It’s tough to be a teenager. It is a time of enormous self-doubt: Why isn’t my hair right? Why did I wear this stupid outfit?
As a parent, you can’t do much about the realities of teenage life. But you can arm your teen with the self-esteem that will carry her through tough times. Here’s how:
- Call attention to the good things she does. Remind her that she’s a great writer, or that she is the neighborhood’s favorite baby-sitter. It’s important to be specific.
- Take her ideas and emotions seriously. Don’t dismiss her feelings by saying, “You shouldn’t feel that way.” She does feel that way.
- Use language that boosts her self-esteem. Say things like, “What a great idea!” Even if you disagree, you might say, “Well, it’s a creative solution, but not one that I think we’re going to be able to try.”
- Go to her events. Spending time on the sidelines is a great way to show your teen how important she is.
- Help your child set achievable goals. Then help her reach them.
- Show your teen how much you care for her. Tell her over and over that you love her and think she’s terrific.
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