How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager.

How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager.

Build self-esteem in your teenager: Have you ever tried convincing your teen to participate in a certain competition or events?

And they are like “No mom, I can’t do it I’m just going to lose and embarrass myself “Or have you ever seen your teenager hesitating too much to do the thing that they like??

There just thinking about it but they do not actually pursue it. If, you have experienced it with your teenager or any similar situation then it is an indication that you need to help them boost their self-esteem.

My Story

My Second son was riddled with this. He kept have a poor view of himself because of his perceived high expectations from his father.

This coupled with his brother’s sarcastic comments on his ability and outlook of life. Drove him to start having self esteem issues in his teen years.

But by gods grace he is in the path to recovery. More than my efforts I would complement it to my daughter’s innocent love and trust she had on her brother. He was her hero and would proudly tell everyone that there is nothing he could not do.

Just to satisfy her and live to her expectations my son started slowly opening and got to the way of recovery.

So, few of the techniques I have used and seen what my daughter unknowingly used are listed below…

So, keep reading… and I hope it if help to you.

Topics covered in this blog

  • Introduction
  • What is self esteem
  • Difference between self-esteem and self confidence
  • Importance and need to Build self-esteem in your teenager
  • 15 signs of self-esteem issues in your teenager
  • 15 Factors that contribute to low self esteem
  • 10 Effective Ways to Build self-esteem in your teenager
  • Conclusion


To build self-esteem in your teenager is a bit of a challenge for every parent, because teenager has so many doubts and questions in their minds.

They are going through so many changes that can affect the development of their self-esteem.

Their daily activities in home, schools and even with their friend can greatly affect it.

Lack of time is another reason why it is difficult to help them because they spend much time on school than at home.

To build self-esteem in your teenager, you need to understand what it is and the contributing factors. And why it is important to have great amount of self-esteem as a teen.

We have given a rounded view on this topic to help you in your journey.

What is Self-esteem

Self-esteem is an abstract concept that describes a person’s self-value and self-trust. Sometimes, Psychologists refer to it as self-worth, self-respect, self-trust and most commonly confidence.

In other words, it refers to how much someone values their self. It is a word that primarily describes how much a person trust and believes in his/her ability, appearance, belief, and decisions.

Difference between self-esteem and self confidence

I often find that people interchange or sometimes use the works self-esteem and self-confidence as if they are one and the same. I do not wish our readers to make the same mistake.

In Short, they are not one and the same and they have a huge difference between them.

If I must give a narration to make it simple …

I would say self-esteem is when a cat investigates a mirror and sees a lion.

While self-confidence is when a small puppy tries to bark at huge dog and believes that he can scare him away.

As per…

Self-esteem: Confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect. (In the above example the cat perceives his own ability or worth is that of a might lion.)

Self-confidence: A feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. (In the above example the puppy believes and make a judgement that he can scare away a huge dog by intimidating him)

Surely someone who has a healthy self-esteem it is also someone who has healthy self-confidence. But they are not one and the same. In some cases, they support each other.

Yes, there are times when they are not complimentary. Example you can have a singer who is very confident in their ability to sing in front of a huge audience.

But at the same time might have low self-esteem issues that they feel that they are not worthy off adoration that they receive. Or they are not as good enough as few other singers out there.

You can get more insights about self confidence and how to build self confidence from our article Self-confidence.

Importance and need to build self-esteem in your teenager

Many theorists believe that self-esteem has a great important role in person basic needs.

In fact, psychologist Abraham Maslow included self-esteem as one of the basic human motivation on his well-known “Maslow hierarchy of needs”

He explained that for a person to reach self-actualization he/she must have self-trust.

Lack of self-esteem in a teenager can cause a lot of bad effects from their social life up to their mental health. It can affect them in reaching their full potential as a person.

That is why as a parent, you need to help build self-esteem in your teenager.

