Helping Adolescents and Adults to Build Self-Esteem - Essay Sample

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Wesleyan University
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Adolescents are contented with being treated as more than children. They rapidly redefine activities that they loved in their earlier years and ought to be handled with care. It is at this stage that parents have the power to mold their childrens behavior by building their self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to the manner in which an individual values themselves and it includes self-confidence and self-respect (Plummer & Harper, 2014). Herein is an insight on the role of parents in developing an adolescents self-esteem.

Constructive criticism goes a long way in building an adolescents self-esteem. At the age of 18-23, individuals may be overwhelmed with the reality of the kind of freedom and independence that defines their age. Inherently, they are prone to making mistakes out of curiosity about various aspects of their lives including their sexuality. When necessary, it is imprudent for a parent to demean their actions or attempts at anything. When rebuked, adolescents are likely to harbor feelings of inadequacy (Publishing, 2011). Some go to the extent of punishing themselves after a mistake has been pointed out. Eventually, they retreat to cocoons since their self-confidence and self-respect has been damaged. While parents are not expected to turn a blind eye to their childrens blunders, the necessary corrections should be communicated lovingly. Parents need to be tolerant and understanding and gently inform their children on the right way to approach their challenges.

Guindon (2015) indicates that adolescents struggle with self- confidence, and self-actualization. They value positive feedback from their peers who make them feel accepted in the teenage world. While some may identify themselves with their academic prowess, others derive pleasure from making a bunch of friends. So dire is the need for self-identification that their self-esteem is crushed without the things that they consider being pillars in their lives. Parents should identify their childs passion and consequently encourage a cultivation of the same (Guindon, 2015). However frivolous these interests may seem to a parent, it is prudent to encourage adolescents to pursue the same since these are outlets for peer acceptance. For instance, a boys world may revolve around swimming. His peers adore him and find it cool that he can swim with such prowess. Innately, his self-esteem is boosted whenever he participates in the sport. It should be in a parents best interest to encourage the cultivation of such an interest since it is not only beneficial to their childs self-esteem, but it also sharpens other skills like the appreciation of team work.

Children aged between 9 and 13 loathe being babied. While a child previously found no fault in their pet-name, their adolescent self may detest it with the opinion that it is childish. Youngsters love appearing older and thrive on adult validation since this builds their self-esteem (Plummer, & Harper, 2014). It, therefore, is necessary that parents solicit for their opinion before making any decisions. In a bid to build their self-confidence, parents can include children in daily decisions. Suggestions such as the type of blinds that are suitable for a room makes an adolescent feel invited to the adult world. When their opinions are implemented, their self-esteem is significantly affected for the better.

All in all, adolescents need their parents guidance at that difficult stage of their lives. Parents are tasked with learning how to fortify their children's self-esteem. Since they are prone to make numerous mistakes that may attract angry reactions, parents are required to exercise restraint and make constructive criticism to avoid damaging their childrens self-confidence. Additionally, an adolescents talents and interests are avenues for self-actualization, and these should be nurtured to their advantage. Parents should value their childrens opinions as a way of introducing them to the adult world. The result is a content adolescent with high self-esteem.


Guindon, M. H. (2015). Self-esteem across the lifespan. Place of publication not identified: Routledge.

Plummer, D., & Harper, A. (2014). Helping adolescents and adults to build self-esteem: A photocopiable resource book.Publishing, L. (2011). Self esteem: Walking tall. Place of publication not identified: Happy Squirrel.


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