Many teens struggle to feel accepted both by the outside world and by themselves. However despite these insecurities, parents can play an important role in building their teen’s self-esteem. Here are five ways that you can help your teen with their self-esteem issues:
Even though they may be verging on adulthood, it’s still important to set boundaries for your teen. It’s important that you establish rules and expectations that suit both you and your child. Make sure your teen is aware of these rules and the consequences that will follow if they’re not obeyed. Your teen will dislike these rules intially but they are still important, as they highlight that you value your child’s safety, which is an important building block of their self-esteem.
It's easy to focus on our teen’s bad behaviour rather than their good actions. So when they’ve succeeded in something good, make sure that you do praise your teen for this. Focus on the positive things that your teen has accomplished and offer specific praise.
While it’s important that you set boundaries for your teens and that they obey them, your teen will need to have some independence as well. This independence can come in many shapes and forms, and usually it applies to our teen’s opinions. Listen to what they have to say, teens want to be treated like adults, so make sure that you give them the opportunity to engage conversations, especially those that influence family life and the family home.
Stay connected with your teen through all forms of communication. Yes teens want to be self-sufficient, but that doesn’t mean as parents we shouldn’t keep the lines of communication open between us and our children. Teens can be vague in their responses but the best way to avoid one-worded answers is through asking specific questions, that require more detailed answers.
It’s important to support your teen especially if they’re involved in a conflict with school or friends. Listen to their side of the story, even if you think they are at fault and try to be there for your teen. A conflict may seem silly and trivial to us, but to a hormonal teenager, it could be a major source of contention in their lives. Get into the habit of supporting them through the good and the bad and you will be laying a strong foundation for open communication when bigger challenges come around.