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How can I help my teenager with his self-esteem?

Grecia De Flores
4 min read

As we know, adolescence is a very complicated phase, since physical and psychological changes are generated in our children that mark the passage from childhood to puberty, to later reach adulthood.

Understanding that this stage is delicate, as parents we must support, guide and accompany them so that they can go through this process in the best possible way.

Self-esteem depends on many factors, and adolescence itself is a factor that could decrease it, so we must pay special attention to this aspect by being careful and dedicated.

Parents should point out to their children what is the best way to behave, but if this is done in the wrong way we can fall into the mistake of making our children feel inadequate.

That is why it is essential to know how to transmit the message to be able to educate them without influencing their self-esteem.

How can I help my teenager with his self-esteem? – Mothers And Babies
Adolescence is a very complicated phase where physical and psychological changes are generated

What is self-esteem?

Self- esteem refers to the set of perceptions, evaluations, thoughts, feelings and tendencies of behaviors in relation to ourselves and our way of being, aspects of our body and our personality.

It is the evaluation we have of ourselves, our level of like or dislike in relation to our own and distinctive characteristics.

When we speak of low self-esteem we mean a negative evaluation of our attributes that leads to an unpleasant perception of ourselves and a diminished self-concept.

How to know if your son or daughter has low self-esteem?

Self-esteem has different components within itself, such as cognitive and affective that affect both behavior and physical health.

As for the cognitive component, this refers to those thoughts, perceptions and beliefs that we have about ourselves.

The affective component refers to how we feel about our body and our personality, the combination of these and the reflection in physical symptoms, can result in the following indicators:

  • Insomnia

  • Stomach aches

  • Headaches

  • Tremors when faced with situations in which they do not feel capable

  • Thoughts of the type; "I don't know how to do anything well" "I can't do things as well as the others" "I don't want to try" "I know I won't be able to do it"

  • Expressions of the type; "I'm a fool" "I'm useless"

  • Alluding to your body negatively "I don't like my body" "I can't stand it"

  • Sadness

  • Unsociable attitudes

  • Defiant attitude

  • Perfectionistic attitudes

  • Intense desires to please others

  • Indecision for fear of being wrong

How can I help my teenager with his self-esteem? – Mothers And Babies

How can you help?

As parents, we can do a lot for our children, we are in charge of advising and guiding them on a correct and healthy path that includes acceptance of themselves.

The state of mind of adolescents can be affected by the image of their body, the experiences and the rules provided for them, we must be understanding and sensitive to their needs at this stage.

If you hear your child make a negative comment about himself, even if this worries you, do not penalize him, instead point out good things about himself, such as his close friends, a supportive family, his positive attributes and successes.

Recognizing and validating your child is super important and valuable to reinforce his self-esteem, it contributes positively by pointing out how valuable he is to you and to his friends.

Help him to set realistic expectations about himself, do not compare him with his siblings or friends, your child is unique and has his own valuable characteristics.

Give him honest praise and aspire to point out criticisms that are always constructive, make it clear that when making a correction you do it from love.

Also try to correct the behavior, not your child, who has forgotten some responsibility at home for example, does not make him irresponsible. Don't make statements like this, as that only lowers your self-esteem.

Promote physical activities and consider that your child may need to attend a mental health specialist, if so, suggest it as something positive that will help him to be better.

Be tolerant, empathetic and assertive with your adolescent son, his concerns are significant, and his experiences are real, do not devalue what he feels at any time or comment on his insecurities with other people as a joke.

Support him and set expectations according to his abilities, do not criticize or over demand him. Your child is always better if he knows that he has your support and love.