Do you remember being a teenager? Do you remember how crazy life seemed at times? With balancing school, chores, friends, home life, on top of emotional and hormonal changes, there’s a lot going on inside a teenager’s head. For some, good self-esteem comes easily. For others, it takes a bit more work. As a parent, you’re a role model for your child. One of the best things you can do is to genuinely build your child up. Don’t fill them with platitudes, but really focus on what makes them unique and special. I’ve compiled a list of ways you can boost and nurture your teen’s self-esteem.
Boost Your Teenagers Self Esteem
Praise their accomplishments and point out their strengths.
At a time when teens are noticing differences among their peers and comparing themselves to others, our teens can really benefit from praise, compliments, and appreciation. Let them know you’re proud of them, that you’ve seen how hard they’ve been working, and that they did a great job at something. Hearing compliments like these will help build their confidence and in turn, boost their self-esteem.
Be an open line of communication for your teen.
It’s important for your teenager to know that you’re there for them. There’s so much weighing on a teenager’s mind that they need to know they have someone they can confide in. Knowing that you’re there for them and love them will build their feelings of worth, because you’re letting them know that they matter and what they say and feel matters.
There have been times I have had to bite my tongue not to react to something my tweens and teens have confided in me. But, if I remain calm and just listen (or discuss calmly), they don’t fear coming to me next time.
Encourage your teen to express their emotions.
You might remember from being a teenager that sometimes you get all emotional and it’s hard to deal with. Let your teenager know that they’re in a safe place and can express those feelings. Letting them know that what they’re feeling is valid and they’re not being shut down will keep building that trust and self-esteem.
Of course, find ways of expressing emotion that work for you and your child. No one wants holes in the wall or hurt feelings from harsh words. My 17yo has started writing short stories and poems to express his feelings. Some of them he reads to me, and others he keeps private. His thoughts come out much more rational on paper than they do in the heat of a discussion.
Don’t compare your teenager to other teens.
Everyone is different! To encourage and build your teen’s self-esteem, it’s best to let them be themselves. Just because the neighbor kid is better at math than your child, doesn’t mean anything is wrong with them. Maybe they’re just better in history. So your nephew is big into sports but your son is more into science – to each their own.
A teenager’s interests help make them who they are. If we stomp on their interests and compare them to other kids, our teens will lose self-esteem. They’ll get the feeling that they’re doing something wrong. They may feel that they’re not as good at this other kid. Don’t let that happen to your child. Be supportive and you’ll see some definite building blocks towards higher self-esteem.
Allow your teen to make some decisions.
This doesn’t mean you should let your child decide everything as if they were the adult. Giving them some space to make decisions, even if you start out small at first, will show them that you trust them. Trust goes a long way with building self-esteem.
With all of these suggestions, you’ll be working towards building open communication and trust. Being supportive, respectful, and appreciative go a long way. You’re building your teenager up to be confident and have good self-esteem. Make your child see that they are incredible and can do whatever they put their mind to!
What do you do to help boost your teenager’s self-esteem? How do you let them know they’re special?