Saturday, July 24, 2010

Teenage Self Esteem

Tips for increasing and improving Teenage Self-Esteem

Concise Dictionary defines the term "self esteem" as the belief and confidence in your own ability and value. We can simply say this as our self confidence and we even know how much important this thing for us in each part of our life.
And for personality development it is one of the prerequisite for optimal achievement. Almost all age groups needs this tool. Decreasing in self-esteem can leads to serious mental problems like depression.
Among all age groups, teenage requires this the most. This is because the teen years are always a turbulent and confusing time, it is also a time when a persons self esteem can either develop to it's full potential, or be left behind to wither for the rest of their adult life. This is the stage of human development when one can develop positively or negatively. There are various methods for increase teenage self esteem but i am going to sort our some major factors which  i collected from various sources and from my experience.

1) Appearance (self image-self perception) - Teenage years is one of the most pressured times of your life, and no doubt one of these pressures will be to do with your self image. This has a flow on affect to influence your self confidence and self esteem which can affect your studies performance, sociability, etc, and can lead to a vicious cycle. In regards to looks there is always room for improvement, and what you can't fix you feature.(So if you have crooked teeth, make sure they're clean. If you have a funny shaped head, make sure you have a great haircut that suits it.) There is a lot of very effective treatment out there for acne which you may consider. The trick to gaining self esteem is that once you have done all you can to better your appearance then that in itself is something to be confident about. You may not be able to have any control about what you have, but you have 100% control about what you do with it and that is all that matters. Also realize that any self esteem issues that you associate to your looks are all in your head, and anyone that has a go at you is usually insecure about themselves, and compensates by putting others down.

2) Parents or Guardians - Yes, parents may have good intentions for you but these good intentions can be overbearing and may actually hurt your self esteem and lead to lower levels of confidence. Usually the main situation is a parent that overworks their child, hoping for them to get perfect grades and attend college however this is not always best for a teenagers self esteem. Problems can occur when you feel overworked, and over supervised. They should by all means encourage you and make sure you are keeping up but not become the bad guys by pressuring you to the point where it is unhealthy. This will negatively affect your grades, your relationship and result in low self esteem symptoms. If you have an issue with your parents in any area, ask to sit down with them for a moment, and explain your side of the story and the listen to their side. A lot of progress can be made when you can recognise each others situation.

3) Peers - Peers can be a source of joy and a source of constant anxiety, depending on who you talk to. Socially the schoolyard can be a pretty tough place, with unspoken rules and a clear difference between the 'cool kids' and the not so cool kids. Confidence and self esteem can be made or broken here and it is important that you do not lose either. Generally for guys it helps if you play on a sporting team as you develop a lot of social status and friends and develop a good image. Girls may benefit from other clubs run within the school, but should realise that other girls can be very manipulative and may not treat them well which is just a fact of life in school and nothing personal about them. On the other they will also encounter some of their closest friends within the school grounds, it is just a case of taking things as they come and not taking things personally. 

4) Positive role modeling - children watch and observe parents and other adults around them from the day they are born, and although many parents fail to understand the impact of their actions and behaviors around kids, each and every experience and interaction a child witnesses or engages in helps to develop self esteem. To what degree these experiences are positive for a child determines the impact on healthy self esteem building. A child must feel lovable and capable to develop high self esteem, and witnessing and experiencing the behaviors of the adults closest to him or her will significantly affect that. 

5) Promote deep connection - a child needs to feel he or she is a part of something, sharing feelings, communications, and a deep level of warmth and caring. This may include identifying with special groups, heritage, or something else that is important to the child. A parent needs to figure out what that identifying piece is for each child and make a focused effort to encourage and nurture the connection. Children also need to feel deeply connected to the important people in their lives: parents, siblings, friends, teachers, clergy, etc. To what degree these relationships have a positive affect on deep and healthy connection for a child, will determine the affect on self esteem. 

6) Giving specific praise - a child may become confused with what's referred to as "global praise". So many times, parents and other adults feel that by telling a child he or she did "a good job" that it will provide a feeling of satisfaction within the child. Research has shown just the opposite, as most times children are confused by global praise. A parent may find it more effective to be much more specific, for instance commenting specifically on the colors in a child's drawing, the noticed progress in the playing of a sport or musical instrument, or the tenacious effort preparing for a science project. Giving specific praise will surely help build healthy self esteem.

7) Support and celebrate uniqueness - a child needs experiences that allow him or her to be different. A child needs to have self-respect, know that he or she can do things no one else can, be able to communicate and interact in special ways, use his or her imagination to reach creative potential, and enjoy being different. Many parents are challenged to engage a child in behaviors and activities that are different than what the parent had planned or envisions for the child, or may be far from the norm. Allowing this uniqueness is not easy, as parents may fear that a child acting different risks not being accepted by peers or other adults. Healthy self esteem building provides the child with ample opportunity, and parental support, to find his or her own interests and beliefs, despite any resistance or lack of support from peers. 

8) Allow appropriate sense of power - a child needs to feel he or she has some influence over surroundings and circumstance. In order to have such influence, a child needs to learn many skills, have the opportunity to make choices, and be encouraged to take responsibility and be accountable. A child with high self esteem will believe that he or she can do what he or she has set out to do, knows what skills are required to fulfill a task, feels he or she is in charge of important things in his or her life, knows how to make decisions and solve problems, and can deal with some pressure and stress. Parents will want to allow "age-appropriate" sense of power and maintain healthy rules and structure, rather than burden a child with too much, too early. A sense of power is not being bossy, spoiled, or manipulative, but rather an understanding of skill and expectations.
[ Source- Ezine articles]

These are some basic methods for upgrading and increasing teenage self esteem for common teenagers. But, personally we know our child better than others so, we should always focus on searching specific areas by which we can develop their confidence level.

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