I think of healthy self esteem as an accurate, balanced and compassionate view of oneself. Merriam-Webster defines it as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. Something that is challenging to achieve during adolescence. This is a time when many forces from within and without, the media and an often brutal peer culture constantly reinforce for the modern teenager that they do not measure up. Confusing times for sure.
I often wonder how we can help our teenagers develop healthy self esteem. There are many answers to that question. Here is one idea.
Try a success journal
The concept of a success journal is something that has been helpful to me personally and also beneficial for my clients. The idea is simple and involves keeping a written or online journal of any type of success.
They can track things they did well, ways they demonstrated positive choices or good character, academic successes, progress towards health goals, steps towards spiritual growth, positive qualities about themselves and the list can go on. The focus can target any area the teenager is struggling with. The successes can be tracked for any number of set days, reviewed regularly and shared with someone they trust.
The success journal can help them change negative thought patterns and give them alternative ways of viewing themselves. It also gives them a record of the best parts of themselves that they can revisit when they need it most.
This exercise can often be difficult and may even feel impossible for them. The teenager can be encouraged to ask a family member or trusted friend to give them feedback and help them to record some successes. This can be a humbling effort, but could possibly open up important dialogue and bring them closer to the supportive people in their life.
What are your ideas about ways to help teenagers develop healthy self esteem?
Photo credit: Dvortygirl