Ways Teens Can Develop A Healthy Self-Esteem by Themselves

You should seek professional counseling if your teen has major self-esteem difficulties and appears depressed. However, if your teen is experiencing typical adolescent self-doubt or needs a pick-me-up, here are some recommendations for ways to boost their self-esteem: 

  • Make a brag bag. Give your teen a bag or box and instruct him to fill it with items that symbolize his skills or successes, no matter how modest. When your teen feels good about himself or achieves something, he should put something in the bag to commemorate the occasion. Then, whenever your teen is feeling down, urging him to go through everything in the bag for a quick pick-me-up! The following are some ideas for items to write down and put in his bag:
    • a remark or praise was given to your adolescent by someone – such as a teacher, coach, pastor, neighbor, or peer 
    • an award your teen receives
    • a goal your teen achieves
    • a big project your teen finished
    • special recognition, such as being picked for a solo in the chorus or band, or having his art piece presented in school 
    • whatever constructive action you observed your adolescent take, such as assisting a neighbor or dealing with disappointment maturely 
  • Volunteer. When we give back to others, we often gain a whole new perspective on life and a new appreciation for ourselves. Find a homeless shelter, an animal shelter, or any great cause that your teen is passionate about, and urge him to volunteer. He’ll be pleased with himself for assisting those who are less fortunate! 
  • Encourage positive thinking. Teach your teen to be aware of and manage the bad thoughts that enter his mind. Thoughts like “I’ll never be able to…” or labeling yourself as obese, stupid, or a failure do nothing except erode our self-esteem and do nothing to enhance our lives. Explain to your teen that how they think is a choice and that they can choose to think positively instead of negatively. More information on how to silence your teen’s inner critic can be found in our previous blog, How to Silence Your Teen’s Inner Critic. 
  • Celebrate progress and small victories. Create a family dynamic in which everyone’s accomplishments, no matter how modest, are celebrated. When your kid obtains an A on an exam (even a C if that’s an improvement!) or gives a class speech despite being anxious, celebrate. When you offer credit where credit is due, you are teaching your children about gratitude. Your kid will learn to value their accomplishments, which will give them the courage to take on greater and more difficult undertakings in the future. 
  • Stop comparisons. Confidence is destroyed by comparison. Make sure you’re not comparing yourself to your friends or celebrities in the media so your teen doesn’t pick up on this bad habit. When your kid compares themselves to others, remind them that we only see a small part of their lives and that they, too, have flaws and difficulties that may not be visible from the outside.