Your children learn a lot in school, from mathematics to the history of their homeland. Academics are very valuable, but there is one important issue that seems to go completely ignored in our schools: teaching kids how to develop their self-esteem.
Self-esteem is cultivated in a number of ways. It comes from having a strong, loving family and a healthy network of friends. It comes from doing well in school and accomplishing all of the required classwork. It comes from being taught healthy boundaries and maintaining a strong sense of worth. Being in school and doing well can potentially raise a child's self-esteem, but why isn't it being directly taught to our children?
The Importance of Self-Esteem in Teen Life
1. Higher Self-Esteem Means More Confidence
At some point, your teen will need to go for his or her first job interview, an experience that can be daunting. People with higher self-esteem tend to do better in job interviews due to being able to look their potential boss directly in the eye and clearly explain what they have to offer.
2. Higher Self-Esteem Means Being Better Able to Deal With Problems
Teens with more self-esteem are generally happier. Having a positive outlook can go a long way in getting your child through some of the ups and downs of teenage life. School can be stressful, friendships are often tested and young relationships usually end in heartbreak. If your teen has strong self-esteem, he or she will bounce back from such problems with much greater ease.
3. Higher Self-Esteem Means Making Better Decisions
Teens are often faced with serious decisions, from whether or not to have sex with their romantic partner to choosing to partake in drug or alcohol use. Teens with stronger self-esteem will have an easier time doing the right thing in such situations. Imagine a teenage girl who feels bad about herself. If she finds herself being pressured by a boyfriend to have sex, she is much more likely to give in because she doesn't have enough self-worth to see why she should wait. Cultivating strong self-esteem in your teen is the best way to protect him or her.
Unfortunately, self-esteem isn't taught in schools, which is why it's important for parents to take an active role in helping their kids feel good about who they are. Talk with your teens about how they feel about themselves, and if you see signs of low self-worth, work hard to correct the problem early on.