Teen Self- Esteem

Teen Self- Esteem

Building Teen Self-Esteem

Navigating the turbulent waters of teenage years can be a challenging experience. As you transition from childhood to adulthood, you may often struggle with changes in your body, relationships, and personal identity. One crucial aspect of development is building a healthy sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem plays a vital role in shaping teenagers’ overall well-being, influencing their emotional resilience, academic performance, and social interactions.

Ways to help to nurture self-esteem in teenagers

  1. Encourage Positive Self-Talk. According to one survey, 46% of teenagers reported feeling bad about themselves if they don’t get enough likes or comments on their social media posts. Your internal dialogue significantly impacts their self-perception. Encouraging positive self-talk helps to challenge negative thoughts and develop a healthier mindset. Try to identify and challenge self-deprecating beliefs by replacing them with positive affirmations. Reinforce your strengths and accomplishments, highlighting your unique qualities. Remind yourself that making mistakes is a natural part of learning and growth.
  2. Promote a Healthy Body Image. 67% of girls aged 13-17 reported that magazines influenced their perception of an ideal body shape. During adolescence, many teenagers experience body image concerns which can negatively impact their self- esteem. Foster a healthy body image by promoting a balanced approach to physical well-being. Encourage regular exercise, focusing on the joy of movement and overall health rather than appearance. Learn about media literacy, to understand that beauty standards perpetuated by the media are often unattainable and unrealistic.
  3. Set Realistic Goals And Celebrate Achievements.  Setting achievable goals is essential for building self- esteem. Set realistic goals that align with your interests and abilities. Break larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, allowing yourself to experience success along the way. When you accomplish something, celebrate the achievements to help reinforce the idea that hard work pays off and boost your confidence.
  4. Foster Positive Relationships. Strong and healthy relationships contribute significantly to teenagers’ self- esteem. Surround yourself with supportive friends who appreciate and value you for who you are. Develop your social skills by active listening, empathy, and effective communication. Foster open lines of communication within your family, creating a safe space for you to express thoughts and emotions without judgement.
  5. Cultivate Strengths and Interests. Engaging in activities you enjoy and excel in can significantly boost your self- esteem. Explore various hobbies and interests and develop skills in areas you feel confident in, whether it’s sports, arts, academics, or any other field.

Nurturing Confidence in Teen Dating 

How to build strong foundations for healthy relationships…

Navigating the realm of dating can be both exhilarating and intimidating for teenagers. As they explore romantic connections, it is crucial for teens to develop confidence within the dating sphere. Confidence plays a significant role in building healthy relationships, fostering effective communication, and making informed decisions.

  1. Embrace Self- Acceptance. Confidence in dating starts with self- acceptance. Appreciate and embrace your unique qualities, quirks and strengths. Understand that you don’t need to conform to societal ideals or change themselves to be desirable to others. It is important to be authentic and true to themselves, as this will attract genuine connections with people who appreciate you for who you are.
  2. Set boundaries and Communicate Expectations. Confidence in dating is closely tied to understanding personal boundaries and communicating expectations. It is important to set boundaries that align with your values, comfort levels, and emotional wellbeing. Clearly communicate these boundaries and expectations to your partner, fostering open and respectful dialogue from the beginning of a relationship. It is important to understand mutual consent and to listen to your instincts.
  3. Develop Effective Communication Skills. Effective communication is the back bone of any healthy relationship. Try active listening to express your thoughts and feelings assertively, and practise empathy. Ask questions, seek clarification, and express your needs and desires honestly and respectfully. Your opinions and feelings are valid and deserve to be heard and respected.
  4. Encourage Self- Reflection and Learning. Dating experiences provide opportunities for self- reflection and growth. Reflect on your dating experiences, both positive and negative, to gain insights about yourself and your preferences. Learn from past experiences and use them to make informed decisions moving forward. Setbacks or rejections are not failures but rather stepping stones in finding the right connection.
  5. Promote Healthy Relationship Dynamics. Confidence within dating comes from being aware of and seeking healthy relationship dynamics. The characteristics of healthy relationships include mutual respect, trust, communication, and equality. Red flags and signs of unhealthy behaviours can be possessiveness, jealousy or disrespect. Make sure to prioritise your emotional wellbeing and seek support if you feel that your boundaries or values are being compromised.
  6. Foster Independence and Self- Care. Confidence in dating stems from a foundation of self- resilience and self- care. Cultivate your own interests, goals, and friendships outside of romantic relationships. It is important to maintain and healthy balance between personal growth, social connections, and dating. There is a significance of self- care practises, such as prioritising wellbeing, engaging in activities that bring you joy and, and setting aside time for self- reflection and relaxation.
  7. Celebrate and Learn from Rejections. Rejections are a normal part of the dating process and can dent your confidence. View rejections as learning experiences rather than failure. Reflect on what you have learned from the experience, how it can help you grow, and how it guides you towards finding someone who is truly compatible and appreciative of you.

