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6 Ways to Grow A Teen’s Self-Esteem

By Clair Mellenthin LCSW

Many people young and old, male and female, struggle with recognizing their self-worth and their true potential in life. Often we are our worst critics. Most of us would gasp in horror if we heard another person speak out loud the thoughts we tell ourselves because it would be considered abusive!

Recently, as I was speaking to a group of young people and their parents on the topic of self-esteem, we broke down the definition of what self-esteem truly means. This is an interesting concept and I think helpful to break down into segments.

  • To esteem something is to hold it in high regard, to treasure it, to value it.
  • The self is you, the individual

How amazing it would be to think of your self in this manner. Is it possible to hold yourself in high regard, to value yourself, and to treasure it – i.e. to treasure you, the real you?

In order to grow and develop your self-esteem, you also need to nurture and give yourself time to grow and develop- much like a flower garden. The following tips can jump start this process and are useful to all of us, no matter how old or young we may be!

Six Ways To Grow Your Self-Esteem:

  1. Make a list of things you are good at- this can be tasks, talents, or personality traits.
  2. Give yourself compliments every day about things that truly matter. “I am really proud of myself for being a good listener today”.
  3. Remember your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it is.
  4. Remember there are things about yourself you can’t change- and give yourself permission that it’s okay
  5. When you hear negative comments in your head, tell yourself to stop.
  6. Surround yourself with people who love you and who you love.

If you nurture your self-esteem, not only will you feel better on the inside, but you will on the outside. It’s hard not to have a bright, kind, welcoming presence when you can see and respect the treasure that is inside of you.

About Clair Mellenthin LCSW:
Clair Mellenthin is the Clinical Director at Wasatch Family Therapy. As a registered play therapist, Clair helps children, families, and individuals work through the challenges they are facing. She is also a contributor to local and national television news and radio programs.