Adolescence if the age of insecurity. Statistics show that 61% of girls In the UK have low self-esteem. It’s not easy to be confident in these times when social media pictures the perfect silhouette, with the perfect skin and perfect hair it’s very easy for adolescents to feel insecure about their bodies. Our bodies start changing during adolescence and we all get confused and embarrassed about those changes. We need time to accept what we see in the mirror. If you combined that with some comments made by their friends can lead to very low levels of self-esteem. Even the level of self-esteem of grown-ups is the lowest it’s ever been because more and more people at younger ages decided to have plastic surgery.
Let’s look at some of the reasons behind most of the teenage Insecurities insecurities.
Number 1: Constantly telling them what to do.
This is something that most authoritarian parents do, and research shows that it has a massive impact on child self-esteem. Constantly telling your teenager what to do and micromanaging them on a daily basis send them the message that you do not trust their judgment will make their self-esteem drop.
Number 2: Constantly criticizing will discourage them.
If you constantly criticize your daughter’s makeup or your son’s choice of clothing, their hairstyle or their vocabulary, this can put them down. Teenagers usually pretend to not care about their parents’ opinion, but deep inside they do care and seek your approval.
Number 3: Reminding them of their failures will destroy their self-confidence.
Remember that time when your daughter had a school competition and she came the second after last? Remember that time when your son got a C in Geography? You don’t need to remind them of that when they don’t do what you want them to. If you want them to improve you need to support them, but make sure you don’t push them too hard. A great motivational speaker, named Darren Hardy, highlights in his book “Insane Productivity” that the key to success is failure. The more you fail the more you learn and the more successful you become.
Number 4: Not encouraging them enough.
Sometimes teenagers get lazy and that is normal, we all get unmotivated sometimes, especially after a failure. It is important to have a parent that pushes you to achieve our dreams. If your child is bad at art, but he really enjoys it, encourage him more to do it and explain how that is the way to become great at sketching or painting. We tend to dislike things that we are not good at, without realizing that if we continue doing them, we could become excellent at it at some point.
Number 5: Pushing them to do something they don’t like.
There are few things that you should make your child do, even when they don’t like it. That should only be the mandatory subjects at school like Maths, Science in English. Imagine your son likes to code, but you’ve always wanted him to be a good football player. By not accepting his passions, he can become very insecure if he is constantly bagged about practicing football.
Number 6: Peer pressure has a negative impact on the teenagers’ self-confidence.
Teenagers do not have the capacity to shut down that voice inside their heads, which tells them not to care about what other people say. If your teenager is being teased about his weight or about their retainers, for any aspect that does not look normal to the other children, this will affect their confidence in a major way. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it, just reminder not to take everything too seriously.
These are the most common factors in the life of a teenager that lead to decreased self-esteem.
Consequences of low self-esteem in adolescents.
- Poor academic performance
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Teen pregnancy
- Dropping out of school
- Disordered eating
- Earlier sexual activity
- Criminal behavior
How to prevent low self-esteem.
Praise them more often to boost their self-esteem.
When your teenager does something right or unexpected in a positive way, don’t hesitate to praise them as much as possible. Try focusing on the things you know they are more insecure about.
Give them more responsibilities to increase their self-esteem.
Consider giving a teenager more possibilities around the household. Maybe you can get them to monitor the food in the house and keep track of what needs to be purchased. You could ask them to walk their little brother or sister to school and help them with homework.
Have meaningful conversations to monitor their confidence level.
When your teenager is upset. Try listening to them and understand what is happening in their lives. This is how you can prevent them from Being gleaned are becoming depressed or addicted to any substances. You can learn more about Interacting with your teenager in my books: Parenting Teenage Boys: How to discipline like an authoritative parent, and Parenting Teenage Girls: How to use inductive reasoning
More on the topic: