Adolescence is a period of physical, emotional, mental, and social changes. Amidst this whirlwind of growth and transformation, many teenagers grapple with self-esteem issues.
During this period of growth, as they try to figure out their unique self-identity, societal pressures and peer comparisons can lead to feelings of inadequacy, which affects their self-esteem and self-confidence. Recognizing and addressing these issues early can pave the way for healthier self-perceptions and mental well-being.
While it's normal for teens to experience bouts of self-doubt, persistent signs of low self-esteem warrant attention:
Low self-esteem isn't just about momentary feelings of self-doubt. Chronic negative self-perception can lead to:
An all-encompassing strategy can significantly improve an adolescent's self-esteem:
Open communication: Encourage open dialogue between parents and teenagers. Be an active listener when your teen speaks. Avoid being judgmental or dismissive. Be attentive and empathetic
Positive reinforcement: Make it a habit of pointing out their strengths, achievements, and unique qualities. Genuine compliments can go a long way.
Establish routine: A structured daily routine, incorporating both chores and leisure, can provide a sense of purpose and achievement. The feeling of achievement and purpose helps to increase self-esteem creating a feeling of positivity.
Encourage hobbies: Activities which teenagers are passionate about can boost their self esteem. Whether it's arts, sports, or technology, find what clicks for them.
Seek professional help: If self-esteem issues seem deep-rooted, consider seeking counseling or therapy. A professional can provide strategies tailored to the individual's needs.
Educate about social media: In the age of filtered realities, unrealistic standards are often portrayed online, hence educate your teen about these realities. Encourage them to curate their feeds and follow inspiring, positive accounts.
Also Read: Are our children smarter than we had been?
The community plays a pivotal role in shaping an adolescent's self-worth:
Adolescence is a vulnerable phase, and with the added pressures of today's world, self-esteem issues are more prevalent than ever. As a community, we owe it to our adolescents to recognise, understand, and address these issues, laying the foundation for a confident, resilient, and mentally robust generation.
Dr. Paula Goel is a paediatrician and adolescent specialist at Fayth Clinic