It is hard being a teenager.

Teens have a lot to worry about. Teens experience pressure to:

  • Do well in school
  • Follow rules
  • Please friends
  • Manage teachers’ personalities
  • Perform well in extracurricular activities

Every day your teen tries really hard to be the best child, student, friend, team player, sibling, and friend. And can we just talk about her schedule? They have something to do every single night. After being in school for 8 hours, practice for 2, a game for 4, there is barely any time for homework, studying, and down time. Yet your teen seems to figure it out. She has found a way to do it all.

But she is feeling pressure, stress, and anxiety.

Teens experience the exact same emotions you do. When things get hard at work, you have a lot to do, your to-do list is cray-cray, and when you get home it feels like you have to start work again, you feel very anxious and stressed. This is how your teen feels, and this is affecting her self-esteem.

Teens face a lot of external pressure.

Her crazy busy life along with the pressure to look and act a certain way and please peers and friends at school can really affect your teens self-esteem. All day long she is feeling pressure to look different, dress different, and change something about her body and her appearance. She is struggling to find herself, her uniqueness, and her individuality. It seems easier for her to adjust to fit in with with what others say.

Teens face a lot of internal pressure.

Your teen is hard-working, smart, and dedicated. You can trust she is going to try her best in everything she does. You see her sweet heart and how she cares for her friends and family. At practice she is focused and works hard to avoid disappointing her team and her coach. She studies hard and makes good grades, but you see her worry about failing and making “bad” grades. She is worried about disappointing her friends and letting them down.

All the external pressure and her own internal pressure can really affect self-esteem.

You know your teen is successful, smart, and hard working, but she is not finding pride in this. Rather she feels burden and she feels like she is “not good enough”. In her eyes, someone is always:

  • Smarter
  • Prettier
  • Funnier
  • A better friend
  • A better player
  • A better person…

You want her to realize how amazing she is.

You want her to find her confidence and feel less pressure and stress. You want her to see her beauty, strength, and character. Everyday you tell her how pretty, awesome, and amazing she is. Her response? “You have to say that. You are my mom”.

Here are 5 things you and your teen can do to help her find confidence and self-esteem. These 5 things can also help reduce the anxiety and pressure she is feeling.

  • Each day have your teen journal to these 2 questions. What is Good? What is True?
    • She is spending a lot of time thinking about all she has done wrong or not quite right, and this is keeping her from seeing what she did right. She did more RIGHT today than she did wrong.
    • Allow her to acknowledge the things she did well today. Let her see and name the things that are true and right about her, rather than focusing on the the small mistakes she made today.
    • The brain tends to get stuck on the negative, so this journaling activity helps her brain stay focused on the good and positive things she does.
  • Compliment her.
    • I know you already do this, but let’s take this a bit further. Rather than say, “You are so smart. I am proud of you”, say “I saw how hard you studied for that test, and it paid off, because you made an A”.
    • Say to her, “I saw how nice you were to your friend when you allowed her time to talk about her problems with you. You are a great listener”. Point out specifically the things you see her doing.
    • Specifying what she does can help her understand and start to identify specific qualities she has. This helps her build and have confidence in her character.
  • What are her goals?
    • Have your teen write down her goals; short-term and long-term.
      Then have her tell you what she did today that supports those goals.
    • What did she do today that brings her closer to her ideal self and her goals?
    • This step helps your teen understand her hard work has value and meaning.
  • Evaluate her friendships.
    • You may not like all her friends, but there is probably one or two friends that you think are just lovely.
    • What makes this friendship so great? How are these friends a positive influence in her life? Now ask your teen to think about why these friends like her? What do they see in her that makes them want to hang out with her?
    • This will help her see that her friends think she is awesome and great.
  • Give your teen down time.
    • After a busy day at school, practice, studying, and chores at home she needs time to relax. Imagine what you would like to do after a busy and stressful day at work and home. You want some time to just chill out and relax.
    • How can you arrange for her to have 20-30 minutes of absolute down time? This means no phone time and no social media. It means a time to completely allow her mind and body to relax.
    • Does she need a long bath? A walk outside or quiet in her room with her music? Make this time happen for her to learn the importance of relaxation.

When your teenage girl can learn to think positively, evaluate her strengths, realize her potential, and learn to relax and manage stress she will be better able to manage friendships and the stress of life. She will have more confidence and esteem, which leads to making better decisions.

PS. If you are wanting help with improving your girls self-esteem, anxiety, and stress give TSC a call. We love working with teens and families to improve confidence and happiness. We are working on a teen self-esteem ebook. This book will contain worksheets for you and your teen so together you can improve her confidence and pride. If you are interested in the workbook email and we can send you a copy.