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  • Writer's pictureShannon Kelly

How Can Parents Help Teens Experience Positive Self Esteem?

What is Self-Esteem? 

Self esteem refers to the perception an individual has of themselves. This includes feelings of confidence, self respect, and self worth. Individuals can experience high self esteem or low self esteem and can be influenced by several factors. Some of these factors include, social relationships, body image, life experiences, personal achievements, internal dialogue and cultural and societal influences. It is significant to note, for all individuals, self esteem is dynamic and can change overtime based on experiences and personal growth. However, what may this look like in your teens? And how can you help your teen experience positive self esteem? We want to share with you a few tips on how to build self esteem and confidence in your teens. 

  1. Listen and love unconditionally

Ensure your teen knows they are loved without the pressure of grades, performance, or their choices and behaviour. Additionally, keep your relationship strong with your teen by focusing on your listening skills rather than making corrections or having the last word. 

  1. Help your teen embrace a growth mindset

In your conversations, explain the idea of growth and how we are constantly changing and evolving, especially through the teenage years. Teenagers are typically stuck on a “fixed mindset”. 

  1. Remind your teen failure is okay 

One of the best times to experience learning opportunities is when we fail. Failure is normal and will happen multiple times in our lives. When you criticise or panic over a failure, you are encouraging a fixed mindset. Instead, help your teen focus on what they can learn from the failure. 

  1. Give Reassurance 

If your teen is struggling with moving on from a toxic friendship or relationship, remind them that they are not a “bad person” for choosing themselves and doing what's best for them. 

  1. Encourage Self-love 

Self-love is important to practise throughout your life. Introduce your teen to mindfulness activities or apps such as journaling, meditation or the practice of writing affirmations. 

As a reminder, self esteem will fluctuate throughout your child’s life. If you think your teen is struggling with their self esteem, you can seek support from friends, family or mental health professionals to encourage positive self esteem. 

Calgary Child Psychologist

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