Teens often undergo a radical transformation that is felt keenly by their parents and those around them. The truth is the teen phase can be a turbulent time, full of mixed emotions, new discoveries, and rearranged beliefs. As a teen approaches adulthood, they are figuring out who they are in relation to the rest of the world.
Are they confident, talented, beautiful, and proud of who they are? Or are they insecure, inferior, ugly, and worthless?
As parents, we always hope that our children embrace the positive version of themselves, but something can happen along the way and throw their perspective off-kilter.
Perhaps they’re failing to make new friends at their new school, or the person they had a crush on rejected them. It’s normal for a teenager to have low self-esteem issues when things like this happen. But persistent low self-esteem issues can leave your teen feeling overwhelmed, confused, and fearful.
There’s a way out for teenagers dealing with self-esteem issues.
At Courageous Kids Counseling, New York, we specialize in family therapy. We have a caring and licensed therapist onboard to help your teen’s self-esteem bounce back so they can feel better about themselves.
Helping Your Teen Build A Healthy Self-Esteem
If you suspect your child is suffering from low self-esteem, it’s essential to identify the reasons behind why your child is feeling this way. This will help you discover how to build your child’s self-esteem. Why does this matter? Healthy self-esteem enables your child to boldly explore the world and uncover their abilities and interests.
They have an image of themselves as someone who is capable, so they’re more willing to try on new things and be adventurous.
In this case, your child is learning new things about themselves and being adventurous, and it’s exhilarating! They enjoy their life, and they have no problems creating new friendships and integrating into their social circle.
When your child has positive self-esteem, they thrive wherever they are, and this has far-reaching effects on their learning, behavior, and development. You’ll notice that your teen is increasingly dependent and sure of themselves. Their mature outlook enables them to take healthy risks and accomplish more.
Sure, your teen might encounter setbacks and frustrations here and there, but they take it like a champ, and it doesn’t get them down for too long. They can handle emotional stress well, which is one of the most crucial qualities required to make it in life.
Over time your teen will develop positive coping mechanisms, beliefs, and attitudes that will set them up for success later on in life.
Overall, healthy self-esteem boosts emotional and mental stability. Teens with positive self-esteem are not only more likely to excel later in life, but their success begins now with good grades and the confidence to unlock new opportunities.
Should I Worry About My Child’s Low Self-Esteem?
As mentioned, it’s often normal for teens to have low-self esteem issues. If it’s normal, it’s nothing to worry about, right? The problem is when low-self esteem issues are not addressed. Let’s look at how low self-esteem can affect your child negatively in different ways:
- Poor decision-making. Low self-esteem can lead to self-loathing, meaning your child is prone to making decisions that are not in their best interests.
- Risky and self-destructive behavior. Low self-esteem can trigger potentially dangerous behaviors, such as premature sexual activity and substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
- Trouble relationships. When your teen can’t relate well with themselves, they may fail to relate well with others. They may exhibit antisocial behavior and shut you out. Sometimes, your teen may resort to putting others down in order to feel good about themselves.
- Mood swings. Ever felt like your teen is on a roller coaster of negative emotions? The underlying cause could be poor self-esteem which is associated with negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, and depression. Some of these negative feelings are irrational and unfounded, but they’ll have a tight hold on your teen.
- Low motivation and ambition. Instead of taking pride in their accomplishments, a teen with low-self esteem is likely to avoid any form of competition, such as extracurricular activities at school. They stop pushing themselves to do better.
- Negative self-talk. We all talk to ourselves. If your teen suffers from poor self-esteem, they may be indulging in destructive dialogue that prevents them from believing in themself and their potential. Stuff like, “I’m such an idiot,” or “I can’t do it,” or “They’ll never like me.” Their body language will reflect this – they may slouch their shoulders or hang their head in shame. They may also feel the need to constantly apologize for their perceived shortcomings.
Getting your child a cognitive behavior family therapist in New York is the best course of action when resolving these low self-esteem issues.
What Causes Low Self-Esteem Issues In Teens?
Low self-esteem issues have many underlying reasons, including:
• Bullying. Behavior from peers can also be the underlying reason for low self-esteem. Bullying can make your teen feel like they’re weak and unworthy. Sometimes, your teen may have friends who are bad influences causing them to lose confidence in themselves by playing unhealthy pranks or feeding them negative thoughts.
• Neglect. Teens need to be loved even if they sometimes act out or shut you out. When parents are unsupportive and neglectful, teens will feel the pain. Parents have a significant influence on their children’s lives and self-esteem. Your child’s self-worth is, therefore, tied to how you treat them. Remember, teenagers need a healthy dose of affection, praise, and support from their parents to feel good about themselves.
• Abuse. When your teen experiences abuse, whether emotional, physical, or mental, they often blame themselves. They feel like something is wrong with them, and perhaps they did something to deserve the abuse. This results in feelings of worthlessness, depression, and anxiety.
• Trauma. Trauma can take many forms, but any life event that causes your teen a lot of stress can be characterized as trauma. For instance, your teen’s self-esteem may be negatively affected following a divorce. Sometimes, teens blame themselves for these events, even when they’re not at fault, and this limits their ability to self-love.
• Poor body image. As their body changes and they become more aware of society’s unrealistic beauty standards, your teen may feel unhappy with their body. This is the major cause of unhealthy eating habits, overexercising, and conditions such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
Can Therapy Help?
Most self-esteem issues are deeply rooted in early childhood, so it’s necessary to dig deep and address these issues. Do you feel like your teen’s self-esteem issues are bigger than you can handle and resulting in troublesome behavior? In such cases, a therapist can help. As a parent or a caregiver, it’s in your power to foster healthy self-esteem in your teen by seeking therapy.
If you have a troubled relationship with your teen, a qualified family therapist can help address specific issues that may be contributing to your child’s self-esteem issues.
For instance, your family therapist at Courageous Kids Counseling, New York, uses techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to resolve self-esteem issues by helping your teen change the way they think and behave.
When your teen is struggling with self-esteem, and you are not sure how to help them or identify the cause, family therapy may just be what you and your child need.
Tips To Help Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem
When your child has low self-esteem issues, you naturally want them to feel better about themselves – to know that they matter and are loved. Fortunately, besides turning to therapy, there are many other steps you can take to boost your child’s self-worth.
• Notice their accomplishments and talents. Everyone has something they excel at. Don’t hesitate to shower your child with praise when you notice them doing something well. That doesn’t mean you should pamper their ego but focus on the positive aspects. Sooner or later, your child will notice these positive aspects, and this will improve their self-esteem.
• Help them develop a healthy body image. Help your child to recognize unrealistic beauty standards. Also, teach them the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise as this will help them feel better.
• Don’t set unrealistic standards. Instead of emphasizing perfection, teach your child the value of putting in their best effort and doing their best at all times.
• Be there for them. Sometimes, children need you to just listen and understand what they’re going through, whether at home or in a family therapy setting. Trust that your child can overcome their low self-esteem issues and let them know you’re always there for them.
Contact Courageous Kids Counseling To Help Your Teenager Develop A Healthy Self-Esteem
Loving your teen is one of the many challenging aspects of parenthood. Your teen might be gaining their independence and relying less on you, but they need you more than ever, especially when they’re dealing with low self-esteem issues.
At Courageous Kids Counseling New York, we have helped many families successfully navigate similar situations to what you may be facing. We provide the additional support needed to help your teen develop healthy self-esteem. With the help of a qualified therapist, your child receives a higher level of care, allowing them to believe in the best version of themselves.