May is National Teen Self Esteem Month and it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring our teens are self aware and feel confident about themselves. The effect that their self esteem has on their physical and mental well being is of paramount importance and a crucial focus of the awareness month.
The teenage years are a notoriously difficult time for the majority of young people and therefore this is a fantastic way of checking in and ensuring we are doing everything that we can to support and nurture the teens in our lives- be it family or friends. On top of the physical, hormonal and emotional changes going on, teens also have to contend with the added pressures of social changes, new relationships, increased educational expectations, peer pressure and impossible societal standards perpetuated by the media, society and often parents.
Self esteem is often easily damaged and difficult to repair, so with the added complication of being a teenager it is highly understandable that teenagers can be particularly fragile.
There are many ways that we can engage more positively with teenagers and the character of the individual young person may respond more effectively to particular expertise and knowledge, however there are some really simple ways in which we can promote positive self esteem. And these tips aren’t restricted to assisting only teenagers. Perhaps we could all make use of them:
Lead by example:
Avoid negative self talk and criticism.
Ensure you have open lines of communication – and if you don’t, get advice on how to create this.
Ensure you can be trusted
Guide and advise encouraging their own decision making within reasonable parameters.
Give them space
Listen and take an interest in their developing lives