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10 Tips to Increase Self-Esteem

Nadine Briggs

Self-esteem can really take a hit among children and teens who have social challenges. We live in a social world and when we feel like others don’t like us, it feels very personal. Many parents feel at a loss for how to help. Parents telling their kids about their good qualities might not be enough if they are routinely rejected by peers. When children or teens have low self-esteem, they might either shy away from interacting with others or try to fake feeling strong with bravado. Neither approach is going to help them to be accepted by their peers. So what can children and teens do to increase their self-esteem? Check out these 10 tips.

1. Practice self-care:

Take care of your physical and emotional needs by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.

2. Set goals:

Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. This can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem. Check out our last blog on this topic here.

3. Be kind to yourself:

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes or face challenges. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and it’s a natural part of learning and growing. If your challenges are overwhelming, seek support. It can be helpful to talk to a therapist or trusted adult about your feelings.

4. Watch out for the bully in your brain:

Don’t say anything to yourself that would be considered mean or even bullying if someone else said that same thing to you.

5. Surround yourself with positive people:

Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging can help boost your self-esteem. People who spend their time doing community service are generally kind and caring. Volunteering can boost self-esteem by contributing to a charity and provide an opportunity to make new friends.

6. Find your strengths:

Take time to identify your strengths and focus on them. This can help you build confidence in your abilities and increase your self-esteem. We suggest taking the free VIA Character strengths survey. Review your top 5 strengths and think about if you are using them in your life regularly.

7. Remember that social media is fake:

The beautiful and accomplished people you see on social media are likely using filters and photo editing apps to look their best. They also might only post the good stuff that happens to them and omit the bad.

8. Stand up for yourself:

Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and assert your boundaries. This can help you feel more in control of your life and increase your self-esteem.

9. Make a “True List”:

Write down all your good qualities and review the list often if you’re feeling unworthy.

10. Find accepting friends:

join a social skills group online or in person like Simply Social Kids where you can meet people who want to be friends. Join clubs and community organizations to find peers that share your interests. Find a group of peers who enjoy you for who you are and who value all your amazing qualities.

If your child/teen/young adult needs coaching to help them make friends, contact us to schedule a trial or find out more about our weekly programs by contacting us at 978-764-2758 or

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