How I See My Worth When Others See My Flaws
Self-esteem determines how much someone likes themselves, and if they feel they have value or a sense of self-worth. Teens with high self-esteem feel accepted, have a sense of pride, and believe in themselves. Teens with low self-esteem feel bad about themselves and think they are not good enough.
Self-esteem is especially important in teens, especially when social media and increases in cyber-bullying teach them they must look, act, or think a certain way. Social media culture results in teens with increased anxiety and feelings of perfectionism. It is important to understand that self-esteem differs for males and females.
Social media floods girls with images of the perfect body and body shames girls who do not fit that image. Girls grow up thinking beauty is essential to their being a success. The image of perfection is even harder if you are a girl in the Black or Brown communities. The sexualization of society puts even more pressure on teen girls and their sense of belonging. It is crucial to teach girls to love themselves; important ways include creating an attitude of gratitude, practicing self-affirmation, and encouraging them to be creative and volunteer.
HOW IS SELF-ESTEEM UNIQUE IN MALES?
Boys are flooded with pressures to their self-esteem regarding having an athletic physique and being strong, independent, and intelligent. They always compare themselves to each other. Boys display low self-esteem differently than girls. Typical signs for males include bragging, aggression, arrogance, and egotism.
HOW CAN I BUILD MY SELF-ESTEEM?
Many ways exist for teens to have a more positive view of themselves. They should focus on being active, treating themselves with kindness and acceptance, avoid comparing themselves to others, capitalizing on talents and interest, and helping others. Examples of how teens can build their own self-esteem include:
Setting goals and working to achieve them
Surrounding yourself with people who treat you well
Accepting that no one is perfect and asking for help when needed
Focusing on things they do well and saying positive things to themselves
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM?
Parents can help teens develop self-esteem by accepting failure, creating affirmations, having them reflect on character strengths and what is important to them, teaching self-advocacy, and creating Action Plans to combat low self-esteem experiences.
To boost your daughter’s self-esteem:
Model body acceptance
Make her media literate
Build her independence
Let her develop her own style
Raise her to not be a “pleaser”
Get her involved in team sports
Choose your magazines carefully
Teach her the female perspective
Praise her for actions, not appearance
Praise her efforts, not her performance
Support women, do not tear them down
Make sure she knows she is always loved
Dads: Don’t treat your daughters as weak
To boost your son’s self-esteem:
Spend valuable time with him
Compliment him when he does things correctly, big, or small
Encourage and allow him to develop new skills, and play up his strengths
Use healthy language when talking to him, words that ask opinions and validate feelings
Break the cycle of “I must be the best” – encourage friendships and activities with girls; teach empathy and expect him show it; and disallow him to demean others
Break the cycle of perceived weakness – allow him to show emotion and talk about his feelings, and model these behaviors
Break the cycle of competition – teach him to be different, not better; make him media literate; and show him he can have non-athletic and non-stereotypical male roles
More About the Author, Kathleen M. Dormody: Kathleen is a copywriter and content creator with a background in education and a passion for doing advocacy work who enjoys volunteering. I am an intuitive, proactive, detail-oriented, well-organized, highly efficient, and creative thinker with excellent technical and presentation skills who can manage multiple projects and priorities. I write in a variety of styles and for a variety of audiences, and am excellent with building client relationships.
I am passionate about women and children, especially when it comes to empowering them to stand up for their rights, especially in regards to the issues of bullying, sexual and domestic violence, and embracing others’ differences and accepting them for who they are. My passions are fueled by my personal experiences and through the lives of people I have known.
My belief in lifelong learning and personal development continue to enhance my relationships and capabilities. Integrity is an essential core value I hold with high esteem.
I can enhance your organization or company mission, bringing its vision to life, and would love to discuss how I can serve your project initiative. Email Kathleen.
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