The process of transitioning through adolescence can be somewhat difficult. And it is that it is a time full of changes, to which children must adapt, and among so much confusion, their self-esteem can be affected.
As fathers and mothers, we will also go through these changes with them, although logically, in a different way. It is common in many cases that during adolescence, self-esteem problems and insecurities are experienced.
And it is for this reason that it is essential that as parents we learn strategies that allow us to help our children develop a healthy and strong self-esteem . But how do we do it? Throughout the article we give you some keys.
What is self-esteem?
First of all, we need to understand, in broad strokes, what self-esteem is. We talk about all the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves, who we are and our capabilities.
If these types of thoughts focus mainly on positive aspects, understanding and accepting that we are not the best at everything and that this is fine, we may be talking about good self-esteem.
Low self-esteem in adolescence
But what happens when those thoughts and feelings are negative? That is when we are in the presence of low self-esteem.
In these cases, adolescents often have doubts about their abilities, and feel very bad (or insecure) about their bodies, how they behave, their interpersonal relationships, etc.
Although it is quite common for self-esteem to fluctuate throughout life, especially during adolescence, having good self-esteem during this stage is very important for the healthy development of our children .
And as parents there are some things we can do to foster good self-esteem in our children. How to accompany them?
1. Show affection
Although during the stage of adolescence our children may seem uncomfortable with our displays of affection, those that they used to enjoy a lot when they were children, it is important not to stop doing it (although we must adapt to what they need, also respecting their freedom and not being intrusive).
Thus, it is not enough to think that our children know that we love them; it is very important to demonstrate it with actions and above all, express it with words. Don’t assume your child knows this; tell it, express it.
2. Set clear limits
During adolescence, our children begin to test their limits and see how far they can go. That is why it is super important that as parents we establish clear limits and rules.
Adolescence is a time full of confusion, and establishing guidelines that are understandable will help them to know what their limits are , and they will not feel so disoriented in relation to what is expected of them.
3. Celebrate and reinforce their achievements
Take your time every day to point out something that your child has done very well, celebrate each achievement, no matter how small.
This will help you feel valued and capable of doing good and worthwhile things. But be careful not to make false compliments, you should not always look for a way to make everything look perfect.
For example, if your child plays a sport and they lost that day, don’t tell them it was a good game (if it wasn’t), but praise their ability to keep going and remind them that when we fail at something, that helps us. learning.
4. Ask for their opinion and value it
One of the high points of adolescence is feeling left out, and although this is almost never the case, your child perceives it that way.
It is not that you are doing something wrong or that you are a bad parent, it is just that sometimes we forget that our children are growing up and that they are no longer little children. Teenagers want to be treated like adults , that’s no secret to anyone.
And while we can’t always do that, because they aren’t ready yet (it depends on the moment), we can give in to small things, such as asking for their opinion on any matter and, most importantly, valuing what they tell us. It’s not just about listening.
5. Show consistency above all
One of the keys to parenting is consistency. We cannot require our children to have certain behaviors if we ourselves are not capable of doing them.
Always keep in mind that as parents, we are the main role models.
So, if I want my son to understand that, for example, not winning at something is not negative and that, on the contrary, it helps us learn, we cannot explode in anger if we lose, expecting our son to behave in the opposite way.
6. Encourage the positive
All human beings have different abilities, and our adolescent children are not exempt from this.
So, it is important that you learn to identify what your child’s talents or positive qualities (strengths) are and that you can focus on fostering them.
Support him in his interests, allow him to learn and develop skills. It is very important for them to feel the support of mom and dad.
7. Be in the important moments
On the other hand, do your best to be at their important moments, for example: at their matches, in presentations, plays, etc. They will value it and feel loved and accompanied.
8. Help him define his goals
Teenagers with clear goals are closer to knowing themselves, feeling valid fighting for their dreams and, ultimately, cultivating their self-esteem.
Therefore, help them with it; you can make a list together with their interests and goals in the short and long term, for example.
9. It encourages their self-knowledge
Self-knowledge is also key to cultivating good self-esteem; knowing oneself helps to identify what we like, what we need… We can accompany our children in this process, for example, encouraging them to try new things.
10. Encourage him to get out of his comfort zone
In line with the previous point, it is important that children have challenges, that they leave their comfort zone, that they take risks…
For this reason, you can opt for a weekend of family adventures, for example, or for as many other activities as you can think of .
11. Patience and love: key ingredients
Finally, if you want to foster a healthy self-esteem in your adolescent children, have a little patience and above all, a lot of love with them; remember that:
“Adolescence is the conjugation of childhood and adulthood.”
-Louise J. Kaplan-
And that this process can become very complicated. But with your help and support, it can be much more bearable for your children.
Photos | Portada (freepik)