The teenage years can be rough on a teenager's self-esteem! Social, academic, and other challenges can weigh heavily on a teen. And all during a time where they are identifying who they are, what they value or believe, and trying to learn to become more independent.
As parents, we know how important it is for out teenagers to develop a healthy self-esteem. A teen with healthy self-esteem can transition into the adult years and better weather the storms that we know will come.
We know that challenges like anxiety, depression, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD/ADD, trauma, and PTSD can all have an impact on self-esteem. We also know that improving a teen's self-esteem is a good buffer that can keep these things at bay in the future.
What is Self-Esteem?
According to Psychology Today, self-esteem is our sense of value. A teenager with healthy self-esteem has a positive sense of worth. A teen with low self-esteem has a negative sense of worth.
Teens with high self-esteem are better prepared to handle peer pressure. Positive self-esteem helps teens manage conflict. It also helps them recover from upsets.
Self-esteem is a trait that can be grown. If you have a teenager who struggles with low self-esteem, there are different things you can do to help them.
1. Encourage Effort Over Outcomes
It's easy to focus on outcomes. As a parent, you may worry about your teen's academic performance. Instead of making it about the letter grade, focus on their study efforts.
If your teen plays sports, don't get stuck on whether they win or lose. Praise your teen for practicing and all their hard work.
Encourage your teenager that what is most important is the hard work, not the end result. No one wins or gets the perfect score each time.
There are even times when the outcome is out of our control like in athletics. What is in our control is the time and dedication we give to a task or project.
2. Teach Assertiveness Skills
Assertiveness is speaking up for what you need with respect for others. Teens who are assertive are less likely to fall into peer pressure. Assertiveness can help teens express their boundaries in compromising situations.
Teach your teen the difference between assertiveness and aggression. They don't need to be mean or rude to stand up for themselves. Being assertive is standing up for oneself with confidence. It does not mean being a jerk!
Let your teen practice being assertive at home. Within limits, encourage them to disagree and state their reasons. If teens feel safe to be assertive with parents, they'll find it easier to be assertive with peers.
3. Reinforce Positive Self-Talk
A teen's inner monologue says a lot about their self-esteem. If they are telling themselves that they are "losers" or that no one likes them, they are going to feel bad. Parents should encourage healthy self-talk.
Positive self-talk includes realistic statements that underscore the teen's value. Some examples of positive self-talk include:
• I am good enough
• I am liked by others
• I am funny
• I have unique interests
• I am a hard worker
Therapy Can Help Improve Self-Esteem
Parents can encourage teens to start the process of teen therapy. Teen therapy is a safe place for teens to identify and process their low self-esteem.
An important aspect of teen therapy is learning that our thoughts are not always true. A therapist can help a teen dispute their negative thoughts. A teen therapist can also help your teen develop the habit of positive self-statements.
Teen counseling can be a place where your teen creates goals to help them improve their sense of self. Teen therapy is a commitment that is worth the investment. Invest in your teen's future by starting the journey of therapy today.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Specializing in Teen Counseling in Katy, Tx
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC.
Meet with one of our teen therapists
Draw on our expertise to help your teen learn to thrive again!
Other Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Young Adult Therapy Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we also provide other counseling and therapeutic services. We have therapists who also specialize in marriage counseling and couples therapy.
While not intended, it can be stressful parenting a teen who is struggling. We want the best for our teen and to see them hurting causes us to hurt as parents. As a result, it can sometimes create strain on the relationship. Our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help.
We also provide other counseling and therapeutic services for teens, young adults, & families at our Katy, Tx location:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Support Group for Parents
Parents of teenagers and young adults face unique challenges. The "Parents Supporting Parent's" group at Katy Teen & Family Counseling provides a place where parents can meet with other parents of teenagers and young adults who may be struggling.
Parents will walk away from this group with a greater feeling of support, actionable skills, and even friendships.
About the Author
Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Quique specializes in teen therapy and helping teens build upon their innate strengths while developing skills and tools to overcome trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, and more.
Quique views each individual through that lens and provides therapy for the family system which includes: teen therapy, young adult counseling, family counseling, marriage counseling & couples therapy.
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
To read more about Quique Autrey, LPC, check out his bio on the Katy Teen & Family Counseling website. You can also check out Quique's podcast, "Therapy for Guys" and his personal website, quiqueautrey.com.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in teen therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.