Preparing for a new school year goes beyond choosing classes and gathering supplies. Teens often need a boost of self-esteem to help them take on the challenges of a new school year. Unfortunately, self-esteem drops during the early teen years, and without intention and effective support, it’s hard to retrieve. Whether entering high school or college, strong self-esteem enables your teen to feel empowered and motivated and will contribute to a more balanced perspective. The actions listed here are designed to strengthen your teen’s self-esteem so she starts off the year feeling strong and confident. Give them a try and let me know how it goes.
- Praise her inner qualities more often than her accomplishments. Think about who she is, not what she does.
- Allow her voice to be heard. Ask her opinion and give her opportunities to make, or be involved in, important decisions.
- Acknowledge the values that drive her actions. Highlight the values that inform the choices she makes.
- Reframe failure. Point out the important lessons embedded within a setback or perceived failure.
- Model and teach effective ways to cope with stress. Make sure your daughter knows several strategies for dealing with feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, sadness, anger, etc.
- Talk about and practice self-forgiveness. Model and teach your teen how to forgive herself and let go of past regrets.
- Use the word choice. Point out where your teen can make choices that positively impact her life.
- Differentiate between self-esteem and arrogance. Many teens minimize their self-esteem for fear of being seen as arrogant. Make sure your teen understands the difference.
- Remind your teen of the challenges she’s overcome. Promote a mindset that she can do hard things!
- Encourage safe and healthy risk-taking. Facing a fear or overcoming an obstacle builds a sense of confidence and capability. Healthy risks include trying a new sport or activity, starting a conversation with a potential friend, and doing something you’ve always wanted to do but held yourself back because of fear of failure.
Download your Ten ways to boost your self-esteem list here.