Address self-esteem issues early

address self esteem issues early

Address self-esteem issues early

Every parent knows just how important positive self-image is and many have read the literature that proclaims the numerous benefits your teen will reap from having high self-esteem. Yet what these articles don’t point out is how hard it is to maintain healthy self-esteem throughout one’s teen years, which are littered with changes, unforgiving social hierarchies, and puberty.

My aim here is two-fold. I want to educate parents on some early warning signs of falling self-esteem as well as provide tips on how you as parents can address self-esteem issues early.

Warning Signs of Falling Self-Esteem

Immediately Reply to Criticism

Teenagers who immediately reply aggressively to even the slightest bit of criticism tend to have lower self-esteem whereas confident teenagers will listen to criticism and decide internally whether it has any merit. 

Body Language Changes

Another sign of low or falling self-esteem is if your teenager starts to assume defensive body posture positions on a regular basis.  The defensive body posture position includes sitting with your arms folded across your chest and is typically accompanied with crossing your legs.

Justifying Mistakes

A mark of high self-esteem is understanding that a simple mistake doesn’t define you. Confident teenagers acknowledge their mistakes and move on.

Tips to Address Self Esteem Issues Early

Now that we have discussed some warning signs of low and falling self-esteem let’s get into the ways that you as a parent can correct these issues and help build your teen’s self-esteem!

Create Healthy Foundations of Self-Worth

As a result of social media, teens are now basing their self-worth off how many likes their Instagram photo has, how many shares their Facebook status has, and how many A’s they have on their report card. Simply put teens are basing their self-esteem on rocky foundation and you as a parent need to help them find ways to create a more sturdy foundation.

We need to teach teens that their worth is not dependent on one grade, one photo, or one status. 

Be Clear Not Critical

As a parent there are certain topics that cannot be avoided especially if these topics revolve around behaviors that need to be changed.  However when you tackle these topics and conversations make sure you do so in a way where you won’t make your teen feel worse about themselves after the conversation.

For example instead of telling your teen they are dumb for failing a test try saying something like “You failed this test but what did you learn so this outcome won’t be repeated?”

Have them Volunteer

Another way that you as a parent can address self-esteem issues early is by signing your teenager up to volunteer!  Whether you allow your teen to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or pet clinic, research shows that volunteering helps people whittle away low self-esteem.

This is the case because when your teen volunteers they will be able to see their efforts result in real, tangible change. When they see this tangible change in other people’s lives it’s an endorphin rush in all the best ways.

Other Tips on How to Address Self-esteem Issues Early:

  • Encourage your teen to join extracurricular activities
  • Turn negatives into positives
  • Make mistakes into learning opportunities

Other Resources:

This article delves into the effect the media plays on the building of self-esteem

Media & Self Esteem

Don’t believe me that social media plays a role in self-esteem development? Read this!

Social Media & Self Esteem  

About Shannon Hutchins

Hey! Shannon is a customer service representative, a social media team member and blogger for The Knowledge Roundtable. Shannon came to the company late in 2014 and holds a BA in Media Studies from Colby-Sawyer College. While Shannon was completing her degree she wrote for, and eventually became editor of her collegiate newspaper, The Courier. For The Courier she mainly wrote about breaking college news as well as about local sports teams. She is a former tutor herself who believes in the advancement of knowledge for all and is studying to take the LSAT’s in hopes of going on and obtaining her JD.