Adolescence is filled with changes and adjustments. It is crucial in this time of uncertainty to establish a solid self-esteem. A lot of factors can make or break a healthy confidence and self-view. Home life, study skills, body image- these things contribute to how teens see themselves. Here are some ways to boost your teen’s self-esteem.

Teach them the difference between humility and self-degradation. 

Being humble doesn’t mean putting yourself down. There is a important distinction between these two terms. Yes, humility is refraining from boasting, but it is also recognizing your strengths and using them productively. 

Model self-esteem.   

People learn from demonstration. If your teen sees you believing in yourself or being confident or using positive self-talk, it will help them to see what it looks like to love themselves. 

Encourage them.

Give your children positive feedback. Discipline and guidance are also important during adolescence, but be sure to build them up. When a teen already has a strong, positive self-image, hearing constructive criticism is less of a blow. Teens can recognize that they are good, and that their identity is separate from what they are being criticized for, and in turn are able to grow from criticism.

Emphasize involvement in a community.

Organized team sports, church youth groups, and clubs can be a great way for teens to build and improve their self-esteem. During adolescence, teens tend to seek bonds with their peers. Helping to get them involved in a community will strengthen their self-image and assist them in relating to others.

Compliment them.

This goes together with encouragement. Compliments are easy, and they can make a huge difference in your teen’s self-esteem. Find ways to uplift your child and then be sure to express that to them. And while compliments on appearance are good, it’s also important to compliment them on other things, too. This helps them to realize that their worth comes from more than their outward appearance. Complimenting them on the way they handle situations or their academics are helpful, too.

Author: Madelyn Bodi, UCF Writing Intern

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