How to Talk to a Teenaged Girl About Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is the amount of confidence you have in yourself, your skills and your abilities. It is a personal barometer for how you feel, and it is often what leads you to strive and achieve.
Young girls, especially teens, can take a big hit to their self-esteem as they’re bombarded with media, cultural bias, opinions of classmates and dozens of other forms of input. It’s important you talk to teen girls about self-esteem, otherwise you may not be able to prevent damage to their confidence.
4 Steps to Talk to a Teenaged Girl About Self-Esteem
1. Establish trust with the teen girl.
If you’re a parent or relative she knows well, this should already be the case. If you’re an authority figure or someone she doesn’t know well, though, you need to get her to trust you. Be honest and open, tell her you’re concerned, and that you need to talk about esteem issues with her. Treat her like an adult, and let her form her own views and opinions.
2. Explain self-esteem and its importance.
Mix this with examples of areas in which the girl excels, such as academics, athletics or involvement with school or social groups. The difference between other people’s opinions and her opinion of herself should be made clear.
Explain how she should always evaluate what she’s being told before giving in to the message. Just because someone tells her she’s stupid, unattractive or useless doesn’t make it true, and she needs to develop the ability to see other people’s perspectives to accurately evaluate their statements.
3. Get her to open up about self-esteem issues to you.
Dialogue must be a two-way street, and if you can earn her trust then you need to be an ear for her. Let her talk about her problems and issues, but don’t judge or offer criticism unless it’s asked for. Sometimes listening is more important than fixing things, and it can be a serious blow to the girl’s self-esteem if you’re always trying to protect and correct problems. Let her try and, if necessary, fail on her own if you want to help.
4. Maintain regular contact.
Self-esteem issues and conversations aren’t just an exchange of information you can have once and call it quits. You need to maintain contact, talk about issues and be open with one another. Build a relationship and be there for her when she needs help.
Tips and Warnings
- Pay attention to the language you use when discussing self-esteem issues.
- Positive language is very important, as prejudices and negativity can cause damage to the conversation and the listener’s self-esteem.
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