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6 strategies to improve self-esteem in adolescence

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Adolescence is for many young people a complicated stage of life that comes hand in hand with an identity crisis. This type of crisis does not occur only at the intellectual level; It also has clear emotional implications, and that is why there are not a few who, once they have crossed the threshold of puberty, they feel dizzy at the task of discovering who they really are, accepting and love yourself.

In this article we will review the most useful self-esteem improvement strategies to help adolescents, based on key ideas used in psychotherapy.

  • Related article: "The 3 stages of adolescence"

Why is it important to help teens build good self-esteem?

Adolescence is a key life development stage in which the transition between childhood and adulthood occurs.. For this reason, the experiences lived during the years in which it passes have important implications in the configuration of the way in which young people learn to see themselves and to manage the emotions related to your identity.

Thus, the development of self-esteem during adolescence is a complex process, full of challenges in which minors must learn on the fly to to value oneself, to focus on one or the other referents and to use concepts through which to explore themselves and to translate into words what they are and are feel. It is not easy, because

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Since the beginning of puberty, their reference is no longer parents, but the rest of young people their age (and above all, those who are a little older than them), who are also often quite disoriented in this mission of self-discovery.

Therefore, the way adolescents value themselves is often very polarizing: sometimes they feel on top of the world, and in many other times, they feel vulnerable and focus their attention on what they believe to be their greatest shortcomings, which they try to hide. Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that at this stage of life the frequency with which many of the most common psychological disorders occur, such as depression or the TCAs.

It is common for adolescence to be emotionally turbulent, and in the most severe cases, young people adopt the belief that "they are good for nothing." In fact, it has been seen that in the age group between 12 and 18 years, cases of suicidal ideation skyrocket rapidly in relation to minors under 12 years of age.

The good news is that, on the one hand, being a teenager does not have to imply having emotional and self-esteem problems, and that On the other hand, even in minors who suffer from these psychological alterations, it is possible to offer effective help both from psychotherapy and from family.

Low self-esteem in adolescence
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Useful strategies to boost a teenager's self-esteem

Faced with self-esteem problems, the best option is always to go to psychotherapy to explore the specific case and have a tailored psychological intervention program, regardless of the age of the person. However, in milder cases, another option is to apply some guidelines and strategies that are often useful to promote habits from which it is easier to raise self-esteem. Here you will find a summary of the most effective in the case of adolescents.

1. Do not compare him with other young people his age

If you have noticed that he has self-esteem problems, it is most likely that he is already comparing himself to them constantly, and also, that he does it through very rigid criteria about what is "success" and "failure”. What it is about is precisely to broaden your palette of values ​​and concepts of what is valuable and speaks well of yourself, and you probably will not find this in your group friends or classmates, a relatively small social context in which there will surely not be a great variety of activities or opinions, tastes and points of view view.

The ideal is not to encourage people to compare themselves with others, but rather that in any case have sources of inspiration in relevant figures in which there is a part of their interests. For example, if you have a teenage daughter who feels bad because she thinks she is "weird" because she likes sports, show her the example of other great athletes, even if they are not her age.

  • Related article: "How to get rid of the negative labels that others put us"

2. Help him find his hobbies

As an adult, you are much more likely to have access to information or references that are far from your adolescent's life. Discover activities that he may like, offer to teach him a hobby.

  • You may be interested in: "23 hobbies to do at home and have fun"

3. Do not encourage him to frown upon activities that are "weird"

If you teach him to laugh at someone who is different, that will also work against him, because he will become obsessed with the idea of ​​totally fitting into the groups to which he wants to belong and repressing any aspects of himself that may be discordant.

  • Related article: "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): principles and characteristics"

4. Help him make new friends

Put him in contact with the children of the neighbors, with distant cousins, with young people who attend an after-school activity that he may like, etc. The more likely you are to create friendships, greater ability to let go of toxic relationships that make you feel bad about your own way of being; It will be easier for you to feel appreciated and accepted by a group of young people your age, which is very important in adolescence.

  • You may be interested in: "The 6 main types of toxic relationships"

5. Offer your help, but without questioning

If your way of reacting to suspicions that he has self-esteem issues is to fire a burst of questions about what he has done during the day and how he feels, he will surely come to the defensive. It is better to honestly express that we are concerned about him or her, and say that we would like to be able to help.

  • Related article: "How to give emotional support, in 6 steps"

6. Value their achievements

If you put less or more emphasis on what he does wrong than what he does right, you will be making it difficult for him to develop good self-esteem. Let them know that you recognize their accomplishments as such and appreciate their worth., and tell others about them. In this way, your social environment will give you reasons to know how to value yourself and incentives to continue progressing in what you do well and that motivates you.

Looking for child and adolescent psychotherapy services?

If you are interested in having professional psychological support for your son or daughter through child and adolescent psychotherapy, get in touch with us.

On Advance Psychologists We have been treating patients for more than 20 years, and we work helping people of all ages, both intervening in cases of psychopathologies as with problems such as poor relationship management, learning and / or time management problems, or inadequate modulation of relationships. emotions. We also offer services in speech therapy, coaching, neuropsychology and psychiatry.

You can find us in our psychology department located in the Goya neighborhood of Madrid, and we also offer the online modality through video calls.

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