can we talk about self-esteem

​​Summer is almost over and the new school year is fast approaching which can cause a lot of feelings and emotions for children and teens. Summer time may have been difficult for everyone’s self-esteem, especially youth due to being disconnected from friends, seeing posts on social media and social pressures around body image for those days spent at the beach or pool.

Teenagers often go through phases that involve low self-esteem because they are growing up and experiencing more feelings and emotions than they are used to. Building self-esteem for teens is important as it can help them make good choices, achieve good grades and deal with stressful situations better. 

Self-esteem begins to develop at a very young age. It can start as young as infancy, when they feel safe and loved by their caregivers. As children grow their self-esteem grows with them. As they begin to achieve goals, become more independent, make more friends and try new things. 

What Are Reasons for Low Self-Esteem in Youth?

  • Bullying

  • Lack of parental support 

  • Stress (moving, divorce, etc)
  • Poor performance at school 
  • Trauma or abuse
  • Anxiety 
  • Poor self-image (social media)

Signs of Low Self-Esteem

  • Blaming others for their mistakes

  • Avoiding trying anything new

  • Low motivation 
  • Negative self talk
  • Inability to take compliments
  • Fear of failure 

What Can We Do To Help Boost Self-Confidence?

Everybody is different so the actions parents take to help their kids boost their self-esteem will be different. Children grow up looking up to their parents/caregivers as a role model. So the way they act around them can make a difference. When children are surrounded by negative talk they can begin to react the same way. Here are some tips that parents/caregivers can use to help build their children’s confidence at home: 

  • Practice positive self talk
  • Provide them with age-appropriate tasks to help you out
  • Improve your own confidence 
  • Ask them for their advice/opinion on things
  • Help to set and achieve goals
  • Set aside time for undivided attention 
  • Don’t compare to others 
  • Encourage them to try new things 

As we head back to school and begin a brand new year spend some time talking to your kids about the social pressures they experience, their relationship with themselves and others and how they truly feel about themselves.