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Your Teen and Self Esteem

Transitioning from childhood to adolescence comes with its fair share of emotional shifts. As a parent, it can seem like you’re walking a tightrope at times, but rest assured you’re not the only one going through the ups and downs of teenage drama. In fact, there are powerful ways you can set a positive example for your child during this season.

You, as a parental figure and role model, can provide direction and impact—whether your teenager admits this or not—it’s important to implement healthy routines for your teen as they journey through the internal and more personal phases of adolescence. From everyday insights to tangible actions, here are four ways you can channel positive self-esteem with your teen.

  1. Internal Motivation 
    The Power of Positivity:
     Encourage your teen to be kind to themselves. The root of most anxiety and depression stems from negative thoughts, so help your teen fight this impulse by encouraging them to start and end every day with five things they’re grateful for.
     
  2. Consistency 
    Weekly Dinner Dates: Try to set aside one meal each week where it’s just you and your teen. As you eat, ask them about school, friends, relationships, and things they may be struggling with. A lot of times it helps to share some of your experiences when you were a teenager to help them feel more at ease about talking about what’s going on.
     
  3. Insight 
    Movie Mania:
     Did you know movies can be a great way to talk to your kids about relevant themes or to get a glimpse into how they’re feeling? The next time you decide to watch a movie or tv show have your teen make the selection. It may not be your first or favorite choice, but take the time to observe the characters, material, and how your child may relate.
     
  4. Action 
    Kindness Parade.
     Show your teen that you value them by giving them compliments and letting them know that you’re proud of them.  A lot of times teens will dismiss these sentiments, but these are positive reinforcements they need and want to hear but won’t often admit to. Keep in mind, kids who feel loved and accepted are less likely to act out when they’re feeling insecure.

Self-esteem issues can be hidden or very apparent. They can manifest themselves in quiet behavior or rebellious actions. Keep this in mind so you can understand your teenager better. Sometimes just a listening ear or a compassionate act can help lighten your child’s insecurities. If your child is displaying concerning behavioral traits, it may be best to consult your doctor. Otherwise, do your best to connect with your child and remind them that you are a safe place for them to run to in times of need.

If your child is experiencing self-esteem issues, your pediatrician may be able to offer guidance and support resources. If you do not have a pediatrician, visit beebehealthcare.org/find-a-doc to find one today!