Mom, do I look ugly? That’s a question no parent wants to hear or feels comfortable answering. And why would you, considering you tell them how beautiful they look every day, Right? Teenage self-esteem is a complex matter, especially when it’s your own child.
Try not to get offended by this, but even model parents are only attuned to their teens 30% of the time. That’s right. Good parents don’t pay a whole lot of attention to their kids. That doesn’t make you a bad parent either. However, teenage self-esteem starts in the home.
When teens aren’t affirmed as much as they need, they look for approval outside of the home or they retreat to being reclusive.
Either extreme does not have to happen to your child. Granted the perfect parent does not exist, they are still ways to uplift a teen’s self-worth. A cadre of strategies exist. Pay attention to this proven testament of tips on how to build your teenager’s self-esteem.
1. Affirmations Can and Will Build Your Teenagers Self-Esteem
Home is the safe zone. It’s the first place where young adults need to hear I love you and you are beautiful. Don’t let society—the world at large–beat you to it. They dilute the definitions of love down to a feeling. They argue beauty is all about outer-appearance—photoshopped images of false perfection. Get in front of the world’s impression and inspire your teen before they get a chance.
Stand them in the mirror, and from top to bottom, remind them:
- You were destined to be here.
- Everything about you is wonderfully perfect.
- Your eyes are beautiful.
- I love the way you laugh.
- The corner of your smile is gorgeous.
- I love everything about you.
Write these affirmations down on sticky notes and notes cards. Post them on your child’s mirror and bedroom door. Put them in their purse or wallet so they see it and are reminded of how special they are.
2. Body Image and Acceptance
Just like love and beauty, self-appreciation of body image and acceptance starts at home too. Kids know nothing of how to carry themselves unless first taught by parents or caretakers.
Physical health is as important as mental health.
It’s okay to introduce exercise and proper diet to your child at a young age. Teach them how to eat right and the importance of hygiene. If you start them when they are small, they’ll appreciate it as teens. However, if your teenager is struggling with his or her appearance, It’s okay to do things to help them. Have fun with them. Give them a makeover
Before every mother on the planet loses her mind, a makeover is not about remolding your kid to fit society’s standard. So don’t go off the rails. It’s about sitting down with your teen and having an honest conversation about what they’d like to improve about themselves.
We do it as parents, why not help improve our kid’s self-confidence by upgrading a few aesthetics.
- Exercise Routine. If your teen is overweight and feeling self-conscious about it, go to the gym with them. Take walks in the park together. Invest in some in-home fitness equipment. Sixty minutes a day will help both of you get into shape. Make it a family affair and get the entire household involved.
- Get their hair done. Teenagers like to look hip and fashionable. We did it as kids and survived. Let them have a little fun too. Take a trip to the hair salon and let them pick out a hairstyle.
- Buy them some new clothes.
- Fix their teeth. Teenagers can be cruel. How many kids get picked on for having buck teeth? Don’t let your kid endure that. If your kid has buck teeth, help them out. Fix their teeth before it leads to gum disease and low self-esteem. No child should walk around with awkward teeth and bad breath. It’s not healthy and it’s definitely doesn’t give them a boost in the esteem department.
- Eyewear. Let’s face it. Some of our kids inherit our genetic issues. If the kid has to wear glasses, get them a stylish pair—something modern and hip.
3. Avoid Sibling Comparison
Everyone is unique, including your kids. Don’t assume they all feel the same about themselves, and don’t make the mistake of comparing them to one another. Social comparison is a killer, more so when it happens at home.
Make sure you acknowledge and reward your children separately. Spend time with them individually. Discipline them for breaking basic ground rules in the home. But be mindful of their individual temperaments when you chastise them for breaking them.
4. Take Pride in their Education
Teens might like to play it cool around their friends, but that’s a front. They want you active in every part of their lives. Start by celebrating their educational achievements.
Teenagers are apt to strive for positive things like education when they know they’ll be praised for it. Praise is a great way to boost self-esteem.
5. Be an Example
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Be careful. Someone’s always watching”. That’s true, mainly for the children in your home. You are your teenager’s first example of self-pride and esteem.
How you reward and punish yourself sets a standard in your home. Speak positively about your successes and failures. That sounds odd, but it makes sense. Winning and failing are a part of life. Your responses to both set the framework for self-respect and confidence in your home.
The world is not easy for adults. Imagine how much worse it is for budding teenagers. Get out in front of society’s warped view of perfectionism and build your teenager’s self-esteem the way you see fit. And don’t try to be perfect. Instead, be a healthy example.
Photo by Thabang Mokoena on Unsplash