Our teenage years are the times in which we get a crash course in life, the “real world” so to speak. For many teens it is an awkward time in which one longs to find themselves and see where they fit in this world. It is at this time when insecurities about their bodies, life, friends, relationships and school may seem rampant. As a parent the first thing to remember is that you were once there.
One of the hardest things about being a parent of teenagers is learning how to break down barriers. You want to be a good parent but also you don’t want to be so friendly that you lose respect from your child. Everyone raises their children differently; some choose to allow their children total freedom, others are strict and allow no breathing room or personal expression at all but one thing that helps while learning to be a good parent is trying to keep things balanced and remembering that too much of anything can often work against you.
So here are my tips for helping your teens self-esteem:
Think before you speak
Sometimes we as parents can get out of character and fuss too much or point the finger when things aren’t working out the way we hoped they would. Make sure to keep negativity as far away as possible, you don’t want to create any barriers in communication.
Tell them how much you care for them and love them. Step away from the computer, TV cell phone etc and just spend some real time with them. Yes, sometimes they want to be with just their friends or even alone but building a strong relationship with your teen requires more than just giving them money, feeding them and telling them what to do.
Don’t be afraid to share with them some of the things that you did when you were their age and the lessons you learned from those things, this may help your teens realize that they are not alone in some of their experiences and advice in similar areas can be very helpful, especially they are feeling down about something.
Respect that your teen will have friends of various nationalities, religions, socio-economic backgrounds etc. Some parents are so hung up on who their teen hangs with and where they are from and what they believe that they push their own child away by trying to control who their friends are. Trust their judgement and be open-minded.
Sometimes just noticing what they are wearing or how tall their getting or how they style their hair and giving them a compliment goes a long way. Compliments are always a nice boost!
Encourage & Support Them
It is very important to encourage them to do well for themselves and to go for their dreams. Remind them that they are unique and that no one could ever be like them. Realize that they have a destiny and make sure that you do your part in leading them to that destiny by giving them all the encouragement and support that they need along the way. Stay open with them and don’t be afraid to be honest. Some parents need to work on their own self-esteem before trying to help boost their teens this is why being honest with them is one of the best ways to break down barriers and keep the lines of communication open. One of the best ways to boost your teens self-esteem is really by reassuring them that you are with them no matter what, love works wonders.