25 Actions Parents Can Take to Encourage Their Teen’s Self-Esteem

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Table of Contents

Why I wrote this?

Earlier this week, in a discussion with a student, I suggested he apply to a specific summer camp at the University of Pennsylvania. His reaction was lackluster, which was unusual for this particular student. I asked him about his hesitancy, and he replied, “That’s a really exclusive program. Do I have the credentials to get in there?” Bear in mind that this student is highly intelligent, gets excellent grades, and is very articulate. I said, “Sure you can get in there if you apply yourself and develop a plan to get accepted to the program.” Just as I am helping this student develop his self-esteem about applying to a selective summer program, you, as a parent, can do the same for your teen.

Promoting self-esteem and healthy habits in teens is essential because it helps them develop a positive sense of self-worth and belief in their own abilities. It affects mental and emotional health, their relationships, and their ability to succeed in school, sports, and careers.

Benefits of having good self-esteem include:

  1. Improved mental health: Teens with high self-esteem are more likely to have good mental health and are less susceptible to depression and anxiety.
  2. Better relationships: Teens with high self-esteem are more likely to have healthy relationships with friends, teachers, and family.
  3. Better academic performance: Teens with high self-esteem tend to have better academic performance and are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.
  4. Better career success: Teens with high self-esteem are more likely to have successful careers and be more satisfied with their jobs.
  5. Increased resilience: Teens with high self-esteem are better able to handle stress and bounce back from setbacks, making them more resilient in facing adversity.
  6. Increased self-motivation: Teens with high self-esteem are more likely to be self-motivated and take the initiative to achieve their goals.
  7. Increased self-care: Teens with high self-esteem are more likely to take care of themselves physically and emotionally.

Overall, promoting self-esteem in teens can help them develop a positive sense of self-worth and believe in their abilities, which can help them lead fulfilling and successful lives.

What is positive self-esteem for a teen?

Positive self-esteem for teens can be thought of as a sense of positive self-worth and self-acceptance that allows them to feel confident and capable of tackling the challenges and opportunities that come with adolescence. A teenager with positive self-esteem:

  1. Views themself positively and has a realistic and balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Has a sense of self-respect and self-compassion and is able to deal with constructive criticism.
  3. Feels good about themselves and their abilities.
  4. Has positive self-talk and tries to avoid negative self-talk.
  5. Is able to build and maintain healthy relationships.
  6. Has a sense of purpose and direction in life.
  7. Tries to strive for self-improvement and personal growth.
  8. Is resilient and can handle setbacks and challenges.
  9. Has a healthy level of self-motivation.
  10. Is comfortable in their own skin and proud of their unique qualities and values.
  11.  Is open to taking risks, trying new things, and learning from experiences.
  12.  Is comfortable expressing themselves and their opinions.
  13.  Has the ability to empathize with others and show compassion.
  14.  Will take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes.
  15.  Has a healthy level of self-confidence.
girl who feels confident
Positive self-esteem is key for a teen’s success

25 specific actions parents can take to encourage their teen’s positive self-esteem:

  1. Encourage them to set realistic goals for themselves.
  2. Provide them with positive reinforcement and praise for their efforts.
  3. Allow them to make their own choices and decisions.
  4. Help them to develop a sense of responsibility and ownership.
  5. Encourage them to celebrate their successes and learn from their failures.
  6. Help them to understand and express their emotions.
  7. Encourage them to take pride in their unique abilities and talents.
  8. Provide them with opportunities for mentorship and guidance.
  9. Listen to their thoughts and feelings.
  10. Encourage them to be assertive and speak up for themselves.
  11. Encourage them to develop a strong sense of self-awareness.
  12. Be a good role model and practice self-care.
  13. Help them to understand that making mistakes is a part of growing and learning.
  14. Encourage them to have positive self-talk and a growth mindset.
  15. Help them to feel valued and respected in the family and community.
  16. Help them to understand the importance of self-care and healthy boundaries.
  17. Encourage them to take care of their physical and mental well-being.
  18. Encourage them to determine their personal core values, be confident, and believe in themselves.
  19. Help them to understand the impact of bullying and how to cope with it.
  20. Encourage them to stand up for themselves and others when faced with discrimination and injustice.
  21. Encourage them to use humor and find fun in everyday life.
  22. Be a supportive and understanding parent.
  23. Encourage them to volunteer and make a difference in the community.
  24. Encourage them to develop a diverse group of friends and relationships.
  25. Encourage them to be kind and compassionate towards themselves and others.

Self-esteem is not a static trait and can fluctuate depending on life experiences and can be affected by factors such as relationships, academic performance, and social acceptance. Teens will likely face many challenges and setbacks during their adolescence, and it’s vital to help them develop the skills and mindset to cope with these challenges and build their self-esteem.


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