Part of your job description as parents is to build your teen’s self-esteem.

“You always point out the bad things, you never tell me what I am doing well at!” Have you heard your teen say something like this once too often?

It’s dumfounding isn’t it? After all, you are your teen’s greatest fan! No one cheers louder or with more enthusiasm than you do!  You are always there to build your teen’s self-esteem.

So, why is that that when you do point out a concern, or make an innocuous comment, your teen perceives what you have said so negatively?

build your teen's self-esteemTeens you see are by nature egocentric. Their egos are fragile and your opinion of them matters more than you may realize. 

Of course there are times when you need to highlight a concern or raise an issue.After all, that is part of your job description as a parent.  

So, what can you do to ensure that your teens know how wonderful you think they are and how proud of them you are?

Here are some suggestions to help you build your teen’s self-esteem:

  • Build Your Teen’s Self-Esteem With Flattery:

Flattery will get you everywhere!  Keep the compliments coming even if your teen reacts by telling you, you are supposed to compliment them because they are your child. As long as compliments are delivered in a genuine manner; they are never worth passing up.

  • Build Your Teen’s Self-Esteem by Accentuating the Positive.

Never miss up an opportunity to applaud a job well done, even if the job is something you expect from them.

This can’t be said enough: What you say matters more than you may realize. Even if they do not acknowledge this out loud, they care about what you think of them.

  • Build Your Teen’s Self-Esteem by Acknowledging Your Achievements.

When you toot your own horn about a job well done, you model confidence and self-esteem.  

Don’t be shy about complimenting your partner in front of your teen.

build your teen's self-esteemYou demonstrate to your teen how good complimenting others can make you feel.

So the next time your teen takes the garbage out without you asking or brings home an A, acknowledge him for it, even if it is what you expect.

You will find that a little positive reinforcement can go a long way to build your teen’s self-esteem!


Dr. Jennifer Powell-LunderDr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder is a clinical psychologist specializing in work with children, tweens, teens, young adults, and their parents. 

She is the co-author of Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual and www.talkingteenage.com. She is a columnist and contributor on field related issues.

Jennifer is regularly called upon by both national and international media outlets for consultation. Through her experience she has listened and learned from the tween and teens in her life.

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