Sadly low self esteem can be a warning about possible self harm.
So here are some strategies, some things you can do to turn around the situation. Here are some steps you can take to boost the self esteem of your troubled teen.
Be positive. When your teen achieves success give them praise. It might be finishing some school project, getting home before the curfew, even doing a chore around the house. It doesn’t mean you have to bake a cake to celebrate but making sure they know you noticed is important and a little praise is well worth the effort.
Don’t be negative. Of course you can’t avoid their bad behavior and yes, giving punishment such as grounding for serious breaking of rules is important but don’t be constantly negative. A teen who has low self esteem may slip further if all they get are negative vibes.
Kids are kids. Sure you were a teenager once but you are not any more. Your son or daughter wants to do things and go to places which today have little or no interest for you. Don’t judge their lifestyle by what you think is the right and proper thing.
Keep listening. Don’t close off the channels of communication. Make time, quality time for you and your teen to have a proper conversation. Do this at any time. And if you do all the talking, you may as well not bother in the first place. Listen.
Get active. A teen who won’t go out, who mopes around alone in their room and who has low self esteem is not in a good position. Try and find activities for them to join. Church or sporting groups, scouts, local theater, modeling railways, ballet, swimming – any or all of those things are healthy pursuits. They help with social skills, they challenge the brain and the body, and they stop loneliness. Get your teen up and about.
Set goals. One of the great ways tois to set a goal then achieve it. It might be a better grade in a subject, a higher level in a music exam or even a regular chore around the house. Put the goal in writing and give encouragement too along the way. Once the goal is achieved then give appropriate praise and maybe even a reward can be given. Then a new goal is set and on we go.
When parents think about helping their troubled teen, some think about professional medical care. And that may be appropriate. But there are many other positive steps you can take and most of them cost little or even nothing. Sometimes the best help for your child is right at home and in your hands.
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