Tag Archives: Self Esteem

Dec 24

As we all know, peers/friends are probably the most important thing in a teen’s life.  This can be a particular conundrum depending on who the friends are, of course.  We know that along with attitudes, values, and beliefs, negative peer associations are a very strong risk factor for anti-social behavior.  We also know peers have a dramatic affect on attitudes, values and beliefs.

Much of an adolescent’s self-image, “beliefs” and “attitudes”, are in synch with and shaped by their peers – good, bad or ugly.  For most adolescents for example, it would be unthinkable to act in ways that were inconsistent with the norms of their peer group.

For approval, sometimes the most shocking acts are the best to perform, even if they totally are against their values.  For acceptance, the desire for conformity and loyalty to peers often outweigh consequences, values, and even family loyalty.  Paradoxically, despite often blind adherence to the peer group’s norms, teens will often externalize the bad decision-making on the people they hang out with.  For teens, choice of peer group is crucial to doing the responsible thing and the irresponsible thing.

For parents, it is crucial to be aware of the choices their teen is making regarding friendships.  Parents should be as informed as possible about their teen’s friends, their parents, and have as much personal contact information as possible.  Parents must not apologize for being vigilant; it is a riskier world out there than ever before.  Keep your kids close and don’t abandon them to their peer group.

Jan 20

What is your most valuable possession? No, it’s not your stereo, your bicycle, your stamp collection or anything else that money can buy. It is your SELF – your good opinion about yourself. SELF is the feeling inside that says, “I really like myself!” Developing self helps you face whatever life throws at you. Many adults are constantly bothered by self doubts because they never learned to like themselves.

Don’t concentrate on the frightening unknowns; jump in and give it a try. You’ll survive. And with each success, you bolster your self-image and inspire yourself to go further. When you don’t succeed, however, don’t punish yourself. You can’t be perfect; you can’t do everything well. What’s important is that you don’t allow your fears to prevent you from trying new experiences. Look around you. You’ll notice a distinct shortage of perfect people! So do your best but don’t get hung up on being the best all the time. Try hard and have faith in yourself. That’s what matters.

Another obstacle is ENVY. Being jealous of others is a waste of time and energy. Every person’s life has both good and bad qualities. Your assets outshine the other person’s in some areas. Be thankful for your blessings; don’t begrudge the other person theirs. When you make a big mistake, make it right, forgive yourself, and get on with your life. Don’t wallow in a zero state.

Never overlook the advantages of reaching out to others. Reaching out is a sure-fire way to feel better about yourself. Caring about others is a measure of strength of character and enhances personal power and self-esteem.

One last piece of advice: Learn to “talk” to yourself (rationally). Congratulate yourself for everything you do right. And when you fail or make a mistake encourage yourself to keep trying. With that kind of attitude you shouldn’t find it difficult to become your own BEST FRIEND.

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work.”