May is Teen Self-Esteem Month, which means that parents and teens alike should make it a priority to focus on a positive self-image.
The following is a top ten list of things that parents can do in order to increase the self-esteem of their teens.
Top 10 Ways to Boost Teen Self-Esteem
10. Use authoritative parenting techniques
Parents should be warm, nurturing, supportive, and have appropriate expectations of their teen(s) – refer to normal adolescent development link below.
9. Solicit the help of your teen’s teachers
Work with teachers, administrators, and staff so they may focus on your teen’s strengths.
8. Encourage your teen to become active
Productivity can be an attributor of self-esteem, so encourage your teen to join a team, club, church, organization, and/or become involved in his/her community.
7. Celebrate your teen’s diversity
Does your teen stand out in a crowd? Applaud his/her differences and encourage them to be unique.
6. Take time to listen
Respect your teen’s competence as a growing adult. Give them the opportunity to express themselves and listen attentively.
5. Try one of their favorite activities
Participate with your teen and support their interests.
4. Help them set clear, attainable goals
Being realistic is a great self-esteem booster! Accomplishing tasks and/or attempting things can give a teen a boost of self-confidence.
3. Foster a positive body image
The summer months can be brutal to teen self-esteem due to clothing with body-conscious fit such as shorts, tank tops, bathing suits, etc. Work with your teen on body acceptance.
2. Comment on the positive aspects of your teen’s behavior
What do they do well? How are you proud of them?
1. Be a positive role modeL
Have your own self-esteem check-up and watch what you say and do. Remember, you are a major influence on your teen’s self-esteem!
Resources for Parents:
Barnett, R. V. (2005). Helping teens answer the question “Who am I?”: Cognitive Development in Adolescents (FCS 2241). Gainesville: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Retrieved May, 21, 2007 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY769.
Baugh, E.J. (2006). Improving your body image: Tips for individuals, families, and professionals (FCS 2253). Gainesville: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Retrieved May 21, 2007 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY854.