Self-esteem is a crucial factor in the development of an adolescent, and is marked with many fluctuations throughout the period of adolescence. Self-esteem is highly impacted by a number of internal and external factors that interplay to form an adolescent’s confidence in his/her own worth or abilities. Positive self-esteem is most often associated with positive values and principles and the ability for better self-control and developing realistic attitudes.
Adolescence is a period which is marked by drastic physical and hormonal changes, which also impacts an adolescent’s self-esteem, in terms of, how they may view and feel about these changes. It is often seen that, teenagers tend to face intense pressures while going through the period of identity formation, and this can further impact their self-esteem. Several experiences that may lead to a low self-esteem include being frequently ignored, bullied, being judged as unattractive by friends, experiencing failures in sports or academics, being in a negative, disturbed or abusive environment, being criticized or ridiculed by authority figures, facing high expectations of performance, etc.
Adolescents with low self-esteem may find it hard to cope with pressures from school, peers and society. Parental support and right guidance by trained professionals is necessary to build a healthy self-esteem in adolescents that may be facing such concerns. Furthermore, parents can encourage their children to cultivate talents and interests, which can facilitate building a positive self-esteem.
Factors which can contribute to developing a positive self-esteem in adolescents include:
• Being spoken to respectfully
• Getting adequate attention and affection
• Achieving success in school sports or academics
• Being recognized and appreciated for one’s achievements
• Feeling connected and valued by family, peers and community
The above factors can significantly contribute to helping adolescents develop a positive self-esteem, which further lead the way to helping them develop into confident, well-adjusted adults.
“A strong positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life”—Dr. Joyce Brothers