Today, low self-esteem in adolescence is a common issue. Low self-esteem symptoms need attention at an early stage; else, one will have to nurture a child with unhealthy thought patterns. And this could later result in something severe that halts a teenager from stepping into adulthood.
A research study from SurveyMonkey denotes that a whopping 95% of teens have experienced inferiority complex at some point in their teenage life due to their appearance or intelligence.
As a parent, this is something you have to recognize quite early. The symptoms are easy to identify only if you are aware and pay attention to them.
So, What Is Low Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem indicates how one perceives himself.
So, low self-esteem is denoted by:
- an inferior self-image
- lack of self-love
- low levels of self-respect and confidence
Extremely less self-esteem can also lead to a lack of confidence and make your child incompetent amongst peers.
People with poor thoughts about themselves can constantly dislike them, which can even lead to the infamous attitude of “existential crisis.”
Kids with low self-esteem are prone to be bullied more in schools.
So, once you discover that your teen is showing such signs of low self-esteem, lack of confidence, feeling not being good enough around other kids, being self-critical- that’s the time you need to pay utmost attention to your kid.
Teenagers need to feel a sense of confidence, acceptance and be proud of their capabilities. They need to believe in their strengths to grow as a person and face the real world head-on. Teenagers with low self-esteem issues lack all these things.
As a parent, you must take immediate action if your kid shows visible signs of low self-esteem issues because if ignored, they can become an obstacle in their adult life.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Self Esteem
A kid with healthy self-esteem will always try new things. And regardless, they are more than likely to give their best shot at whatever tasks they set their mind to.
Here are some common signs of low self-esteem in teenagers:
- Low levels of interest and motivation.
- They have difficulty in making friends.
- Fear of embarrassment and failure.
- They are blaming their mistakes on other people.
- Inability to deal with anger.
- They are feeling unwanted or unloved.
- Comparisons to other kids and negative self-talk.
- They are not taking up new opportunities.
- Saying sorry frequently without any wrongdoing.
Statistically, an estimated 75% of girls with low self-esteem get into harmful activities like drinking, smoking, and bullying.
And it is found that 15% of males and 44% of girls face body issues and attempt to lose weight due to low self-esteem right from high school.
More than that, 70% of girls between the ages of 15 to 17 years deliberately skip school because of not feeling good in their skin.
Also, survey studies show that over 40% of males from middle and high schools regularly exercise to increase their muscle mass. And worse of the statistics predict that around 20% of teenagers are prone to depression before adulthood.
So, How To Improve Self-Esteem In A Teenager?
Now that you know how to recognize the signs of low self-esteem in both boys and girls, it will become easier to deal with the symptoms.
Our motto is to address the problem and go to the root cause of what makes your kid have low self-esteem in the first place.
And to help you with that, we have listed down the proven steps on raising self-esteem. Implementing these steps will instill confidence in your kid so that they are ready to face any challenges in the future.
Firstly, you must understand that you should always be present to support your kids on their journey to raise self-esteem. And at the same time, it is essential to note that self-esteem can improve in teenagers and change over time.
Developing confidence and better self-esteem is a continuous process and requires time.
These are some ways on how you can raise self-esteem in your kids:
1. Understand Their Emotions and Moods
Most of the time, all those teenagers need from their parents is time and attention. They need someone who will be there to listen and understand the emotional turmoil they are going through.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to make a safe space for your child to confide in you. You have to encourage them and affirm them that it’s okay to feel a bit under the weather sometimes.
Sit and talk to them and try to understand the reasons behind them behaving negatively. By doing this, they will be in the right mindset to handle their emotions, such as frustration, anger, and sadness.
2. Help Them Build Strong Communication
An online survey among teens shows that, with the growing use of digital communication methods, kids these days lack the skills of in-person communication. Every teenager has gradually cultivated a different communication style.
Communication with your kid regarding their needs immensely helps to strengthen your bond with them. And the more you communicate, the easier it is for you to understand them.
