May is National Teen Self- Esteem Month! Parenting a teenager comes with many joys, opportunities, and challenges. My bonus son turned 18 this year and recently graduated high school (insert praise break). I remember the teenage years very well. If you are a parent of a teenager, I am sure you can relate to the emotional, hormonal, and physical changes that accompany these formative years.
National Teen Self- Esteem Month is an opportunity to bring community awareness to the importance of instilling self-confidences, self-awareness, and self-esteem in teenagers. A young person with positive self-esteem tends to have more favorable outcomes regarding their physical and mental well being.
I spent years as a cheer/dance coach working with young girls. Over 10 years to be exact! For 5 years, I ran my own youth non-profit organization called Spirit Esteem Athletics, Inc. The mission of Spirit Esteem Athletics was to provide youth with a positive outlet to express themselves through cheerleading and dance with the goal of creating an atmosphere for youth to enhance their self-esteem, to feel empowered to make sound decisions, and to learn respect for self and others.
I have years of experience working with youth and it is truly my passion. In honor of National Teen Self-Esteem Month, I am sharing three (3) tips with parents on how to boost teen self-esteem.
1. Stay Engaged and Keep Them Engaged
Parenting a teenager can be exhausting but it is important to stay engaged. Teens are typically more on the go and have a newfound level of independence. It is important to stay connected during the teenage years and to maintain open lines of communication.
When I coached cheerleading, I encouraged parents to stay connected and engaged in activities such as fundraisers, competitions, etc. I could tell their presence made a huge difference in the girls confidence and performance.
Involvement is a great balancing act. It is important to remain involved but be mindful not to blur the lines and stifle their independence.
Additionally, seek programs that align with your teens interest and enroll them in enriching activities that promote and foster self-esteem. There are ample resources available to families and I encourage you to do your research to find ones that will benefit your teen.
2. Practice Positive Reinforcement
A sure way to boost a teenager’s self- esteem is to encourage them through words and actions. Remind your teen that they are valuable, loved, and important. There will be days when they respond, “yeah right, you’re supposed to say that”, but I encourage you to keep speaking these affirmations to them.
Positive reinforcement doesn’t always have to be super deep and mushy. Take time to understand your teens love language. If your teen values words of affirmation, text some encouraging words before an exam. If your teen values acts of service, treat them to their favorite restaurant after a big game. It all makes a difference in the long run if you stay consistent.
Learn more about the 5 Love Languages for Teenagers here.
3. Seeing is Believing – Model Confidence
I believe that we are the most influential people to our children. It is important for us to model confidence and self-esteem. They often follow our lead. It is equally important to demonstrate a growth mindset and how to recover from setbacks. It will not only help shape their perspective of themselves but also their outlook on life.
Leave a comment and let us know what you do to help boost your teenagers’ self-esteem. Don’t forget to share this post with a mommy friend!
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