The power of self-esteem cannot be underestimated. The way a person thinks and feels about him/herself directly impacts confidence, motivation, attitude, behavioral choices and emotional well-being.
When it comes to choices surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, an adolescent armed with healthy self-esteem is much more likely to be able to resist the negative influences and make good decisions. On the opposite side, youth with low self-esteem are at increased risk of knowingly making poor choices, simply to gain the approval of others.
Self-esteem begins to form early in life; established first through signals received from parents, then through interactions with peers, teachers, coaches and others. While parents have limited control over the outside interactions, they can control the way they parent, which can either build-up or tear-down the foundation of their child’s self-esteem.
Formula for Low Self-Esteem =
Formula for High Self-Esteem=
Parents who choose their words carefully, listen to and value their child’s opinion, are realistic but optimistic about life in general, show affection and appreciation for their child, give positive feedback, praise and encouragement, are respectful of and value themselves and others, foster independence and provide a safe and loving home environment for their child.
As for the outside interactions, share these tips with your child
Believe in yourself:
You can’t please them all, and you shouldn’t:
Be your own person:
Try, try again:
PARENTS: Adolescent experiences greatly impact self-esteem, even into adulthood. Therefore, the messages young people receive about themselves, starting with you, their parents, are critical for positive development and lifelong well-being. Every chance you get, remind your child, "You are loved, you are valued, you deserve to be treated well and you are worthy of every happiness."
Sources: Suite101: Building Self-Esteem in Teenagers. KidsHealth.org: Self-Esteem. wikiHow.com: How to Develop Self-esteem.
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CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 254-690-4455!
Focus on your character and celebrate your strengths. Expect to make mistakes, and consider them opportunities to do better next time. You are special, unique, loved and valued. Do not strive to be anyone but you. It is ok to say no, even if it goes against the crowd.
Optimism begins within.
Let go of any negativity (from yourself and others). Do not let another person define you.: Parents who expect perfection, constantly ridicule, harshly criticize, intentionally embarrass, tease or ignore their child.