Teen self esteem is a major issue for both parents and teens. By learning how to support and nurture your teen, you can help them move through these awkward years with as little difficulty as possible.
How to Support Your Teen
With the rising number of unwise choices among teens, including increased use of drugs and alcohol, something has definitely gone wrong along the way.
Though hormones and bodily changes have something to do with the “out of control” behaviors of teenagers, how they feel about themselves appears to be directly related to the choices they make.
Here’s what you can do to support your teen.
Listen to Your Teen
If you were to ask teenagers to tell you one thing that would make them feel happier in their lives, they would probably tell you that they wished their parents listened to them more.
As a parent, you want to make sure that you always have time for your children as they grow up … an oh-so-important part of building self esteem.
Being able to share things with you and know that you will listen is something that a teen will cherish.
Your teenager will know that you are available just to listen – without giving advice.
These feelings will boost your teen’s comfort level when talking about things that could be upsetting.
Whenever your teen does something well, make sure to take notice of it! Having a proud parent means a lot to a young person. As a parent, you might choose to express yourself by putting a simple card in their backpack or lunch that tells them how proud you are of their accomplishment … no matter how large or small the achievement may be.
You might want to throw parties for major accomplishments, or make sure that you celebrate with the rest of the family to encourage your teen in his or her goals and dreams. Building a strong foundation will take your relationship a long way.
Be Honest with Your Teen
A main factor that boosts your teen’s self esteem is your ability and commitment to be honest with them. While there are things you might not want to be honest with them about (for fear of hurting their feelings), they need to know that you’ll let them know the truth (as you see it) about things they’re doing and decisions they’re making. At the same time, let them know you support them and believe in their good judgment.
As your teenager navigates the world into adulthood, perhaps the most valuable asset is a family unit that supports your teen and provides positive guidance along this multi-decision-making path.