How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager

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 event?

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 tqhey like??

They are just thinking about it but they do not actually pursue it. If, you have experienced any similar situation with your teenager 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 having 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 on the path to recovery. More than my efforts, I would give credit to the innocent love and trust my daughter had on her brother. He was her hero and she would proudly tell everyone that there is nothing he could not do.

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

 How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager

So, a few of the techniques I have used and a few I have seen my daughter using (unknowingly) are listed below…

So, keep reading… I hope it is of 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


Building self-esteem in your teenager is a little challenging for every parent, because a teenager has so many doubts and questions in their mind.

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

Their daily activities at home, school and even with their friends can greatly affect it.

Lack of time is another reason why it is difficult to help them because they spend a lot more time in 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 a great amount of self-esteem as a teen.

We have given a wholesome 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 trusts 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 the two words.

I would like to 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 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 of adoration that they receive. Or they are not as good as few other singers out there.

You can get more insights about self confidence and how to build self confidence from our article How to develop self-confidence in your teenager

Importance and need to build self-esteem in your teenager

Many theorists believe that self-esteem plays a great role in a person’s life. You could say it’s a basic need.

Pychologist Abraham Maslow included self-esteem as one of the basic human motivations on his well-known “Maslow’s 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 have a lot of negative effects on their social life leading to mental health issues. It can hinder their journey towards reaching their full potential as a person.

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

The need to build self-esteem in your teenager is important because:

  • Self-esteem can help teens to be more confident about their self. It lets them be whoever they want to be in front of other people.
  • Self-esteem will help them accomplish things. It can help them do well in school or in their job. They will be more open to trying new things.
  • Self-esteem can help teens not to be anxious. Anxiety is often associated with overthinking and self-esteem can help reduce it. The more self-esteem a person has they are less likely to overthink.
  • It can help teens to be recognized by their friends and in the community because it gives them the ability to express their opinions clearly.
  • It equips them to face challenges in life. Whenever they experience failure, people with high self-esteem can bounce 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 or be someone they are not, to gain respect.
  • Good self esteem helps them set benchmarks and goals for themselves and motivates them to strive to achieve it.
  • People with low self esteem believe that they are not worthy of happiness and good things in life and tend to be less happy.
  • People with healthy 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 will exhibit 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 your teenager’s development. I hope you are convinced as to why it is not just important but also a need for you as parents to build self-esteem in your teenager.

How-To help 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 spot self esteem issues in your teenager result, if they have any.

  1. Very anxious, worried, angry, sad, or ashamed.
  2. Less happy and content.
  3. Less self-confident. Shys away from challenges.
  4. Negative self-talk. Talks of not being good enough.
  5. Has social issues, shy to make new friends. Has trouble maintaining relationships.
  6. Shows poor performance in school activities.
  7. Can have body image issues.
  8. Constantly blames others for any mistakes and does not acknowledge their own mistakes as a defence mechanism.
  9. Talks 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 taking.
  14. Involves in sad fishing to get more attention.
  15. Can engage in criminal or delinquent behavior,
How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager

15 Factors that contribute to low self esteem

Here are 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 our teenager and help our teen overcome self-esteem issues.

Factors are…

  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 standards of perfection.
  4. Parents or care givers who are unsupportive or uninvolved.
  5. Has parents who are rigid and bossy or have an 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 others 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 and that taunts them.
  14. When they are placed in highly competitive environments that it becomes 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 you know the importance of self-esteem in the development of your teen, let us look at some effective ways that will help you build self-esteem in your teenager.

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

Have you experienced exerting effort for something, and someone appreciated you? How did it feel? It felt 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, remember to appreciate your teenager in every way possible. You can give them some compliments.

By appreciating then, 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 help them bloom like the flower. And you will succeed in building 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 How to influence your teenager’s 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 out them? Its impossible right, so you must first reach out to 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 problem.

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

Ask them questions like, what they 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 is important.

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

Communication is a good way to bond with your teenager. Our articles How-To Easily build Emotional Connection with your Teenager and How to Get your Point Across to Your Teenager can give you further insights.

3. Give them tasks that they can do

Give them tasks 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 teens simple responsibilities 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 All You Need to know about Chores for Your Teenager This will help you in your quest to build your teen’s 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 in them because, we are the source of their strength.

If we show that we do not believe on their ability this will pull down 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 they will get better.

Also read our article How to Prepare your Teenager Face Challenges in Life. 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 any of their school organizations or club.

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

I know of a 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, she ended up 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 articles How-to help your teen to choose right friends and How-To get rid of your teens Toxic Friendship.

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 their mistakes. This will slowly help build self-esteem in your teenager.

7. Highlight their uniqueness

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

This will help your teen slowly come out of negative self-talk and feelings 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 provide 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 beliefs 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.

Teach them to stop being too much of a perfectionist or setting unrealistic expectations for themselves that can overwhelm them and hinder their growth.

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

Video Time : Expert opinion how to raise a self confidence


There are many possible things 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 to put a little effort 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 unconditionally. 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 on the road to build a healthy self-esteem.

God Bless!!

If this article has been of help to you. Do share it with friends and loved ones.

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

Thabitha David

Thabitha David

Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend. She is a MBA Graduate specialized in Human Resources. She is a very proud mother of 3 Kids. (2 Teens & 1 Tween). She is a keen Observer of Life and is a blogger. She writes these articles based on her experience (Success and Failures). She does this with hope to help and ease the pain of at-least one parent as they face the challenges of parenting. Read more from the About Us Page

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1 Response

  1. November 2, 2020

    […] Self-esteem and responsibility go hand in hand. You will have to focus on building the self-esteem of your kid if you find it lacking, I will not go deeper into this topic. You can get more insights from the article How-To help build self-esteem in your teenager […]

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