Self-esteem in Adolescence: 19 Tips for Working It

Working self-esteem in adolescence is to communicate properly, establish standards, give responsibility, teach decision-making, support, listen, not judge, do not humiliate, give reinforcements, support talents and other forms that I will explain below.

Do you have a teenage son? If the answer is yes, surely you have wondered how you could work on self-esteem from home as a complement to the activities and dynamics that take place in the school.

The adolescent needs to feel integrated, valued by other classmates and other people close to their environment and peer group, so they need to have a good self-esteem and a good self-concept for their proper development of personality.

Self-esteem in Adolescence

As you know, adolescence is a stage that is characterized by both physical and mental changes suffered by young people. On the other hand, it is also the moment when social skills and relationships begin to take on more importance than ever.

How to work on self-esteem in adolescence?

1- Communicate daily with them

Communication during adolescence is essential if you want to develop your child’s self-esteem and in a correct way. As parents, we have to learn to listen to what we have to say without judgment and with patients to support them as much as we can and leave us to earn their trust.

We have to bear in mind that adolescents, for the most part, tend to “despise” their parents at this stage because they mostly feel judged and misunderstood by them.

2- Establishes norms and limits

It is not only necessary to establish norms and limits when they are small, in adolescence it will also be something very important for our son. If your life is not governed by guidelines that are maintained over time, its consequences can be very negative both for your life in general and your self-esteem in particular.

Sometimes it is normal for our son to be upset and want to talk to us to express himself and negotiate about the rules and limits that have been imposed on him. Our duty as parents is to give you the opportunity to speak with us and to give them a consideration, taking into account both points of view.

This will show you that whenever you need it you can use the word change what you do not like. On the other hand, you will feel fulfilled because you will have achieved what you wanted (if possible) thus increasing your self-esteem.

If you want to know more about the rules and limits at home, click on the link. 

3- Encourage him to do activities

Perform exercise causes increase our self – esteem and therefore we feel better about ourselves. All adolescents should carry out this type of activity in their daily life, since on the other hand it makes them feel useful and discharge energy.

It would be advisable to practice a sport that you like and with which you can also compete. This will help you set goals and fight for them as well as relate to others. On the other hand, it will also help us to work on their self-esteem in the event that they lose or even win when they compete.

4- Teach you to make decisions

On many occasions, because they are teenagers, young people are not given the opportunity to be responsible for their lives and to make decisions that may affect them. Parents often protect them from having to do these kinds of things when in reality we should leave them and monitor what they do.

If we choose to have this attitude, we will be giving them the opportunity to feel competent, which will help them to develop good self-esteem as they will feel able to make the necessary decisions and in case they have doubts they can ask us.

5- Give responsibility and new challenges

Having the necessary confidence in your child to know that he is going to do things well will benefit his self-esteem. Therefore, as parents, we must give them the opportunity to perform different tasks both at home and outside of it.

On the other hand, we can also give you ideas about other activities that can be done and have not yet tried, this will stimulate them and encourage them to excel and create new goals.

6- Support it

The feeling that the family will always be there for everything they need also develops their self-esteem. We all like to feel supported and loved and at this critical stage it is important to know that it is accepted as it is because as we know it will be criticized and judged by its colleagues and will seek to be accepted by a group.

If we have done the first councils well, we will not have any difficulty in doing this task properly, because we will have gained their trust with flying colors. We should not confuse this with becoming a friend of our son, on the contrary, we will support them but always being their parents too.

7- Teach him to laugh at the problems

One of the most frequent mistakes as parents that often undermine the self-esteem of many adults is not knowing how to accept failure or not knowing how to act before the problems that arise in life.

Therefore, we must teach them to remain calm and to take failures in a constructive way. We also have to give them the tools so that they know how to act before the possible problems that can happen to them based on the fact that there is always a solution.

This can be complicated because in many situations it is almost impossible to remain calm or to think that there is going to be a concrete solution that resolves it. However, if we do it in adolescence we can influence their self-concept and with this, we will be working on their self-esteem.

8- Place at least one special day a week

Although most of our children do not like it, it is important for their well-being that they continue to spend time with us and, therefore, carry out activities in our company.