Maybe, try not to remind your girl and boys with low self-esteem; getting a good grade is a must for them. Instead, fill them with confidence that they can choose their journeys according to their likes and dislikes.
Make sure you listen to them first when they reach out to you for help. It will have a positive impact on the overall confidence level.
3. Encourage Them To Set New Goals And Achieve Them
There are several benefits of motivating your child to set goals.
- A. It gives a sense of purpose and direction in life.
- B. When you set goals and achieve them successfully, you believe in yourself.
- C. It is essential to improve self-love and confidence as young adults.
4. Teach Assertiveness Skills
A teenager with low self-esteem will feel apprehension while seeking help. They are likely to stay shut when bullied by peers and face difficulty understanding what the school teaches. You must teach them how to speak up when necessary and how to stand up against bullies.
5. Take Steps To Let Them Face Fears
Being fearless, taking ownership, and acknowledging their mistakes is part of being a strong confident person.
So, to raise self-esteem and help your teenager become the best version of themselves, you have to take baby steps and let them face their fears. Guide them what could be the consequences of not facing their fears, and make them feel that you have their back, no matter what.
6. Plan Activities That Put Them Outside Their Comfort Zone
We all tend to dwell in our comfort zones way too long, so do the youth. A best practice as a family or group could be to intentionally plan activities that help you step outside their comfort zone.
This also goes hand in hand with facing fears. Some of the activities that easily put us outside our comfort zone are:
- Public speaking
- Saying NO to others
- Having own opinions & sharing them with others
7. Support Them To Create A Healthy Thought Process
Both teenage girls and boys with low self-esteem always anticipate the worst of an event that is yet to happen. That voice inside their head tells them that they will fail at a task even before doing it. And the fact is it will eventually hold them back from giving their best.
How can a teenager with low self-esteem help them see the positive aspects of themselves?
Well, a little appreciation goes a long way and can shift your kids’ views and thoughts about life. At times, they only need an ear that will listen to them patiently. That’s all they require from you to come up with a solution on their own.
8. Overcome Their Weakness
Helping them overcome their weakness is by far the best thing you can do for your teen. It is, in fact, the secret sauce for raising self-sufficient, independent, and smart kids. To help out teens find out their strengths and weaknesses, try the SWOT technique.
- S – Strengths
- W – Weaknesses
- O – Opportunities
- T – Threats
Start by finding out their strengths and weaknesses, and figure out how you can leverage the opportunities to overcome weaknesses and build strengths.
9. Model Confidence
Most of the time, your teen looks up for a confidence boost. If you are a person who is not confident in their abilities, your kids will most likely not be self-reliant too.
You are a role model to them, remember? It means that you must teach them how to be confident and courageous and, at the same time, demonstrate to them the importance of loving themselves.
10. Focus On Their Efforts And Accomplishments
Perfectionism is a myth, and it’s one of the biggest reasons behind your girl child dealing with low self-esteem. Instead of pressurizing your kid to attain perfection, tell them that it’s their efforts to do things that truly define them.
Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. They need to be proud of their efforts rather than focusing on being the best in everything they do.
11. Motivate The Kid To Try New Things
Encouraging your child to try new things and meet new people is a great way to deal with self-esteem in their adolescence period.
Social activities are a proven way that aid the symptoms of low self-esteem when your kids are growing. Also, try to encourage them to set small achievable goals and plan out the steps they need to accomplish them.
12. Accepting Their Imperfections & Flaws
A new survey among teens using social media shows that 56% of US teens admit they worry about their looks most days.
Try to help your teenager with low self-esteem by assuring them that there is nothing to be ashamed of because of their flaws. Having flaws is the most humane thing, and there is always room for improvement.
Often, teenagers tend to feel bad about themselves over not doing well academically. Being a parent, it is on you to make them see that they can try again and perform better. Even when they get bad grades, support them and guide them, to do well next time.
13. Build Their Self-Worth On A Very Healthy Foundation
Allow your teen to understand that their self-worth is not about superficial or materialistic things. Because when those things do not happen, their confidence tends to get affected.
