Self esteem is what we think of ourselves and adolescents constantly worry about being accepted. This means that another part of self esteem is wondering what others think of you. A teen wants to be accepted by his or her peers so give advice in these areas as well. Okay but how?
Give clear instructions. Teens want to know exactly where they stand. They want to know what they can do, with whom and to what curfew. If you as the parent give vague answers, you are not helping your teen. Draw up a set of rules with a timetable if necessary and explain it carefully giving your teen the chance to have their say and make some input. A co-operative agreement is more likely to succeed than one simply imposed from on high.
Give praise. Once you have a clear set of rules, when your child does the right thing it is easy [or should be] enough to praise them. Congratulate them on following the rules on keeping the contract. If a continued pattern of excellent behavior is achieved, reward your son or daughter. At all times stay positive.
Look at yourself. It should be ‘do as I do’ and not ‘do as I say’. Is your behavior a good example for your teenager? If you treat people with respect and don’t carp and criticize, then that type of good behavior sets an example for your youngster.
Be realistic. Failure is ever present in school grades, in relationships, in finishing tasks, etc. Discuss failure with your teen always explaining how we all fail from time to time but that improving your effort is what counts. Encourage them to keep trying, not to quit and to aim high. Giving them specific goals gives them something to aim for and, once achieved, gives them self praise and a boost to their self esteem.
Be there. It seems obvious but a teen in trouble who rarely sees their parents or parent has the time and opportunity to feel down and to think about giving up. Try and be around when they are around. Show a genuine interest in their life, their activities and friends.
Appearance. The teen years can be times where body weight and skin blemishes become an issue. A good diet and wholesome activities can do wonders for the weight issue and may even help any skin problems. The thing is to be open and frank with your teen. Explain that puberty has different effects on a young growing body and skin blemishes nearly always fade with time. A teen will appreciate an honest chat with someone who loves them and does not judge or criticize.
A troubled teen needs help and one of the best things you can do is to give their self esteem a boost.
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