How to Help Boost Teens’ Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a work in progress for many teens. They’re going through growing pains, identity crises, peer pressure, and hormonal changes. It’s normal for them to suffer from low self-esteem at this time. It doesn’t mean, however, that the adults in their life should just accept it as the status quo. Parents can help boost teens’ self-esteem.
If you’re a parent who has teens interested in pursuing a career in modeling or performing, a high self-esteem is essential. Self-confidence is not something that can be faked, so it has to genuinely come from a healthy sense of self.
Their self-esteem is what they truly feel about themselves, and no matter how good they are at pretending, low self-esteem will manifest in some way. Talent scouts, clients, and even the audience would be able to detect that all that self-possession is affected.
Why Boost Teens’ Self-Esteem
Why is having high self-esteem important for teens, not just in the field they want to enter, but in general life? A healthy self-esteem will allow them to achieve the following.
- Independent action
- Responsible behavior
- Justified pride in accomplishments
- High tolerance for frustrating episodes
- Courage to face new challenges
- Efficient emotion management
- Caring service to others
All these lead to a happier, more fulfilled life. In contrast, teens with low self-esteem tend towards the following:
- Dependent and indecisive behavior
- Lack of accountability
- Non-humorous self-deprecation
- Difficulty coping with frustration
- Avoidance of anything outside their comfort zone
- Affected indifference
- Feeling of unworthiness
How to Help Improve Teens’ Self-Esteem
You have the most influence on your children’s self-esteem. Your words and actions have such lasting impact on how they feel about themselves that you really have to be conscious of how you treat them and react to them. With this in mind, what can you do to build up your teens’?
1. Always acknowledge the positive.
Don’t take it for granted that your children know when you’re pleased with them. It’s common for parents to keep quiet when their kids are behaving well and speak up when they have a problem with their kids. Learn to always voice out your appreciation, approval, and admiration.
2. Specify what they did well.
From the other extreme, there are parents who are very loose with their praise that kids get the feeling that the compliments really aren’t worth anything. They recognize lip service when they hear it. If you detail in your praise what you like about what they did, then it becomes more legitimate.
3. Teach them to self-affirm.
Self-talk is something most people do. The question really is: What are your kids telling themselves? Negative self-talk causes anxiety and depression, but positive self-talk can be wonderfully motivating and encouraging. Teach your children some effective mantras or self-statements that have them recognizing their strengths and compelling them to press forward.
4. Criticize constructively.
When they do something wrong, point it out to correct and not to shame. The general rule is to praise in public and criticize in private. Do not embarrass your children. Do not use sarcasm on them either. You can call their attention to their mistake or shortcoming without cutting them down and making them feel worthless.
5. Model a healthy self-esteem.
If you’re also struggling with low self-esteem, you need to work on that in order to be a good example for your teens. You may not be sure about the state of your self-esteem. If not, refer to the lists above and determine which one applies better to you.
If you need to boost your self-esteem, here are some things that can help.
- Be nice and do something kind to someone
- Make the effort to take care of yourself, including your looks
- List down your achievements
- Practice mindfulness by being completely in the present, unaffected by the past or future
- Purge your life of clutter, toxicity, and unnecessary burdens
- Find your true passion and pursue it
- Adopt a “can do” attitude
A Good Sense of Self
Teens who go into modeling or one of the performing arts have to face more and bigger challenges than the average teen. They need a healthy sense of self for them to thrive in the spotlight. It will also serve them well, making them attractive to people and, in effect, more successful in their chosen field.
About the Author
Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specializing in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.