Teen Self-Esteem and Confidence
Strong self-esteem is a highly coveted trait. We all recognize someone who has it, whether it be something about the way they walk, a sense of strength in their voice or their ability to maintain eye contact. However, these days, most of us don’t have a good sense of self-esteem, and for a lot of us, that lacking sense of self-worth began during our teenage years.
Teenage girls with low self-esteem go on to become grown women with low self-esteem, which can lead to failures at jobs, attracting negative relationships or even developing eating disorders. If your teen daughter begins working toward a strong sense of self of self today, it will carry her forward toward a beautiful future. However, if she doesn’t, she could go down the same road as many of her peers, facing problems with drugs, her academics, and if she isn’t careful, her reputation.
1. Caving Into Peer Pressure
Teens with low self-esteem are more likely to give into peer pressure because they don’t have the confidence to say no to their friends. They may start drinking or using a drug to gain acceptance but then realize that they are physically addicted and unable to stop.
2. Dressing Provocatively
If your daughter has suddenly started dressing in a highly provocative way, it may be an issue of her self-esteem, not her fashion sense. Many young girls will dress in skimpy clothing just to hear boys make comments about their bodies. Sometimes, even degrading comments are taken as positive simply because the boys are showing an interest. To a young girl with low self-esteem, negative attention is often considered better than being invisible.
3. Acting Out In School
For some teenagers, it can be easier to identify as the class clown rather than take things seriously, especially if they are having trouble with their studies. If your daughter has been getting in trouble during class, ask how she is feeling about her studies, her friendships and her appearance. If she feels that she won’t amount to much in any of these areas, she may be trying to make up for that lack of self-worth by gaining attention for acting silly.
4. Considering Self-Harm
Unfortunately, teenage self-esteem problems can lead to serious self-harm issues like cutting. When teenagers feel bad about themselves and don’t have an outlet to deal with those feelings, they will often become depressed, violent or even suicidal. Stay on top of this problem by talking to your daughter about her feelings and watching for any signs of self-harm, such as cuts, scratches or burn marks.
As hard as it is, you need to help your daughter learn to find acceptance within herself, her spirituality and her friendships, not from those who don’t really care about her. If she continues to search for acceptance in the wrong places, it will eventually lead her down a dark, lonely road. As a parent, the most you can do is continue helping her cultivate positive sources of self-worth, and always be reminding her that you are her biggest fan.