You may help them know that it is more valuable for them to be caring and kind than attractive and thin.
Confidence-Building Tips For Teenager
We have checked out the necessary steps to raise self-esteem in your teenage kid. And we hope you will utilize these tips to bond better with your kids on an emotional level. Furthermore, we would like to be precise about the confidence-building tips that will help your teenagers.
These are a few things that will help eliminate the symptoms of low self-esteem in them:
- Ask for their advice- it gives them the assurance that you trust them.
- Give less advice- instead, put that advice into action, and they will eventually follow what you do.
- Be a family that does not give up on them.
- Help them gain some new skills.
- Allow room for failure.
- Love them unconditionally.
- Reassure them.
- Inspire them to be diverse in their interests and activities.
Lastly, you could also sign up your kid for some teenage confidence-building courses that will help raise their low self-esteem.
You could also help set them up to see a therapist who can help them relax better. Symptoms of low self-esteem are treatable, considering one takes immediate measures to aid them.
Conclusively, what you do to help your teenager with low self-esteem issues goes a very long way. Your Continuous actions in this period could help them tremendously soon.
Key Takeaways On How To Help Your Teenager With Low Self-Esteem
- Low self-esteem is a common issue among teenagers and can be diagnosed in the early teenage years.
- According to a study, mostly high school teenagers are prone to depressive symptoms related to their self-esteem.
- Unfortunately, teen girls and boys are more conscious of their external appearance.
- However, low self-esteem is treatable with the right set of tools and strategies.
- For instance, a little appreciation and recognition from elders can help boost teenagers’ confidence with low self-esteem issues.
- Also, taking part in social activities can help aid low self-esteem problems.
- Lastly, working on your kid’s self-esteem is continuous work and requires patience.
What causes low self-esteem in a child?
Well, many factors can lead to low self-esteem in a child. Some of them are:
- They experience trauma at schools like bullying and peer pressure.
- Dysfunctional family dynamics, such as children, had to go through witnessing their parents getting a divorce.
- They get low marks in exams.
How do I help my child with low self-esteem?
Here are a few things to help your child improve their low self-esteem:
- Make them learn how to make small decisions. For instance, involve your child in cooking meals with you.
- Appreciate your child and also, at the same time, make them overcome their shortcomings.
- Always give focus on their strengths.
- Teach them some necessary life skills such as cooking, laundry, and doing dishes.
How can parents affect a child’s self-esteem?
The worst thing a parent can do is to fight and compare their kids with others. This is never a healthy way to enhance your kid’s self-confidence. You want to make sure that your words encourage your kids and not discourage them from pursuing something.
At what age is a child’s personality wholly developed?
The first five years are significant for your kid’s development.
You must make sure that whatever you do in the five years will shape your kid’s personality accordingly once they are teens. So you must provide them a safe environment where they can learn and try new things without any judgment.
What influences a child’s self-esteem?
Well, often, genetics play some significant roles in influencing your kid’s self-esteem. But other than that, the social environment, thoughts, and peers can have adverse signs on a kid’s self-esteem levels.
How does a child’s personality develop?
A child’s personality is determined based on their social environment and their experiences in their early childhood years.
Why are the first three years of a child’s life-critical?
According to UNICEF, the first five years are extremely crucial and play a significant role in shaping the child’s brain structure.
Children are like a sponge that absorbs everything around them between the ages of 3- 5 years. It is essential to nurture and provide them space where they can learn without any inhibitions.
How to raise low self-esteem in your girl child?
A campaign conducted by the Dove brand has shown that 92% of teenage girls would like to change something about their overall look, including body weight.
The number is alarming, to say the least, but here are a few things you can follow if you want to raise your girl’s self-esteem:
- Embrace body positivity.
- Teach them responsibilities.
- Praise them for every small win.
- Always respect their opinions and choices.
- Make them learn about decision-making skills.
- Encourage and motivate them to pursue things in their interest areas.