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Teen Self Esteem

The Self-Love Workbook for Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on May 15, 2020  /   Posted in Featured Book, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Parenting Books, Parenting Teens, Teen Depression, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

The Self-Love Workbook for Teens: A Transformative Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Build a Healthy Mindset, and Embrace Your True Self

By Shainna Ali PhD.

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Discover how to change your attitude, build confidence in who you are, and genuinely love yourself through the guided activities and real-world advice in this easy-to-use, friendly workbook for teens and young adults.

As a teen, life can be stressful, whether from worrying about looks, performance in school, relationships with friends and family, or societal pressures. It is easy for you to lose focus and feel like you’re not good enough.

The Self-Love Workbook for Teens gives you the tools to conquer self-doubt and develop a healthy mindset. It includes fun, creative, and research-backed exercises, lessons, and tips, including:

  • Interactive activities
  • Reflective exercises
  • Journaling prompts
  • Actionable advice

Self-love is a journey, but it is the first step on the path to a happier, more fulfilling life.

About the author:

Shainna Ali is a mental health counselor, educator, and advocate. Dr. Ali is passionate about destigmatizing mental health counseling and helping individuals worldwide recognize the importance of fostering mental wellness. She is the author of The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth, and Find Genuine Happiness.

In her Psychology Today-hosted blog, A Modern Mentality, she promotes mental health awareness in an effort to improve mental wellness across the globe. Dr. Ali is also an active blog contributor for the American Counseling Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. As a mental health advocate Dr. Ali has been featured in outlets such as ABC, NBC, Yahoo, Bustle, NPR, The Washington Post, and The Insider.

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Makeup, Skincare & Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on April 25, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

TeenSkinCareIn this day of beauty bloggers, Instagram filters and celebrity beauty trends, young girls yearning to wear makeup are more prominent than ever.  But as parents of the little girls who once played with lipstick and pranced around in mommy’s high heels, it can be tough to know when it’s the right time. Many parents struggle with the question: When should I allow my daughter to start wearing makeup?

It can be a tough balance to let children come into their own without letting them grow up too fast. And while there are no hard and fast rules on this topic, there are some expert guidelines you can look to for help.

More than skin deep

One of the best pieces of advice from experts is to simply use common sense. Clinical psychologist Jamie Howard says that a little common sensecan go a long way, particularly when it comes to a younger child.

She notes that certain events are appropriate for young girls to wear makeup, such as a performance or dance recital. Further, she says that if young girls or young teens want to get a manicure with friends or family or wear a light lip balm, there is no concern. However, she does express concern when makeup gets to a point of sexualizing the teen to look too old. That, she says, crosses a boundary. Things like dark lipstick, smoky shadows on the eyes, thick liner, etc., can be taken too far.

When it comes to slightly older teens, it can be tougher. While balancing being supportive and wanting your child to be able to feel confident in their appearance, it can get tricky.

Dr. Howard cautions parents that the wrong message could actually hamper their child’s self-confidence. So it is key to let your child know that you love her exactly how she is and that her appearance is not the most important thing about her.

Start slow

Being a teen can be difficult these days. Throw in the pressures to look perfect brought on by social media and the likes of teens like Kylie Jenner who, seemingly, obsesses about beauty and shares it with her loyal young following, it can be even tougher.

However, expecting your daughter to avoid makeup forever is unrealistic.

Carol Tuttle, mother of five and author of “Dressing Your Truth” says to start with lip gloss around ages 10, 11 and 12. Then move on to foundation and concealer at about ages 13 and 14. She says that eye shadow, blush and eyeliner are appropriate by ages 15-17. After all, as your teen becomes an adult, she will want to know the proper way to apply makeup… and a few years of practice can prepare her.

According to the experts at Parents.com, parents and their children should set up a basis for makeup rules to avoid fighting about the topic. While, they say, elementary school is too young to wear makeup, a little lip balm is fine.

As kids grow into teens, suggest concealer to cover blemishes, a bit of powder (rather than caking on full-blown foundation), some gloss and maybe a swipe of mascara. Even a bit of natural-looking bronzer or naturally shaded blush is acceptable.

Concentrate on the items that accentuate your child’s natural beauty rather than hide it. For example, if your child has freckles, let her know that they are a unique and beautiful feature she has, therefore, she shouldn’t cover them up with heavy makeup.

Skincare first

Though we’re talking about makeup… let’s take one step back. The first part in feeling comfortable in your own skin (for your child, and yourself!) is high-quality skincare. As teens go through hormonal changes, acne or blemishes can hinder self-esteem. If your child’s skin is prone to breakouts, it’s a good idea to get a good cleanser that fights acne. And though it’s natural to have zits here and there, if your child is experiencing intense breakouts, a visit to the dermatologist may be necessary.

Further, it’s wise to teach kids early on about how to preserve their own beauty. Skincare products that offer superior hydration and replenishment can help nurture your teen’s skin long into the future. And it’s never too early to start taking good care of our faces with high-quality cleansers, toners and moisturizers. Don’t forget the SPF, particularly for teens who play outdoor sports. Always aim for SPF 30 or higher and reapply as needed.

