Fun Outside Activities for Self-Esteem in Adolescent Boys
Adolescent boys with low self-esteem may not have the proper internal tools to deal with the inevitable pressures the world presents to them. In adolescence, healthy self-esteem levels correlate with strong, positive friendships and the ability to adapt to challenges
Outdoor activities that provide adolescent boys with both fun and challenge allow for both physical and social growth and promote increased self-confidence.
Team sports, such as soccer, baseball and football, help boys develop teamwork and social skills. The physical activity has a positive impact on their physical and mental sense of well-being.
Because organized sports offer structure and rules, boys are able to constructively hone their communication and conflict-resolution skills while having fun outside of a classroom setting. The interactions youth experience in sports help shape how they feel about themselves.
Sending adolescent boys off on a supervised, extended adventure in a remote location helps them push their own self-imposed boundaries, learn new skills and develop a deep sense of self-reliance.
The Outward Bound program and others like it offer boys the chance to break free of their usual daily routine and head for the great outdoors. Trips, such as rock climbing, kayaking and backpacking, challenge them to conquer fears and build leadership and teamwork skills. These challenging experiences help boys develop self-esteem as they learn about their innate abilities and meet the challenges.
Plan a weekend, or longer, bicycle trip with a few adults and a group of adolescent boys. Get the boys involved in planning routes and stops and determining how far to travel each day. Get together to discuss what items to bring and how the items will be carried.
Boys gain self-confidence as they see their plans executed during the trip. They learn self-reliance as well as perseverance during difficult stretches of road, and their feeling of accomplishment at the end of the trip helps develop their self-esteem.
Choose an outdoor service activity that a group of boys can perform together, such as cleaning up a park, planting flowers in an elderly neighbor’s yard or painting public areas, such as worn-out benches or graffiti-laden walls — just make sure to get permission first.
Volunteering helps children look beyond themselves and connect to the world around them. It allows them to see that they have the power to make a positive impact on their community. This makes them feel good about their ability to contribute, which builds their self-esteem.
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