What’s Lowering Your Teens Self-Esteem Like That?

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There isn’t a teenager on the planet doesn’t wish they had that vivacious gumption and confidence of that Little Orphan Annie. Actually, there isn’t a person on the planet – young or old – that doesn’t wish that had a tad more confidence than they have right now because confidence seems to be the key to a more fulfilled and less terrifying life. The reason we are focusing on teenagers, however, is because it is sort of our role as their parents to help them grow their self-esteem and mettle.

 

To help you understand just why this is so important, self-esteem is how a person feels about themselves. It is the measurement by which they judge their own self-worth and that is what makes it such a vital asset to have. Our level of self-esteem tends to have a truly staggering effect on the way we navigate life because it affects the decisions we make. How? Simple. Our self-confidence dictates what we believe we are capable of achieving, meaning someone with a low sense of self-esteem will deem themselves not worthy of achieving much in their life.

That is why it hurts a parent so much to see their teenage child suffer from confidence issues. It is a crippling sense of worthlessness that will hinder them when it comes to enjoying the life you want them to enjoy to the absolute fullest. You have to watch on as they convince themselves that they are inferior to those around them, when you know that is not the case, not in the slightest.

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As a parent, you want your kid to live up their potential, which is limitless. However, in order to do this, you need to help your teenager confront their self-esteem issues and that starts by understanding what the cause may be. Unfortunately, these can be nigh on impossible to identify and extremely complex to translate. But in a bid to help you as much as we can, we have come up with a list of the most common causes of low self-esteem so that you can then do all you can to build their confidence to a place where you can start to sleep well at night again.

 

You May Be The Problem. Sorry.

One of the most hard to swallow pills is the understanding that you – the parent – may be the cause of their confidence issues. But as hard as this pill may be to swallow, swallow it you must. The reason you may be the cause is a matter of simple psychology: your child’s opinion of themselves is heavily influenced by how others treat and view them, especially their parents. Whether they realize, accept or agree with this is another matter, but your child wants and needs a loving family around them and that is what you have a lot of control over. You need to make sure you are giving your child more than enough love and support and creating a truly warm home environment. That is what will build self-confidence in your teen. If you believe in them wholeheartedly then they will believe in themselves wholeheartedly too. Having those who are supposed to care for them most in the world neglect this responsibility is one of the most significant causes of confidence issues, so over exert yourself on this front.

 

The Battle Of Body Image.

This is one of the hot topics and biggest problems facing young people today. The pressure on them is just so immensely high and like nothing, we parents have ever seen before. 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies by the age of 17. What’s more, 51% of teenage girls and 32% of teenage boys actually practice unhealthy weight loss techniques. Yeah, body image is one of the biggest influencing factors in teenage self-esteem, which is because we live in a world where unrealistic images of what we should look are plastered everywhere. This is especially harmful to teens because they are going through puberty, which means their bodies are changing; they’re just not changing into what they see on Instagram or magazine covers or music videos. Things like bad skin, body shape and even having a healthy level of body fat all become an issue and start making them feel unattractive and inadequate, which is wrong. Totally wrong. And it affects both girls and boys. There are things you can do to help, though. First off, West Dermatology can help with their bad skin, which will help their confidence hugely. As for body image, whether it curves on girls or lack of muscle on boys, by changing their opinion on what is deemed beautiful and explaining that their bodies do not exist for other to look at, touch, use or objectify in any way whatsoever. Body confidence is a big issue of our day, but the counter movement about loving what we have is getting more traction by the minute.

 

Early Existential Crisis Is A Thing

It was once called a midlife crisis. Then came the quarter-life crisis. And now the same feeling of being totally lost in this world is affecting more and more teenagers. This is because it is becoming easier than ever for young adults to feel as if this life is swallowing them up and not letting them have any control over what they are to do with their lives. To give this a positive spin, young adults are becoming much more perceptive to the world we live in and how short our time here is. However, the reality is that this can also cause a serious sense of worthlessness that is created by a sense of them being powerless and ineffective, and that is extremely daunting. That is enough to quash even the most resolute person’s self-esteem. As a parent, your best bet is to sit down with them and listen, really listen, give them a voice that matters and give them advice that helps them make sense of the world. We all have questions about why we are here and what do we matter, which affects our confidence. As a parent, let them confide in you. It links back to the first point we made about creating a home environment that cares.

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Pressure Heaped On Them By Peers

We mentioned above how much you can influence your child’s self-esteem through the way you treat them. Well, another relationship that can have a huge influence on their confidence levels is their peers. Having good friends – the kind that support you and respect you and laugh with you – are worth their weight in gold. However, being part of a group that brings you down is the worst. The lack of respect, the pressuring them into doing things they are comfortable with, not appreciating their opinions –  all of these can really eat away at a person’s confidence because it makes them feel as if something isn’t quite right with them or, worse, make them feel as if doing what others want them to do is the only way to be liked. That can be extremely harmful to the value they place on themselves. In terms of what you can do as a parent to help your child through something like this, creating a home environment where they feel valued for who they are and their thoughts and feelings get air time is super important. The other thing you can do is encourage them to find a new friendship group. Take them to clubs that celebrate their passion so that they can make friends with people that share their interests, that kind of thing. It is a difficult thing to balance but, when they don’t have a voice within their friendship group, your role is going to be more important than ever.

 

Setting Themselves Unrealistic Aims And Dreams

This can be quite tricky to understand given that we want our kids to believe they can achieve anything, which is exactly what a high self-esteem encourages them to do. However, expecting too much of themselves can have the adverse effect and make them think they can’t achieve what they want, leaving them to feel powerless and ineffective once again. It could be not achieving the academic results they wanted in their school exams, or not making the school sports team or not having the social status that they long to have. These can all be extremely harmful to their sense of self-worth because, no matter how much they want these things, they fail to achieve them. Unrealistic goals tend to feed only one thing, that feeling of failure, and that will simply start to crack their levels of self-worth. As such, help them set goals, but help make them achievable. A great way to do this is to help them set small term goals that can lead toward a bigger long-term goal, making it less daunting and more achievable.

 

Self-esteem, confidence, self-worth – call it what you will – is one of the most important assets your child can possess because it dictates their decision-making in life and, more importantly, their happiness levels. But while there are many external variables that have an effect on the way they perceive themselves, the understanding that we have a big say over our confidence can be a real lifesaver. In many ways, it is an attitude thing and that is an important lesson to be learned and well worth fighting for.

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