Self-esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness. Self-esteem is the one important factor required by anybody to succeed in life. It is said that if an individual build their self-esteem at their adolescent period it lasts all through their life.
Self-esteem is all about how much people value them, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. It is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. A person who has high self-esteem will friends easily, is more in control of his or her behaviour, and will enjoy life more.
Body image is how someone feels about his or her own physical appearance. Body image can be closely linked to self-esteem, that’s because as kids develop into teens, they care more about how others see them.
Adolescence is one period in which boys and girls face many problems and issues. It is necessary that adolescent self-esteem is at the top to face the problems faced with an adolescent period. Many teenagers will have low self-esteem and it is imperative to know major reasons for low self-esteem and find out ways and means to combat the low self-esteem. It is highly advisable to make dedicated efforts to bring up self-esteem.
There are many causes for the lack of positive self-esteem. Let us review some of them.
Hereditary is the main factor for low self-esteem. If the parents are introverts and they never mingle with people for fear of their inability, the chances that children have low esteem is more.
The living conditions
The surrounding in which you live also affects the lack of self-esteem. If the child is brought up in a poor environment without giving proper attention to make him excel in his fields or deprived of doing good activities, low self-esteem at the adolescent stage is possible.
Lack of proper education
Lack of proper education is another factor affecting self-esteem. Uneducated children will develop a lack of self-esteem as they will face problems in interacting with the educated of their age.
Adolescence is a period when major physical changes occur in boys and girls. The gender hormones start functioning in full swing during this period. Many children face problems during this change unable to cope with the changes occurring in their body and behaviour.
During the adolescent stage of a child, society put many restrictions on their behaviours and attitudes. Girls will be automatically tempted to move away from the boys and boys are restricted to mingle with girls during the period. This makes them feel that there are some things to be afraid of. This will automatically make them fear natural interaction.
Fear about future
During the late periods of adolescence, the children will seriously think about their future and in many cases, they will get depressed about their future. Unemployment, dating problems, insecurity, lack of financial backgrounds and many such factors make adolescents afraid of facing the world.
Diseases and other physical ailments
These children will be thinking that they are debris in the world. These thinking processes make them keep away from others and they can become agitated.
There are many such reasons for the low self-esteem of adolescents. If proper care is not given, low self-esteem gradually will lead to many physical and mental ailments. It is important to bring up adolescents with high self-esteem.
Some of the influencing factors in Adolescents self-esteem:
Some teens struggle with their self-esteem when they begin puberty because the body goes through many changes. These changes, when combined with natural desires may compare themselves with other people around them or actors and celebs they see on T.V, in movies, or in magazines.
Each individual is different from the other, and so are their changes. Some adolescents start developing early, others are late bloomers and some get a temporary layer of fat to prepare for a growth spurt, others fill out permanently, and others feel like they stay skinny no matter how much they eat. This all depends on the genes of our bodies.
The changes that come with puberty can affect how both boys and girls feel about themselves. Some girls may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about their maturing bodies, others may wish they were developing faster. Girls may feel pressure to be thin but guys may feel like they don’t look big or muscular enough.
Adolescence is a stage in which teenagers experience and goes through various challenges and difficulties. To cope with such challenges they tend to rely on materialistic and worldly pleasure. In this, self-esteem may get affected by many other factors like media image of skinny girls and bulked up guys can affect a teenager’s body image too. During this period they normally tend to develop likes and dislikes on celebrities, etc and try to follow them in their interests and lifestyle. Many times when the teenager is not able to achieve his or her expectations, they develop a conflicting and unresolved issue within themselves, which may create troubles in their self-esteem.
Family life can sometimes influence self-esteem. Some parents spend more time criticizing their kids and the way they look than praising them, which can reduce kids’ ability to develop a good self-esteem.
Teenagers also may experience negative comments and hurtful teasing about the way they look at classmates and peers. Sometimes racial and ethnic prejudice is the source of such comments. Although most of the times these are ignored, sometimes they may affect someone’s body image and self-esteem.
Signs of low self-esteem
A youngster with poor self-esteem is more prone to have negative beliefs about their own worth and value. The following are some general symptoms that your kid has poor self-esteem:
- Ignoring new experiences and squandering possibilities
- Blaming others for their own errors
- Feeling unloved and unwelcome
- Being unable to cope with typical levels of annoyance
- Fear of failure or shame
- Difficulties establishing friends
- Negative self-talk and comparisons to others
- Low drive and interest
- Make it difficult to accept praise and exhibit conflicting sensations of tension or worry.
Improving and Building the Self-esteem in Adolescence
The teenage years can be turbulent ones, full of self-doubt and angst at the outside world. It’s normal for things not always to be rosy, but teens can help themselves by putting a little effort into building their self-confidence. Acting self-confident is the first step to feeling self-confident.
People like friendly people – it’s that simple. Plus, even a forced smile will lighten up a teen’s own bad mood.
Standing tall not only helps improves how a teenager looks but it helps a teen feel more secure and puts less stress on the back and shoulders.
Making eye contact
Sometimes a teenager feels painfully shy, but their look says “Back off!” Meeting another person’s gaze — whether it’s a cute guy or an interviewer – lets them know a teen is approachable and confident.
Teens have to be willing to put themselves out there – whether in front of the class or at a party. It will get a little easier each time until the teen starts wondering why being in public was ever a big deal.
Going easy on themselves
Nobody’s perfect, but when teenagers obsess about what’s “wrong” with themselves, they don’t give anyone else a chance to notice all the things that are great. Teens need to remember that almost everyone feels insecure at some point (though not everyone lets on). Self-confidence comes from being able to put a brake on that nay-saying voice and moving on.
Doing what they love
Parents and teens do not always agree on what the priorities should be. But as long as what a teen is doing is not dangerous, a parent should find ways to support what a teen feels passionate about… or at least to get out of the way and let the teen explore. What better boost to self-esteem than being able to do something one cares about well?
Preparing for things
Procrastination is a teen’s favourite friend. But life is stressful enough without teens tripping themselves up. It’s hard to feel self-confident when things feel out of control. When teens give themselves enough time to prepare for that big date, study for that test, write that paper, etc., they find that things tend to go much better and more simply. Time management can help.
Being able to walk away-(I)
Sometimes teens that lack self-esteem or have low self-confidence is willing to put themselves in situations that they know are not good, just to gain another person’s approval. Teenagers need to learn to stop and trust their cautious side. Teens need to know they can always try things like sex and drinking water when it’s more appropriate, but if they do something they regret, it can’t be done.
Being able to walk away-(II)
Some people only give someone the time of day if that person is doing something for them. No teen should be willing to be a doormat. Sure, it might lose them some friends, but those “friends” are not worth the trouble.