tear down our kid’s esteem instead of being the wind under their wings.
However, self-esteem plays a key role in your teenager’s life. It affects their actions, thoughts, choices. Teenagers who grow up with a high level of self-esteem can make better decisions, and have the courage to try out new, different things.
Self-esteem can be the difference between a child who says no to peer pressure, actively participates in class, tries out for a sports team, or one who does nothing at all.
Parents play an especially vital role in a teenager’s esteem, and this is one of the best things a parent can gift their child. Listening, words of encouragement, recognizing accomplishments, and generously giving praise go a long way to raise your teen’s self-worth.
Confidence, Self Esteem, and Resilience
Confidence is the firm belief in what you are capable of. By being confident, you’re sure of your abilities and know that you will be successful in a particular situation or task.
While confidence is related to self-esteem, the two don’t always go together. Self-esteem makes you feel good about yourself and also makes you feel worthwhile.
Having high self-esteem, however, doesn’t always mean that you feel confident about yourself.
Resilience, on the other hand, is having the tenacity to bounce back or cope with difficult or stressful situations. When resilient kids learn that they can deal with anything that comes their way, their confidence is bettered.
How Parents Can Build Their Teens’ Self Esteem
Confidence gives teenagers the ability to make better, well-informed decisions. Teens who are brimming with confidence to avoid situations that they deem unfit, and aren’t afraid to say no because social acceptance becomes less of an issue
Confident teens are more assertive, enthusiastic, persistent and more positive. For instance, confident kids deal with breakups better than less confident kids would. A confident girl will probably be upset, but will quickly realize that she can easily bounce back, or instead focus on other aspects of her life.
Less confident kids will blame themselves for the breakup, further affecting their self-esteem by making themselves feel like they aren’t worth dating.
Teenagers need your help to build self-esteem. Here’s how you can help build confidence and resilience in your child:
Let Them Explore Their Interests or Talents
Your kid is good at something. Whatever it may be, give them the opportunity to follow their passion, as crazy as it may seem to you.
As flippant as you may think them to be, your teenager’s interests can provide a safe outlet & maybe even opportunities for success. Sports is a common interest for girls and boys alike.
Just keep in mind that your child’s zeal for a particular sport may wane over time, be it lacrosse, ice hockey or baseball. “Hold off on buying top of the line baseball gear just yet, and look for youth baseball bats on clearance instead,” reads The Bat Nerd’s reviews.
So long as the hobby doesn’t interfere with other important responsibilities such as school work, support him wholeheartedly.
Parents shouldn’t just say no – Help your teen find ways to find their self-identity and build self-esteem.
Be Generous With Praise
Parents often praise their kids only when they accomplish great feats. While this is okay, kids need encouragement along the way too. Praise them often not only for their achievements or for doing the right thing, but for making the effort too, even when they don’t succeed.
That said, teenagers with low self-esteem may find it awkward if praised too much. Give the compliments sparingly so that it doesn’t sound dishonest because it may have the opposite effect by making them feel like you’re just saying it to make them feel good.
Celebrate the small victories as well, not just the big ones – Good test results, a project well done, anything. It doesn’t have to be a grand celebration as long as they know that you’re proud of them. Kids love to hear that they’ve made you proud, regardless of their age.
Additionally, saying things like “You must be very proud of yourself” helps them internalize their feelings of self-worth, and don’t need to seek validation from their peers or external sources.
Offer Constructive Criticism
It’s okay to criticize your teen when they’re wrong. However, be extremely careful that it does not berate them in any way or hurt their feelings.
In your criticism, praise the effort they put in and encourage them to keep trying.
Seek Your Youngster’s Opinion
Teenagers have lots of opinions. Seek their opinions on everyday decisions and put them into practice. What does he think about getting a new TV? Replacing the old couches with new ones? Teens live the feeling of responsibility and being treated like adults.