How to Boost Self-Esteem for Adolescence

How to Boost Self-Esteem for Adolescence

Adolescence can be a tough time for many kids. 

They're dealing with the changes that come with puberty, they're navigating new social situations, and they may be comparing themselves to their peers. 

All of this can lead to low self-esteem. 

There are a number of things that parents can do to help their kids boost their self-esteem.

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Understand What Self-Esteem Is

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. It's the opinion we have of ourselves and whether or not we like and respect ourselves.

Some ways to recognize the signs of low self-esteem are:

  • Kids with low self-esteem may seem withdrawn
  • They may be critical of themselves, or they may compare themselves unfavorably to others
  • They may also avoid new activities or situations because they're afraid of failing
  • They may have trouble making and keeping friends
  • They may engage in risky behaviors, like using drugs or alcohol, or engaging in self-harm


One way to help boost your kid's self-esteem is to help them understand that everyone has both strengths and weaknesses. 

No one is perfect. It's okay to make mistakes. What's important is how we learn from our mistakes and grow from them.

Help Your Adolescent Develop Positive Self-Talk 

One way to help boost self-esteem is to encourage your kid to develop positive self-talk. 

Positive self-talk is the things we say to ourselves in our heads. 

It's the little voice that gives us encouragement and motivation.

Some ways to encourage positive self-talk are:

  • Help your child identify their strengths and weaknesses
  • Encourage them to focus on their strengths
  • Help them find ways to improve their weaknesses
  • Encourage them to talk to themselves in a positive way

Have Realistic Expectations for Your Child or Adolescent 

It's important to have realistic expectations for your kid. 

We all want our children to succeed, but putting too much pressure on them can lead to low self-esteem.

Some ways to have realistic expectations are:

  • Encourage your child to do their best, but let them know that it's okay if they don't meet your expectations all the time
  • Avoid comparing your child to others
  • Help them set goals that are achievable
  • Encourage effort and perseverance, not just results


By setting realistic expectations, you can help your child feel good about their accomplishments, even if they're not perfect. 

Teach Your Child or Adolescent How to Deal With Failure 

Failure is a part of life. It's how we learn and grow. 

But, for kids with low self-esteem, failure can feel like the end of the world.

Some ways to help your child deal with failure are:

  • Teach them that failure is normal and it's okay to make mistakes
  • Encourage them to see failure as a learning opportunity


It's important to talk to your child or young adult about failure and provide the tools they need in order to grow from it when it happens.

Help Them Develop a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is a belief that we can learn and improve. 

It's the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is the belief that our abilities are set in stone.

Some ways to encourage a growth mindset are:

  • Encourage your child to try new things
  • Encourage them to stick with it when they're struggling
  • Help them understand that effort leads to success
  • Avoid praising intelligence or talent
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome


The last thing you can do to help boost your child's self-esteem is to focus on the process, not the outcome. 

The process is the journey, not the destination. 

Model Healthy Self-Esteem for Your Child or Adolescent

One of the best things you can do to help boost your child's self-esteem is to model healthy self-esteem for them.

If you have low self-esteem, it can be hard to hide. 

Your child will pick up on your cues, both verbal and nonverbal.

Some ways to model healthy self-esteem are:

  • Avoid putting yourself down in front of your child
  • Be positive and encouraging, both to yourself and to your child
  • Make an effort to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally
  • Encourage your child to express their feelings


It's important to encourage your child to express their feelings, both good and bad. It's okay to feel sad, angry, or scared. 

What's important is how we deal with those feelings.

Setting good examples and providing a model they can follow is an important part of learning how to boost their self-esteem in adolescence.

Help Them Find Their Passion or Talent

Adolescence is a time of exploration.

It's a time to try new things and find out what we're good at.

Helping your child find their passion or talent is a great way to boost self-esteem.

Some ways to help your child find their passion or talent are:

  • Encourage them to try new things
  • Encourage them to stick with it when they're struggling
  • Help them understand that effort leads to success
  • Avoid praising intelligence or talent
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome


The last thing you can do to help boost your child's self-esteem is to focus on the process, not the outcome. 

This is an important aspect because the learning process happens along the journey they take. 

It's good to have goals, and it's also good to learn a process for achieving those goals so they can be repeated again and again. 

Encourage Them to Be Kind to Others 

One way to help boost your child's self-esteem is to encourage them to be kind to others. 

When we're kind, we feel good about ourselves. 

It's a great way to build self-esteem and it also helps the world be a little bit nicer place.

Some ways to encourage your child to be kind are:

  • Do kind things for others
  • Encourage them to stand up for someone who is being treated unfairly
  • Teach them how to resolve conflict in a peaceful way
  • Encourage them to be accepting of others


Helping your child boosts their self-esteem doesn't have to be complicated.

It can be as simple as encouraging them to try new things, to stick with it when they're struggling, and to be kind to others. 

All of these things will help your child feel good about themselves and build healthy self-esteem.

Help Them Find Things to Be Grateful For 

Another way to help boost your child's self-esteem is to help them find things to be grateful for. 

When we're grateful, we focus on the positive. 

It's a great way to build self-esteem and it also helps us appreciate what we have.

Some ways to help your child find things to be grateful for are:

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Encourage them to express thankfulness
  • Teach them to focus on the positive


Helping your child learn how to boost their self-esteem doesn't have to be complicated.

It can be as simple as helping them find things to be grateful for.

When they focus on the positive, they'll feel good about themselves and build healthy self-esteem. 

Get Professional Help if Needed

If you're concerned about learning how to boost your child's self-esteem, or if they seem to be struggling, don't hesitate to get professional help. 

A therapist can help your child understand and work through any underlying issues.

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for informational use only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you need help, please seek out advice from a licensed medical professional.

Conclusion

Boosting your child's self-esteem is important for their overall health and wellbeing.

It's a great way to help them cope with the challenges of adolescence and set them up for success in life. 

There are many simple things you can do to help boost your child's self-esteem. 

Just remember to be positive, encouraging, and accepting.

If you're concerned about your child's self-esteem, don't hesitate to get professional help.

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May 16th, 2022

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