Self-esteem is a personality trait responsible for developing a person’s opinion about themselves. It is more important in high school students as teens usually struggle with several challenges during these school years.
Helping your teen build high self-esteem will empower them to deal with challenges positively and help in improving their overall well-being. Feeling good about themselves will build their confidence which will reflect in their academic performance, social relationships, and willingness to learn something new.
If you’re a parent or a teacher, you can help your high schooler develop confidence in their abilities and know their worth by using self-esteem activities. These activities may look simple at first glance but have the power to turn around what people think about themselves.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem in Teens
Teenagers can be moody at times due to various reasons like hormonal changes, peer pressure, and so on. But if you spot the following signs in your teenage kid more often, it could indicate your teen is struggling with low self-esteem.
- Feeling moody and uninterested in talking.
- Talking negatively about self and life.
- Avoiding going out with friends and trying out new things.
- Feeling frustrated most of the time.
- Fearing embarrassment or failure in front of the public.
- Having difficulty making new friends.
- Not interacting with friends like any other teenager.
- Exhibiting low levels of curiosity and interest.
- Little or no motivation to participate in regular activities.
Factors Responsible for Low Self-Esteem
Developing low self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight. It is often a result of one or more factors that affect a teenager over a period of time. Knowing the right reason can help you figure out the root cause of your teen’s problem so that you can respond appropriately to help them out. So, here are some of the common reasons why teenagers have low self-esteem.
- Family issues
- Health issues
- Poor friend circle
- Stress or abuse
- Being subjected to bullying
- Poor academic performance
- Little to no support from family
- Personality and appearance issues
- Not being able to be a part of a group
- Parents are too strict and unsupportive
Activities to Improve Self-Esteem in High School Students
Writing about how you feel, your ambitions, failures, achievements, etc., is a great way to gain insight into yourself. So, gift your teen a nice journal to use as a daily diary to pen down their thoughts every day. It will help improve their writing skills and allow them to think about their problems, and work on them constructively.
Ask them to set aside 15 minutes daily to journal their thoughts and aspirations. Keeping a record will let them learn about their personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Increased self-awareness will, in turn, positively affect their self-esteem.
2. Setting Achievable Goals for the Week
Sit with your teenager every week and motivate them to brainstorm and set a goal they can accomplish every day of the week. Let them write their goals on a paper and have them place it where it will be visible to them. Once a goal is achieved, ask them to mark it as complete.
The paper will serve as a certificate of achievement at the end of the week to celebrate their success. Seeing themselves accomplish goals day after day will heighten their self-worth and make them feel good about themselves.
3. Penning Things They Like and Things They Wish to Improve
Here is an activity parents can conduct at home or educators can conduct in the class. All you need is an index card to do this activity. Have your high schooler sit in a calm environment and give them an index card to write about things they like about themselves on one side and things they don’t or wish to improve on the other side.
Doing so will highlight their positives, boost their confidence, and direct them to work on aspects they wish to improve. It will help them understand that things are not as bad as they seem and that there is hope for a better tomorrow.
4. Designing Effective Affirmations
Affirmations are a great way to direct thoughts in a positive direction. Repeating affirmations reduces stress and brings happiness and confidence to one’s life. High schoolers can also use affirmations to replace negative emotions with positive ones.
Help your teen create impactful affirmations that are focused on their needs by using affirmation worksheets. Have them repeat affirmations at least once a day.
They could do it first thing in the morning or just before bed. Ask them to repeat their affirmations a couple of times to harness their mind’s power and build their self-esteem.
5. Anonymous Compliments
Here is an activity for teachers who are looking for a group activity to build self-esteem in students. Following are the steps to conduct the activity –
- Divide your class into groups of 4 or 5.
- Hand over index cards to the students and ask them to write a positive trait about each person in the group on different index cards.
- Ask them to mention the name of the person they’re complimenting but to keep themselves anonymous.
- In the end, collect all the index cards and let the kids read about what others find good in them.
Activities like these improve self-esteem in individuals like no other. Knowing about the things that others like about you boost your confidence immensely.
6. Volunteering with a Purpose
Volunteering can get teenagers to use their energies to do something good for the community. It teaches them hard work and self-discipline, whether helping in an animal shelter or a local hospital. It instills good work ethics, which helps in building a strong personality.
Weekends are perfect for volunteering projects as high schoolers have some time off to do things other than studies. Contributing to the community and doing good work builds a sense of worthiness in kids.
7. “Why Hire Me?” Poster
High school students often begin their work life by working part-time or doing weekend jobs. With this in mind, here is another activity parents or teachers can do with high schoolers.
You can ask them to create a “Why Hire Me?” poster. The poster should contain the person’s unique qualities that make them suitable for a particular job. They can also incorporate skills they possess and how they are better than other candidates.
Once the poster is ready, let them present it to the family or the class to showcase their capabilities in front of others.
Having confidence in one’s abilities is essential to living a fruitful and happy life. Self-esteem affects a person’s decision-making abilities and approach to life. Low self-esteem can adversely impact the life of high school students who have so many things going on in their life.
Self-esteem activities can help your high schooler look at themselves with respect and admiration. It will also positively impact their academic scores as studies have established a strong relationship between self-esteem and academic achievement.
Convincing high school teenagers to incorporate self-esteem activities into their daily lives is the job of their parents and educators. By doing so, you will be gifting them with one of the most prized possessions one can ever have.