Adolescence is a crucial stage in the life of your child. As a parent, you have the challenge of guiding them toward a happy, responsible adulthood. There is good reason to be worried, with all the changes and challenges confronting them. Though the majority of teens can successfully sail through adolescence, a significant number end up stalled or sidetracked along the way. Some barely make it through.
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A confident teen with a strong sense of self-worth or healthy self-esteem has a bigger chance of succeeding in life. They may, however, need some help to have a fulfilling adolescence and stable preparation for the next stage of life. If you want to help your child achieve their dreams, it is proactive to supplement your parental care with professional assistance.
Why Is Your Teen Unhappy? The Developing Teen
Seeing your child groping through the teen years can result in your feeling helpless. You may wonder why they have no friends hanging around your home on the weekends or why they seem uninterested in social events. Could they be suffering from poor self-esteem? Having healthy self-esteem isn’t everything, but it can be a good start in negotiating adolescence.
In this age of booming telecommunication miracles (the Internet, computers, satellites, etc.), it is easy for teens to develop a poor self-image by comparing themselves to what they perceive as ideal-clear skin, a body with the right measurements, beautiful and bouncy tresses, etc. Despite knowing that nobody’s perfect and even famous beauties have flaws, they may still feel inadequate, unlovable, and unworthy. It has nothing to do with their appearance, weight, or popularity. With low self-worth, they will always find something unacceptable or inadequate about themselves.
Teens are vulnerable to poor self-worth because they are in the middle of a transition. Their hormones are shifting and raging, their brain connections are wired differently, and they are incessantly challenged academically and socially. While all these problems are natural, it is not healthy to leave your teen unguided. Adolescence is also a stage when they can be reckless with their actions and decisions. It is important to be supportive, but more important to help them develop healthy self-esteem.
Self-Esteem in the Eyes of Teens
Self-esteem is the value that an individual gives themselves based on their perceived worth to others and the world in general. It isn’t static, but changes throughout life. It is typically most unstable during adolescence and during major life transitions. According to Understanding Teenagers, adolescence “is a time of life when a person’s self-esteem is known to fluctuate significantly. It is estimated that up to a half of adolescents will struggle with low self-esteem, many of these occurrences during the early teen years.”
For a teen in search of identity, low self-esteem can harm budding relationships, trust in others, their ability to achieve their dreams, and their happiness. Unfortunately, improving your child’s view of themselves and their abilities can be a real challenge, because the issue is complicated by their tendency to measure their worth in terms of their looks.
There are several important predictors of an adolescent’s self-esteem: transitions, social stability, and the most influential-appearance. A number of studies have revealed that “there is a strong correlation between teenagers who express dissatisfaction with their appearance and those who have low level of self-esteem.” The correlation is even stronger among teenage girls as a response to the social pressures generated by the media about what is “perfect or ideal.”
What Your Teen’s Body Language Says about Low Self-Esteem
How do you know if your teen has good self-esteem? An adolescent with positive self-esteem is confident, positive, responsible, trusting, and independent but cooperative, with a good sense of self-direction and control. Other signs include consciousness of their strengths, the ability to say no, and the ability to accept their limitations and shortcomings, resolve their issues, and manage their feelings.
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Conversely, poor self-esteem can outwardly manifest in being perpetually negative and critical of themselves, perfectionism, and fear of being scoffed at. They will not make decisions, fearing risks or blame for any untoward repercussion. They feel unloved and inadequate, and they are always suspicious of people and their intentions.
Some of the observable signs of poor self-worth that you would want to note are pervasive insecurity shown by walking or talking with their heads down to avoid eye contact, being self-critical, using negative statements about themselves, and perpetually apologizing. Wanting to elevate their perceived status, they may tease others, gossip, or engage in name-calling. They may also attract attention by talking loudly, bragging, or using excessive gestures. If this is your teen, get their symptoms assessed-the sooner, the better.
Supplementing Parental Care with Counseling
There is nothing better than raising your child in a loving and supportive environment. Be aware, however, that it can’t guarantee that your teen will have a perfect life or that you can fix all their issues. There is a world outside your home and there are influences beyond your control. Nevertheless, you can make it easier for your child to enjoy their adolescence. With the right help from a counselor contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Sanford, NC, to supplement your care, it is achievable.
A teen’s self-esteem is like a roller-coaster ride-there will be ups and downs. This is normal. While many teenagers can handle the stage on their own, they may need help when the going gets tough. With the help of an experienced counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Sanford, NC, your child can realize their full potential and grow into a responsible and independent adult who learns from their mistakes.
When your child becomes too hard on themselves because they aren’t slimmer, fairer, smarter, or more in fashion, be there for them to affirm their worth. If their reaction is extreme to the point of obsession, try to understand them and find help so they can develop healthy self-acceptance and self-worth. This is how a CCS-contracted therapist can help.Â Call now for an appointment!
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