A fun way to do this is to set one day a week as a special family day in which the same teenager will choose the activity he wants to do with us. Some examples are: pizza day, eating out, going to the movies …

9- Listen to everything I want to tell you

If nothing else that begins to speak we are judging him, we will never gain his trust and we will not be able to support him as he should. Many times all they need is to feel that they are listening to him and that they understand him. Therefore, our obligation is to practice active listening.

To be attentive to your problems and to find the best solution between the two, trying to get your child to take the initiative will help you to integrate how you should solve the problems you have calmly and will benefit your emotional state.

10- Do not judge it hastily

Nor can we judge them hastily without having heard their version before, this will make them not believe in themselves and will damage their self-esteem. If he has decided to act like this we have to wait to listen to his reasoning in an active way and take the necessary measures if he has not acted well in a constructive way.

Faced with these situations, parents should set an example because, as we already know, our children imitate our behaviors.

11- Have empathy

Putting ourselves in the place of our son with empathy when we are communicating with him will be very important and necessary for him. In addition, we also have to understand their behaviors and attitudes as well as the changes they may have in them due to the stage they are going through.

12- Trust him

On the other hand, it will be very important for his self-esteem to make him understand that we trust him and that we have positive expectations both in his behavior and in his possibilities.

This will increase their confidence and confidence in themselves and consequently have a good self-esteem to face everything that is proposed.

13- Treat your concerns as what they are

Something we usually do a lot with our children at this stage is to treat their problems without any importance. This is necessary to avoid because if we do it, we will understand that we do not care what happens to them and they will feel alone and without support.

We have to give him the attention he deserves giving him a positive version to alleviate his anxiety and as we said earlier help him in solving problems.

14- Communicate with him in a positive way

Although it seems to us that we are communicating properly with our son, it is important that we use a clear and open language, in which tolerance and flexibility predominate; avoiding transmitting mistrust or recriminating behavior.

On the other hand, we have to stop labeling the behavior of our son especially if this is not the right one because it can have an impact on his self-esteem.

15- Do not humiliate him

We should not punish him severely in case he has some inappropriate behavior. As parents, we must know how to give the appropriate punishments to those behaviors that are not what are expected or appropriate.

Likewise, in the case of inappropriate conduct, which is necessary to punish, we must try by all means other than people outside the family and, whenever possible, better alone. Otherwise, we could humiliate our son without knowing it and seriously affect his self-esteem.

16- Use positive reinforcers

Although we do not realize it, we always make it clear to our children, in most cases, the behaviors that we do not like but we also forget to point out those who have done well.

In adolescence, as in the rest of the stages of development, it is important that we make clear to our children what they have done well. This will only bring you positive benefits in all aspects.

17- Give you tools to face the changes

It is very important that we are able to transmit to our son how he should act when he is in a stressful situation or difficult for him and that is why we also have to practice by example.

If when we are going through these problems we see that we get nervous and tense and that we do not know how to act, he will also acquire that response and when he grows it will affect his self-esteem and he will not know how to deal with that kind of situations.

The idea is to talk with them and show them that changes are good in life and that you have to see them as a source of learning, that is, look at them constructively.

Therefore, a good option would be to provide advice that can generalize to all changes that occur in your life so that little by little they are internalized and when they happen, be with them advising and supporting them until their solution.

18- Criticize it in a constructive way

If in this stage of changes we make criticism in a constructive way we will be helping you to accept them and not be offended in later situations since not only will you receive them in your adolescence but also in the adult stage and in everything you do.

We can teach them that a criticism is not bad at all, but on the contrary, it helps us to improve as a person. If we get our son to internalize it, we can benefit his self-esteem.

19- Promote your talents

On many occasions, we forget to give them so many responsibilities or even so much freedom that our son is happy and feels good doing a specific activity, be it drawing, dancing or playing football.

If doing it feels competent and is also good at it, our duty as parents is to support him and encourage his talent. This can be a great thing for your self-esteem and your proper development.


Although we are concerned to follow this small list with the general advice to work and create good self-esteem in our adolescent children, it is important that we take into account that the best example to do it is ourselves.

Also Read: 17 Duties of Children with Parents

Therefore, we have to @nalyze ourselves first to see if we are really in the position and we are able to develop and work on the self-esteem of our son in an appropriate way.