May is National Teen Self-esteem Month
National Teen Self-esteem Month is a time to recognize the importance of how young people feel about themselves and how their feelings can affect their physical and mental health. The teenage years are a time when a teen’s self-esteem needs to be nurtured and supported by family, friends and other necessary people in their lives.
What is self-esteem?
The National Association for Self-Esteem defines self-esteem as “The experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.” Yet many teens find it difficult to meet these goals because of various hurdles.
For example, bullying (both in person and cyberbullying) is a serious problem among teenagers. Teens’ peers can say and write cruel, untrue things. Teen self-esteem can rapidly erode, and the result can be depression, eating disorders, drop in grades, truancy, drug and alcohol use and even suicide.
However, parents and other caring individuals can help teenagers meet these hurdles head on. Concerned individuals who want to know how to increase teenager self-esteem need to identify the factors that are bothering a young person, recognize the impact it has on the adolescent and then offer guidance in a cooperative manner.
Tips on how to raise self-esteem:
If you are a teen who is experiencing self-esteem issues or a concerned adult who is concerned about a teen’s self-esteem, here are some tips.
• Acknowledge how body image affects your self-esteem. Lots of pressure is placed on teenagers to look a certain way, and typically those expectations are not realistic. Teens who have problems with body image could benefit from talking with someone they trust about their concerns.
• Banish the negative. Teens who say negative things about themselves (e.g., I’m too fat, I’m not popular) or who listen to others who say such things need to replace the negative words with positive ones. Whenever negative thoughts or words occur, teens should replace them immediately with positive thoughts (e.g., I am great at math, I enjoy playing the trumpet).
• Squash comparisons. When people compare themselves to others, they will always find someone who is better and worse at something than they are. Playing the comparison game is a waste of time and energy. Teens should be encouraged to celebrate who they are as unique beings who can make choices that will lead them on a path of personal fulfillment.
• Smile. A smile communicates confidence and a great smile can make people feel on top of their game. Teens who don’t feel good about their smile can talk to their parents about what can be done to give them that extra boost of confidence.
National Teen Self-esteem Month is about many things, and one of them is how to increase teenager self-esteem in effective ways. Dr. Patricia J. Panucci, DMD, MS, and other folks at Beach Braces in Manhattan Beach can help put a smile on the face of your teenager. Give us a call today.
Beach Braces, 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051.
National Teen Self-esteem Month