Self-esteem is your subjective sense of overall personal worth or value. Like self-respect, it describes your confidence level in your abilities and attributes. Healthy self-esteem can influence your motivation, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. Healthy self-esteem can help motivate you to reach your goals because you can navigate life knowing that you can accomplish what you want. Additionally, when you have healthy self-esteem, you can set appropriate boundaries in relationships and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Learning how to help your teen build self-esteem is a vital step in raising your children. The goal is to help your teens gain confidence to carry them through life. 

When I think of self-esteem, I immediately think of myself and how I view myself. I didn’t wake up one day with my self-esteem cup suddenly overflowing. It took many years to feel comfortable in my skin, and I am proud to say that I love who I am and who I have become, my flaws and all. I would love to bottle up self-esteem and let teenagers feel the same way.   

Social media platforms don’t help with self-esteem. Extensive research suggests an association between social media and depression, anxiety, loneliness, and FoMo (fear of missing out) among teens. Fortunately, when I was a teen trying to figure out who I was in the world, I did not have to worry about social media. One of my biggest worries was getting caught in the same outfit as another classmate. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to arm your teen with tools to help their self-esteem flourish. 

Help Your Teen Build Self-Esteem - a guide for parents. How To Help Your Teen Build Self-Esteem

There are many ways to help your teen feel confident and loved and have high self-esteem. The first step in creating teens with healthy self-esteem is to love them unconditionally. Unconditional love is integral to our children’s emotional health and positive self-worth. Once you have conquered unconditional love, start trying these tactics to help your teen build self-esteem. 

Praise Effort Instead of Outcome

When praising your child for a job well done, recognize the effort they put in instead of their natural ability or outcome. For example, praise the hours they studied for a test versus the grade they received. 

Encourage New Opportunities

Help your teen apply for a job, encourage them to join a club at school or church, or take up a new hobby. 

Build Self-Worth

Help your teen to focus on what goes well, not what goes wrong. 

Celebrate Small Achievements

Acknowledging accomplishments can be a great source of motivation. 

Create Affirmations

Positive affirmations are little sayings or phrases that can be repeated daily to help put you or those you love in the right frame of mind. (Download our affirmations guide to help your teen.)

Encourage Them To Avoid Comparisons 

Teens need to know that comparisons don’t help build self-esteem. Teach your teen that everyone is unique and has their strengths. 

Causes and Signs Of Low Self Esteem 

Teens can be hard to read, and it is necessary to remember that low self-esteem is a thinking disorder. Teens that view themself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent may have low self-esteem. Once these thoughts are formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior. 

Listed below are some causes and signs of low self-esteem.

  • Causes of low self-esteem
    • Unsupportive parents
    • Friends that are bad influences
    • Stressful life events
    • Mood disorders (such as depression)
    • Anxiety
  • Signs of low self-esteem
    • Avoiding new things
    • Feeling unloved and/or unwanted
    • Blaming others for one’s own mistakes
    • Fear of failure or embarrassment
    • Difficulty making new friends
    • Low levels of motivation and interest

Being A Hype Woman For My Children

Once I had children, I became a hype (wo)man. I pumped my children with compliments every day. As I was writing this article, I asked my children how I played a role in building their confidence. My youngest said I always told him that he was handsome with a kind heart. My oldest reflected momentarily and stated that I was always there for him. Hyping up your child does not have to be complex. You can start by complimenting their personality and great attributes; a simple “You’re a great kid” can go a long way. Use these worksheets to help you practice working to build your teen’s self-esteem. 

Help Your Teen Build Self-Esteem Downloads

25 Positive Thoughts & Affirmations

Feel Good Worksheet For Teens

In what ways have you helped your teen build self-esteem? We recommend contacting a professional if you need help getting through to them.