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Shaping Strong Foundations: Teenagers’ Self-Esteem

kids standing in front of a set of school lockers

Self-esteem is a fundamental aspect of a teenager’s mental and emotional well-being. It shapes how they view themselves, interact with others, and navigate the challenges of adolescence and growing up. Mistakes will be made along the way that are both in and out of their control. We as adults need to be present and aware of these moments and help turn them into valuable learning experiences rather than the first steps down a path of negativity, poor choices, substance abuse, or despair. Teenagers’ self-esteem can be fragile, and we can’t overlook the importance of stepping in when they need help.

Building Blocks for Teenagers’ Self-Esteem

Encouragement and Validation

Teenagers need to feel heard, understood and validated. Promoting open and honest expression of thoughts and feelings and empathetic and encouraging responses fosters the development of self-worth and confidence.

Positive Reinforcement

Recognizing and honoring your teen’s achievements, whether major or minor, h enhances their feelings of ability and boosts confidence. Giving credit for hard work and offering productive criticism to aid their development is crucial. Additionally, it is beneficial to demonstrate the importance of venturing into uncharted waters and achieving success.

Establishing Achievable Goals

Setting attainable goals is also crucial to boosting a teenager’s self-esteem. Fear resides in the unknown, which creates hesitancy or resistance around trying. Guide their progress and take note of their steps along the way. Once they achieve their goals, praise them and point out some of the good decisions that led to their success.

Building Resilience

Adolescence is filled with challenges, from academic stress to social pressure. Building resilience helps teens navigate these challenges with confidence and strength. Encouraging them to develop coping strategies, learn from setbacks, and bounce back from failure helps them build a strong foundation.

EAC Network Is Here to Empower, Assist and Care for All Children & Young Adults

As Patrick Ness once said, “It’s not how we fall. It’s how we get back up again.” This rings true for everyone, but especially for children. The world is a big place, and it’s harder to select the best path forward if you don’t have support when facing challenges or making a mistake. EAC Network runs many programs aimed at helping our youth. From mentoring and job assistance to substance abuse and mental health challenges, they’re designed to assist in boosting a teenager’s self-esteem and much more. Some of our programs include:

  • Alternatives for Youth (AFY)Diverts PINS youth from the juvenile justice system and improves family functioning by providing home-based crisis intervention and community resources.
  • Chance to AdvanceReduces risk factors for youth in foster care by promoting life skills and enrichment through one-on-one mentoring and group activities.
  • Mission Employment Assists at-risk youth—ages 18-24—residing in the Town of Hempstead or City of Long Beach in finding the right career path.
  • Brooklyn Youth Initiative (BYI) – Identifies the needs of court-involved youth to promptly connect them to age-appropriate services, offering ongoing community supervision and tailored support, and ensuring long-term stabilization through aftercare for future success.

boy standing w a backpack on at school

EAC believes that providing a solid foundation for your teenagers’ self-esteem is crucial to their overall well-being and success. By motivating them to push beyond their comfort zones and try new things while acknowledging their limitations as well as offering support and guidance, we empower them to develop a strong sense of self-worth.

Special Thanks