confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.
synonym: self-respect, pride, dignity, self-regard, faith in oneself
Self esteem is a major key to success in life. But did you know that almost 75% of teens struggle with self esteem, and that self-esteem begins to plummet at age NINE? Like the definition above, self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves - and our behavior reflects that. So teens that have high self esteem are more likely to:
- act responsibly
- be independent
- tolerate frustration and other intense emotions
- accept compliments
On the other hand, teens who struggle with self esteem typically:
- avoid new things
- are influenced by others easily
- struggle with boundaries
- struggle with managing intense emotions
- struggle with accepting compliments or owning their strengths
As parents, you are in a position to help your child or teen develop healthy self-esteem. But how?!
1. Help them develop positive self-statements. Initially, this might take the form of you making them (ex: "You were so close to getting that question correct. I bet with a little more studying, you can get there!"). The more we are able to encourage - and use - positive self talk, the more likely we are to manage stress and frustration.
2. Avoid criticism that shames or ridicules. A helpful hint here is to use "I Statements" - "I would like you to put your dirty clothes in the hamper. If you're unable to do this, the consequence will be __. I'm confident that you can do it, and doing it will mean less nagging from me!" VERSUS "Why are so you lazy?!"
3. Compliment them on things other than their looks. We want their self esteem to be based on their strengths and qualities, NOT dependent on how they look externally.
For a list of 15 ways you can compliment your child in a way that builds their self-esteem, enter your email below to have it delivered right to your email!