6 strategies to improve self-esteem in adolescence

Adolescence is for many young people a complicated stage in life accompanied by an identity crisis. This type of crisis does not only occur at the intellectual level; it also has obvious emotional implications, which is why many people, once the threshold of puberty have passed, feel dizzy at the idea of ​​discovering who they really are, of accepting and loving themselves.

In this article we will review the most useful self-esteem strategies to help teens, based on key ideas used in psychotherapy.

    Why is it important to help teens build good self-esteem?

    Adolescence is a key stage in life development during which the transition from childhood to adulthood occurs.. Thus, the experiences of the past years have important implications in shaping the way in which young people learn to see themselves and to deal with the emotions associated with their identity.

    Thus, the development of self-esteem in adolescence is a complex process, full of challenges in which children must learn on the go to value themselves, to focus on certain references or others and to use concepts. through which to explore and put into words what they are and feel. It is not easy, because from the onset of puberty, their reference is no longer fathers and mothers, but other young people of their age (and especially those who are a little older than them), who are also often quite confused in this mission of self-discovery.

    This is why the way teens value themselves is often very polarizing: sometimes they feel on top of the world, and on many other occasions they feel vulnerable and focus their attention on those they believe to be their elders. , flaws, which they try to hide. . With that in mind, it’s no surprise that at this point in life the frequency with which many of the more common psychological disorders occur, such as depression or ADD, is skyrocketing.

    It is common for adolescence to be emotionally convulsive, and in the most serious cases, young people adopt the belief that “they are useless”. Indeed, it has been found that in the age group of 12 to 18 years, cases of suicidal ideation skyrocket in children under 12 years old.

    The good news is that, on the one hand, being a teenager doesn’t have to involve having emotional and self-esteem issues, and on the other hand, even in children who suffer from these psychological disorders, it is possible. to offer effective help from both. psychotherapy and family.

      Helpful Strategies To Increase A Teen’s Self-Esteem

      When faced with self-esteem issues, the best option is to always go to psychotherapy to explore the specific case and have a tailor-made psychological intervention program, regardless of the person’s age. However, when faced with milder cases, another option is to apply certain often useful guidelines and strategies to strengthen habits from which it is easier to increase self-esteem. Here is a summary of the most effective for adolescents.

      1. Don’t compare yourself to other kids your age

      If you’ve noticed that you have self-esteem issues, chances are you are already comparing yourself to them constantly, and also being successful. very rigid criteria on what is “success” and failure”. It is precisely a question of broadening one’s palette of values ​​and concepts of what is of value and speaks for itself, and you will probably not find that in the group of friends or classmates, a relatively small context where there will surely not be a wide variety of activities or opinions, tastes and points of view.

      The ideal is not to encourage him to compare himself to others, but that in any case he has sources of inspiration in relevant figures where there is a part of his interests. For example, if you have a teenage daughter who feels bad because she thinks she’s ‘weird’ when she enjoys sports, show her the example of other great athletes, even if they don’t. not his age.

        2. Help him find his hobbies

        As an adult, you are much more likely to have access to information or references that are far from your teenager’s life. Find out about activities she might like, volunteer to teach her a hobby.

          3. Don’t be discouraged by looking at those activities which are “rare”.

          If you learn to laugh at the difference, it will backfire on you toobecause he will be obsessed with the idea of ​​integrating himself fully into the groups to which he wishes to belong and of repressing any aspect of himself that may prove to be discordant.

            4. Help him make new friends

            Get in touch with neighbors’ children, with distant cousins, with young people who attend an extracurricular activity that they like, etc. The more chances you have to make friends, more capacity will have to be released from toxic relationships that make him feel bad about his own way of being; you will find it easier to feel like a person appreciated and accepted by a group of young people of your age, which is very important in adolescence.

              5. Offer your help, but without questioning

              If your way of reacting to suspicions that you have self-esteem issues is to ask a series of questions about what you’ve been up to during the day and how you feel, you will surely be on the defensive. It is best to honestly express that we are concerned about him and tell him that we wish we could help him..

                6. Promote your achievements

                If you put as much or more emphasis on what you do wrong than what you do right, it will be difficult for you to develop good self-esteem. Let him know that you recognize his accomplishments as such and that you appreciate their value, and tell others about it. Thus, your social environment will give you reasons to know how to value yourself and incentives to continue to progress in what is good for you and what motivates you.

                Are you looking for psychotherapy services for children and adolescents?

                If you are interested in having professional psychological support for your son or daughter through child and adolescent psychotherapy, please contact us.

                A Advanced psychologists we have been caring for patients for more than 20 years, and we work with people of all ages, both by intervening in cases of psychopathology as in the face of problems such as poor relationship management, learning problems and / or time management, or modulation. inappropriate emotions. We also offer speech therapy, coaching, neuropsychology and psychiatry services.

                You can find us in our psychology located in the Goya district of Madrid, and we also offer an online mode via video call.

                Bibliographical references

                • Bataille, J. (1978). Relationship between self-esteem and depression. Psychological reports.
                • Calvo, S., San Fabián, J. (2018) Social networks and emotional socialization of young people: educational needs in compulsory secondary education. Ibero-American Journal on Quality, Effectiveness and Change in Education, Volume, 16 (2): p. 5-20.
                • Jordan, CH; Spencer, SJ; Zanna, MP; Hoshino-Browne, E .; Correll, J. (2003). High, confident and defensive self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85 (5): p. 969 – 978.
                • Pallarés, M. (2014) Media: leisure space or agents of socialization in adolescence? Social pedagogy. Interuniversity review, volume (23), p. 231-252.
                • Vilaplana-Pérez, A., Pérez-Vigil, A., Sidorchuk, A., Brander, G., Isomura, K., Hesselmark, E .; Kuja-Halkola, R .; Larsson, H .; Mataix-Cols, D .; Fernández de la Cruz, L. (2020). Much More Than Shyness: The Impact of Social Anxiety Disorder on Lifelong Academic Performance. Psychological medicine. Cambridge University Press.
                • Voss, C .; Ollmann, TM; Miché, M. et al. (2019). Prevalence, onset and course of suicidal behavior in adolescents and young adults in Germany. JAMA Netw Open, 2 (10): e1914386.

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