How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

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Parent Peer Supporter

How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

Self worth - is the feeling that you have good qualities and have achieved good things. (Collins English Dictionary)

 

Self worth is something that needs to come from within, but how can we help our teens cultivate a healthy sense of their own value? 

 

For those teens who are in self destruct mode, how do we help them with self forgiveness which can allow them to feel worthy of valuing themselves?

 

We’d love to hear how parents have managed self esteem issues with your teens and what has worked for your teen. 

 

Thank you to @sunflowermom for asking the question! 

 

 

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Prolific scribe

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

Hi @taokat, hope you and your girl are well Smiley Happy

 

I'm a great believer in modelling good behaviour. That's hard. But I try.

 

For self-worth, I try to be honest about my achievements. It's a fine line though, because boasting about stuff is not on. I'm not sure if it works, because sometimes the kids suggest they feel they need to compete. I try hard to be honest about their achievements too (I think they will see through a fake congratulations). I like to celebrate victories, even small ones. And I try to use positive language.

 

These days there is a lot of negative language around us. It's impossible to avoid. I try to balance it. I'm sure I don't get it right all the time, but I keep trying.

 

Has it worked? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not.

Cheers

Contributor

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

I am not sure how to help my daughter have self worth.  I agree with @Schooner about trying to model the good behavior and not talking down about myself,  but its hard especially when as a parent I am not felling my best.

Also I agree the compliments to our kids must be genuine- they can spot a "fake one" or one that's not really earned.  These days I give the I love you and I am here for you no matter what, always.

Community Manager

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

This is a really hard one @sunflowermom @taokat @Schooner and an area I'm really interested in. From what I've looked into the research suggests that modelling a healthy relationship with ourselves (self-love, self-compassion, self-worth, self-acceptance) is one of the most powerful ways to encourage a healthy sense of self-worth in our children. This can be a struggle for many of us though, because its so much easier to shower others with love, compassion, worth and acceptance, and as parents people tend to put themselves at the bottom of the priority list!

 

I also think teaching people about failure and how you can't actually reach success without it is really important - so emphasising the journey to reach a goal is paved with setbacks, mistakes and "failures" but this how we learn - What's that quote, fall down seven times, get up eight?

 

The next thing that we're battling against I guess is our culture and media that keep telling us all we're not good enough (mostly to try and sell us some quick fix solution). Unfortunately I'm not sure how we solve this one yet, maybe its having the awareness of that what's happening and then developing our self-worth so we don't get stuck in that trap of feeling "i'm not good enough".

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

Thank you so much for your contributions @Schooner@sunflowermom and @Erin-RO

 

Modelling a healthy relationship with ourselves sounds like the most positive way to encourage our teens to do the same, which does follow the general parenting ideal that kids will do as we do doesn’t it? 

 

I think the point you’ve raised @Erin-RO about teaching our kids that success isn’t gained without setbacks, mistakes and ‘failures’ is a really important one too. Social media does make this difficult I’ve found because people tend to glamourise their lives to the world which sends out unrealistic messages of ‘the perfect life’ without these hardships. 

 

I praise or thank my daughter when it’s due, even for little things, to hopefully get her to see more positive than negative in her. A simple ‘good job hunny’ or ‘thank you for...’ is all I say as my daughter’s see’s through exaggerated or ‘unworthy’ praise too. 

 

I can’t say if it’s working or not either @Schooner because my daughter’s so unhappy, but 

I do think about how she would be if she didn’t have those moments that make her eyes flicker bright and a half smile appear for a second. So I do believe it helps Smiley Happy

 

 

 

Prolific scribe

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

I'll throw another comment in regarding resilience. I keep trying to tell my kids life is about compromise...we should not expect perfection. That's hard, because we are bombarded with images of perfection. There seems to be little tolerance these days for quirky or eccentric people. Every choice we make comes with a cost: take that job, get more money, but less family time, etc. Hardly anything comes without some string attached.

 

I also hate those images that suggest we deserve great things/the best. Where in the universe does it say "You deserve the latest Lexus/BMW/whatever"?! Even relationships are placed on that level, with those empowerment books telling us "You deserve a partner that will always....". Yes, we should put minimum standards on relationships, but we should not expect perfection, and need to remember they are a two way contract. No one automatically deserves something out of them. A little give and take goes a long way.

 

Anyway, enough ranting

Enjoy your Friday, I'm watching a movie with my son Smiley Happy

Cheers

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

I agree with you completely around this notion of perfection @Schooner and expecting it from ourselves and others. It’s unrealistic as even the closest of relationships require work and compromise. 

 

And not everyone can aquire the type of job that can afford ‘the best’ of everything, which can send a negative message of one’s worth. But where would the world be without people doing the lower paid jobs? 

 

We are ALL needed in this world for the diversity of what we have to offer, and if we can somehow get our teens to believe that, inclusive of themselves, I’d be stoked!

Casual scribe

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

My 17 year old has always struggled in school and I believe this is the main reason he has low self-esteem. He's never been social either and that has always been a big concern. Whenever I do praise him he acts like I'm odd or wrong for doing that. Anyone else have that type of reaction?
Prolific scribe

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

Hi @ConcernedMomof1, yeah, I get the same reaction from one of my kids; like I've just told a straight-out lie instead of recognising something good. I think too that it is a self-esteem thing, they can't believe I honestly think they've done something well. Not sure how to fix it, I just keep on trying. Smiley Happy

Community Manager

Re: How can we help our teens realise their own self worth?

Hi again @ConcernedMomof1 , I can hear how worried you are about your 17yo - it does sound like his response to praise is a really common one though ... as @Schooner has said. 

We have some ideas over here about self-confidence and communication  might be helpful!  let us know Smiley Happy

 

Does you son do any hobbies out side of school - sports or anything? If he struggles with school, it might be a positive for his self-esteem if he can start building skills elsewhere?