To build self-esteem in your teenager is important because:

  • Self-esteem can help teens to be more confident about their self. It makes them to be whoever they want to be in front of other people.
  • Self-esteem will help them accomplish things. It can help them to do well in school or in their job. They are more open to trying new thing.
  • Self-esteem can help teen not to be anxious. Anxiety is often associated with overthinking and self-esteem can help to reduced it. The more self-esteem a person has the less likely they will overthink.
  • It can help teen to be recognized by their friends and on the community because it gives them the ability to express their opinion clearly.
  • It can make them effective to face challenges in life. Whenever they experienced failure, people with high self-esteem can get back up and resolve the problem. They also show signs of independence.
  • People with healthy self-esteem take care of themselves because they feel they are worthy of it. They also are more responsible because they are in no pressure to showoff to gain respect.
  • Good self esteem helps them set ideas and goals for themselves and strive to achieve it.
  • Low self-esteem people believe that they are not worthy of happiness and good things in life and tend to be less happy.
  • People with health self esteem feel more liked and accepted, they feel a sense of pride in what they do, and they also believe in their abilities.
  • Someone with a healthy self-esteem show positive behavior attributes such as helping others. Since they are less likely to feel intimidated or jealous of others.

Self-esteem is undeniably important for one’s development especially to your teenager development. So, I hope you are convinced now why it is not just important but also a need for you as parents to build self-esteem in your teenager.

15 signs of self-esteem issues in your teenager

We have outlined below the common issues one faces if they have low self-esteem. This will help you easily spot self esteem issues in your teenager if they have.

  1. More anxious, worried, angry, sad, or ashamed.
  2. Less happy and content.
  3. Less self-confident. Shy’s away from challenges.
  4. Negative self-talk. Talks of not being good enough.
  5. Has social issues, shy is from making new friends. Have trouble maintaining relationships.
  6. Shows poor performance in school activities.
  7. Can have body image issues.
  8. Constantly blames others for any mistakes and not own their mistakes.
  9. Talk of being unloved or uncared for.
  10. Is more prone to early sexual activities in a quest to feel loved.
  11. Can get entangled in substance abuse (drugs, alcohol etc.).
  12. More prone to peer pressures and being bullied.
  13. Lacks motivation to pursue or complete things. Lacks courage and is less risk averse.
  14. Involves in sad fishing to get more attention.
  15. Can engage in criminal or delinquent behavior,

15 Factors that contribute to low self esteem

Some of the common factors that can contribute to low self in your teenager.

We have listed this so that as parents when we are able to find out the contributing factors.

We will be better placed to come up with a strategy to build self-esteem in your teenager and help our teen overcome self-esteem issues.

  1. When the teen is too hard on themself.
  2. Teens own thinking or negative self-talk that they are not good enough.
  3. Have perfectionist tendency or grow up in a family that has high standers of perfection.
  4. Parents or care givers who are unsupportive or uninvolved.
  5. When parents who are rigid and bossy or authoritarian parenting style.
  6. Mental health issues like anxiety, mood swings, depression, body image issues etc.
  7. Toxic friends, Peer pressure, Social media pressures etc.
  8. Poor role models. (parents, teachers and other in primary touch with the teen)
  9. Stressful situations (death, separation, loss, break up etc)
  10. Teens exposed to any type of abuse, bullying, Social isolation, Domestic violence.
  11. School pressures such as academics, homework, extra curriculars, exams etc.
  12. Other physical health issues or challenges.
  13. When they have made bad choices in the past that aunts them.
  14. When they are placed in highly competitive environment that become too much to handle for your teen.
  15. Strong belief system or religious views. That makes them feel inadequate.

To know more about teen related challenges, you can browse through our exhaustive list of articles. Follow the link -> Parenting challenges faced while raising teenagers.

10 Effective Ways to build self-esteem in your teenager

Now that we know how important self-esteem in the development of your teen, let us try to know some effective ways that you can build self-esteem in your teenager.

1. Acknowledge their efforts and Appreciate them in any possible ways

Have you experienced exerting effort about something, and someone appreciated you? What have you felt? It feels warm right, it makes you proud and somehow it makes you trust yourself even more. It is the same thing with your teenager

Appreciation is very simple but effective. Even plants bloom if the owner appreciates it more and that’s the magic of appreciation.

So, take note to appreciate your teenager in every way possible. You can give them some compliments.

By appreciation you show that you are supporting them. Appreciate the efforts your teen had put in and not just the results.

Do this consistently whenever they deserve it. The same way the plant grows, the self-esteem of your teenager will surely bloom like the flower. And you will succeed to build self-esteem in your teenager.

Appreciation also helps in influencing positive mental wellbeing in your teen. To get more in-depth insights read our article mental well-being.

2. Communicate with them

Communication is essential in helping your teenager build their self-esteem. Because how are you going to help someone without reaching them? Its impossible right, so you must first reach your teenager to help them.

