What is self-esteem? Self-esteem has to do with a person’s opinion of themselves. It’s connected to their sense of identity, belonging in the world, and self-confidence. Some of the beliefs associated with self-esteem include feelings of competency and worth, as well as various emotional states, like shame, pride, triumph, and despair.
For teens, self-esteem is especially important, as low self-esteem can be tied to anxiety, depression, poor performance in school, and trouble in relationships. However, it’s possible to boost self-esteem in teens! Learn more about self-esteem activities for teens today and reach out to Ascend for more information about adolescent mental health treatment in California.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem in Teens
If your teen is displaying some of the following signs, it’s possible that their self-esteem is suffering:
- Being bullied at school
- Have few friends or close relationships with others
- Very rarely participate in social activities outside of school hours
- Expressing feelings of worthlessness or inferiority
- Feeling ashamed about something they have done wrong
- Showing emotional indifference
- Negative self-talk
Self-esteem is not something that you simply have or don’t have. People fall on a spectrum of self-esteem that may change from day to day. Many factors can influence self-esteem throughout a person’s lifetime, like their support system, success in school or work, and even physical changes in their looks.
A Support System for Your Teen
Parents, teachers, and peers can have a massive impact on self-esteem for teens. You can encourage better self-esteem by showing that you care about their thoughts and feelings and value their talents and abilities. Their self-esteem will continue to grow as they start to interact with friends outside the home as part of socialization.
How to Boost Self-Esteem in Teens
The best way to improve self-esteem in teens is by allowing them to voice their opinions and feelings in a supportive environment. Encourage your teen to talk positively about themselves, asking open-ended questions and fostering a sense of respect and support between you – rather than treating them as subordinates.
Self-awareness is also a key part of self-esteem. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your values, beliefs, and principles, can help you set realistic goals and prevent negativity due to feelings of inadequacy.
Self-Esteem Activities for Teens
Some simple steps you can take to help your teen’s confidence grow include:
- Giving positive feedback or compliments
- Criticizing your teen in private, never in public
- Giving constructive feedback rather than destructive criticism
- Encouraging your teen to participate in things they enjoy, like sports or hobbies
- Learning about your teen’s point of view, especially if you disagree with them on an issue
More intensive activities to improve self-esteem in teens can also help! Here are examples of a few of our favorites:
- Passion Project: If your teen has an artistic talent, culinary skill, or technical ability they’d like to explore, let them utilize this hobby for self-expression, growth, and stress relief. Passion projects are actually a critical part of residential treatment at Ascend!
- Certificate of Achievement: Have your teen divide their life into three or four sections and then list some of their proudest achievements in each section. Make a certificate out of this chart for them to hang up and serve as a reminder of their successes!
- Positive Goals Diary: Ask your teen to write down a few short-term and long-term goals they have. Make sure they include a section on possible hurdles, as well as strategies to overcome potential problems, to prepare them for what they may face ahead.
- Sentence Completion: Come up with five or six open-ended questions and ask your teen to answer them every day. Compare their answers after a two-week period to see how they’ve changed. Some questions to consider include:
- “The thing I’m most afraid of is…”
- “Today is going to be…”
- “I struggle when…”
- “I feel like my future is…”
All of these self-esteem activities for teens will help them learn to express themselves in a healthy way, confront their feelings and fears, and eventually improve their self-confidence.
Teen Mental Health Treatment at Ascend
At Ascend, we know how low self-esteem in teens can significantly impact their lives. If your child is struggling with their mental health, self-esteem may be part of the problem. With a supportive and inclusive treatment center, your teen can find a place to reset and regain their confidence over the course of a 45-90 day residential treatment program. Learn more about our evidence-based therapies, experiential therapies, and unique clinical approach to decide if this program is right for your teen.
Connect with the Ascend today at 310.388.3713 or reach out to us online for more information about admissions.