If you need further support, we offer teen counselling. We also deliver ‘Relateable’, a Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme for 15-16 year olds to community groups across NI.

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“How Relate NI helps people”

Our counsellor was excellent and really helped me and my husband to resolve the niggles in our relationshipService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
My counsellor was lovely, attentive and supportive. She helped me to understand my worth and for that, I will always be gratefulService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
This service is invaluable. Such lovely people to meet and help you through difficult times.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
The service was excellent, my counsellor was really good at getting us to open up and helping us to get to the root of our issues. We have definitely improved our communication since attending.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I found the Relationship MOT an excellent method of focusing on how we work as a couple and just as importantly, where we need to work. It was professional, insightful and well worth the time. It has reminded us of how much we have to be proud of in our relationship and why it is so important to occasionally review it with experts.Service Attended Relationship MOT
I would definitely recommend using the Relationship MOT service as a bit of a check in with your partner. I thought how the counsellor was able to steer the conversation was very insightful and nuanced. The MOT reminded us about why we are great together but also the importance of communication and respect.” “Our counsellor provided an outside perspective which immediately helped us to agree that we needed to stop and think with more kindness and empathy for each other especially when stressed or pissed off. We both felt that our counsellor’s excellent and gentle facilitation was quite invigorating. So many positives!Service Attended Relationship MOT 2
Very Interesting Content. I like the concept of preparing your relationship before you have problemsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 4
The face to face programme has made me feel connected with others experiencing similar thingsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 3
The workshops made me more confident to balance family life after the baby's arrivalService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 2
I now have a better understanding of myself, it is good to know that it is normal to have argumentsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 1
I felt the weekly questionnaire, couples with the counsellor's understanding of my needs help contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughout.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
I loved every session. Our counsellor listened to what we had to say and gave us helpful wee homework - would recommend this service to everybodyService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
Our counsellor was a fantastic support - we now feel strong enough to continue working on our relationship togetherService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I had a very good counsellor that helped me through a lot and it has made me come out the other side.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
Counselling took us from a bad place to a good one and I would return if neededService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
Been a lifeline to help us fall in love again - forever grateful!Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I would just like to say that when I first came for counselling I felt that I was drowning.  I have completed my sessions and I now feel that I can cope a lot better with everything.  Thank you for a brilliant service.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
Thank you Relate NI for a good nights sleep.Service Attended Relate NI Kids Counselling
Really enjoyed Relate NI and I'm actually going to miss counselling.  I Found it helpful to find myself again. Very fair and equal within our relationship.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I appreciated the straightforward, helpful and informed observations about situations. It really helped me cope during Christmas which is a difficult time for usService Attended Family Counselling
The counsellor was very pleasant to meet with.  They had the necessary skills to speak and listen when appropriate.  I liked their humour and good personality.Service Attended Family Counselling
Relate NI has helped me move on as well as understand myself and situation more.  My counsellor listened to me, facilitated me and was compassionate!Service Attended Relate NI Teen Counselling
I felt the weekly questionnaire, coupled with counsellor's understanding of my needs helped contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughoutService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
We had four funded sessions and cannot express how grateful we are for the help, guidance and knowledge. Our counsellor was incredibly professional, and her experience and obvious passion for helping couples like us was exceptional. She helped us to understand ourselves and each other like we otherwise never would have been able to.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I have tried counselling many times in the past. This time actually made a difference. I was able to complete online sessions as well as some face to face.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals

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