Life for tweens isn’t easy. They deal with constant peer pressure as they try to stand out as individuals and create styles of their own. Tweens battle with self-esteem issues almost daily. As a parent, it’s important to instill values in your tween that will help him develop positive self-esteem. Tweens with high self-esteem are less likely to try drugs and alcohol, they excel in the classroom and easily make friends.
Start by explaining the word “self-esteem” to your tween. WebMD describes self-esteem as a person’s belief of himself or herself. Teach your tween that his self-esteem shines through in what he does, says and how he feels.
Encourage your tween to make decisions on his own. Let tweens decide what to wear to school, what they’d like to eat for breakfast and even get their input on the types of chores they’d like to do around the house. Family Education, an online portal filled with information on parenting, suggests that children who exercise decision-making and problem-solving skills may exhibit higher self-esteem.
Give your tween daily or weekly chores. Teach your child responsibility by giving her chores, such as washing the dishes, taking out the trash, making the bed or sweeping the floor after dinner. Tweens who learn responsibility experience and exhibit a higher sense of self-worth and tend to have higher self-esteem than children who don’t have at-home responsibilities.
Avoid comparing your child to other tweens–whether it’s his friends, family members or siblings. Each child has his own set of characteristics which make up who he is and how he behaves, so as a parent, it’s important to recognize your tween’s best qualities and highlight them. Children may become resentful if they are constantly compared to other tweens, which may lower self-esteem.
Praise your child for his efforts. Focus less on whether he wins, loses or how he performs. Good Housekeeping, an online resource for women and families, suggests that the quality of praise that parents give children is better than the quantity. Praising a child too much or too little can have a negative impact on his self-esteem, so it’s important for parents to find a healthy balance.