Lead by example

Though they may not always admit it, your teen is watching you and taking to heart what you do. So be sure you have and display a healthy attitude toward beauty, makeup, skincare and self-confidence. Because no matter how many times you tell your child she’s beautiful, if you’re tearing yourself apart she will start looking for flaws in herself.

Above all, teaching your child to appreciate her natural beauty is the best advice. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and makeup should be used to highlight features, not go against them. At times, every one of us can feel insecure. But with the right tools — and the right support system — it can be easier to love ourselves.

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Helping Teens With Self-Esteem

Posted by Sue Scheff on December 13, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

SelfWorthHelp! My teen is hanging with the wrong crowd!

This is a common statement from parents when their child is starting down a negative road.

Your child’s self-esteem is an important part of his self-image. It helps him feel he’s worthwhile just as he is and helps him feel good about his choices and decisions. A healthy self esteem doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s something that is nurtured and grown throughout a lifetime, and something that the important people in his life have a chance to help cultivate.

Here are some tips for boosting your child’s self-esteem.

gift of failureAvoid generic praise. Parents want kids to feel good about the things they do and to encourage them to repeat the types of behavior they value. So parents often say things like “Great job!” after everything from finishing vegetables at dinner to putting socks on in the morning to going down the slide at the park. While generic congratulations feel good to a child for a short time, after too many times it becomes meaningless. In fact, congratulating a child for things that don’t require real effort can make a child lose trust in the parent’s honesty. Obviously this is an example for younger children – however the New York Time’s best seller by Jessica Lahey, The Gift of Failure, is an excellent example of over-praising a child and especially a teenager can actually hinder them, rather than help them.

Use specific praise generously. It’s helpful to a child’s self-esteem to hear from parents and other adults about their accomplishments, both big and small. Instead of using generic praise, let your child know how much you admire and appreciate his specific behavior. Phrases like “I appreciate your help with the housework. It means we have more time to go to the mall this weekend.” or “I’m so proud of how you tried new activities at school. It’s a great way to find out what your passionate about.” Will help your teen feel good about his abilities and choices.

Avoid negative labels. Most of the way we communicate with others is based in lifelong habits. Unfortunately some unhealthy habits may find their way into your parenting or care giving vocabulary. Labeling a child as being mean, lazy, uncoordinated or hyperactive, or calling him a whiner, liar or babyish can negatively affect his self-esteem. Children are sensitive to what the people they love think about them and words can have a huge effect. Choose your words carefully and talk about challenging behaviors or traits in positive terms.

Become a great listener. Giving your child your full attention and truly listening to what he is saying and how he feels is an immediate self-esteem booster. When you turn off your phone, the TV and the computer and fully engage with your child it shows him that you really care about him and that you’re interested in what he has to say. That kind of undivided attention is rarer than it should be these days and will make your child feel valued and loved.  In the same way – your teen need to turn off their phone and electronics to listen to you too.

Model healthy self-esteem. Your child looks to you for clues about how to think, act and feel. Make sure you’re sending the right message. Invest in developing your own healthy self-esteem and you’ll be on your way to helping your child develop it too. Have a positive body image, be confident about your abilities, and don’t let petty criticisms from the outside world make you feel bad about yourself and your choices. If you struggle with esteem issues, talk about them with your child in an age appropriate way and show him the steps you’re taking to develop a healthy self-esteem. Showing your child that you’re not perfect, but that you’re working towards being better, gives him the freedom to accept his flaws too.

Teach problem solving skills. Teaching your child how to objectively assess a situation, brainstorm solutions, and put a plan into action is a proactive way of building self-esteem. Children who feel able to handle challenging situations, who recognize that when they get knocked down they can get right back up and try again, and who are confident that every problem has a solution have a strong sense of self-esteem.

Self-esteem is an important part of a child’s healthy emotional development. It acts like a suit of armor for your child, protecting him from many of the bumps and bruises that come with everyday life. It also gives him a strong foundation to build life skills on.

TeensOnBeach11 Facts about teens and self esteem are listed on DoSomething.org and are very interesting including:

  1. Low self-esteem is a thinking disorder in which an individual views him/herself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior.
  2. Among high school students, 44% of girls and 15% of guys are attempting to lose weight.
  3. Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks. Brighten someone’s day by posting encouraging messages on your school’s bathroom mirrors. Sign up for Mirror Messages.
  4. More than 40% of boys in middle school and high school regularly exercise with the goal of increasing muscle mass.
  5. 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating. This compares to 25% of girls with high self-esteem.
  1. About 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  2. Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they’ve ended up regretting later.
  3. The top wish among all teen girls is for their parents to communicate better with them. This includes frequent and more open conversations.
  4. 38% of boys in middle school and high school reported using protein supplements and nearly 6% admitted to experimenting with steroids.
  5. 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.
  6. A girl’s self-esteem is more strongly related to how she views her own body shape and body weight, than how much she actually weighs.

Do you feel your tween or teen is struggling with low self worth, starting to go down a negative path. Don’t let it escalate. Be proactive and reach out for help. Finding a local adolescent therapist can sometimes help. If it has gone too far, you may have come to a point where residential therapy is the answer. Contact us for more information.

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