Communicate with them so that you will get to know if they need something. Communicating is proven to be effective to resolve any problems.

You can do this during meals or while you are watching television with them.

Ask them questions like, what can you tell about the movie? Was it good? And be sure to listen to them and respond when necessary.

The key is to make them realize that their opinion matters and it important.

Try to communicate with them positively. Converse in a natural way and do not ask so deep questions.

Communication is a good way to bond with your teenager. Our articles emotional bonding and get point across can give you further insights.

3. Give them task that they can do

Give them task that they can do inside or outside the house. You can ask them to cook a meal for the whole family or you can trust them to buy some groceries.

It will help them know their own ability. When you complement them, it acts as a positive reinforcement for them.

Giving teen’s simple responsibility can be a great way to help them. It helps to build self-esteem in your teenager because they will become aware that they can do something.

In the long run, they can use the things that they learn when they became adult.

So, you are not just helping them build self-esteem but also preparing them for the future.

Read our article Chores… Tis will help you in your quest to build your teens self-esteem.

4. Trust their ability

Who will trust your teenager if you do not trust them? This is the most important thing my daughter did to help my son. She blindly trusted him and considered him to be perfect and a hero.

As a parent we should be the first person to believe on them because we are the source of their strength.

If we show that we do not believe on their ability this will make their self-esteem even lower.

Stand by them. Help and guide them and motivate them to proceed.

Remind them that they can do it, and everything can be developed. If they keep trying the will get better.

Also read our article face challenges. To help your teen successful.

5. Convince them to join groups, activities, or clubs in school

Socialization is important to build self-esteem. Studies show that it has a significant importance in building the self-esteem of a person.

If your teenager shows that they lack self-esteem then, try convincing them to join in their school organizations or club.

This will greatly help them to socialize with others and in the long run can help them develop their socialization skills.

I know of my friend who had self-confidence issues in college, when she started helping me out in my campaign (to write scripts) and participated in essay writing competitions.

And she ended up eventually winning them. It did wonders to her self-confidence.

While you are motivating your teen to make new friends and have a healthy social life. Do educate them on how to choose friends and caution them about toxic friends.

You can know more about these topics from my article’s friends and toxic friends.

6. Give positive assurance

Be a positive influence in their life. Give them positive reassurance. Especially when they stumble and fall. Give them the needed courage to stand up and retry.

Do not be judgmental when they make mistakes. Instead use progressive mindset to move on and help them learn from the mistakes. This will slowly help build self-esteem in your teenager.

7. Highlight their uniqueness

Let your team know about their uniqueness. What you think is their uniqueness. Highlight to them and emphasise on it whenever possible.

This will help your team too slowly come out of negative self-talk and feeling of inadequacy when they compare themselves with others.

8. Get them to exercise and get good rest

Good exercise improves your teenager’s physical health. It will also help better blood circulation and more oxygen to the brain.

In the same way good rest helps your teenager feel less tired and have more energy to participate in activities.

It also helps them to think more clearly and not make wrong decisions due to tiredness.

9. Teach them to be assertive

Teach your teen to be assertive. Ask them to call out their needs, wants and desires.

Tell them to talk about their feelings their believes and their opinions transparently.

Encourage them to always have an open and direct communication. In a decent, respectable, and honest manner.

10. Help them to stop worrying and have fun

Ask them to chill out. Not worry too much about how things will turn out.

Stop being too much of a perfectionist or set unrealistic expectations for themselves that can overwhelm them, and it hinders the growth.

Encourage them to have fun time or do fun activities. Ask them to relax and have some fun and enjoy the teenage years.


There are many possible ways that you can do to help to build self-esteem in your teenager.

It prepares them to be more capable of handling difficult situations. The more self-esteem they have the more likely they can handle problems and challenges.

Help your teenager by doing simple things. You do not have to spend money nor hire someone.

Simple things like your words means a lot to build their self-esteem. So be sure that you put little efforts each day for your teenager.

Exercise patience and be consistent in your efforts. Acknowledge their pain and troubles.

Accept them with their faults and failures. Love them conditionally. Make them feel secure in your love.

And slowly yet steadily you will find your teen believing in their own self-worth and will soon be in the road to build a healthy self-esteem.

God Bless!!

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Let us know how you went about in building self-esteem in your teenager. Please leave your comments below…

Adult Children General Parenting Challenges Tweens & Teens