our everyday life

Five Top Ways to Teach Your Teenager to Love Herself

by Barbie Carpenter , studioD

The teenage years can be tumultuous, as your daughter strives to assert her independence and you want to retain some control over her decisions. As her interests, social circle and long-term goals evolve and change, your teen might second-guess herself, feeling bad about who she is. Boosting your teen's self-esteem, building her self-confidence and teaching your teen to love herself can have a long-term impact on how your teen behaves and the choices she makes.

Be a Role Model

If you don't love yourself, you're setting a bad example for your teen daughter. Never be critical of yourself in front of your teen. Don't remark about what you don't like about yourself, whether it's your weight, your haircut or your job. Instead, be confident in who you are, embracing both your best features and your flaws. Show your teen that you accept the good and the bad and love yourself anyway.

Love Your Teen

Showing affection and love to your teen growing up may not have been difficult -- a kiss on the cheek and a hug before sending her off to school were commonplace, and let her know that you loved her. Now, however, your teen might resist these outward displays of affection, but telling her you love her can help her love herself, nonetheless. The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service recommends a short note telling your teen you love her or a simple pat on the back to let her know you're there.

Give Her Some Independence

Making smart decisions can boost your daughter's self-esteem and, in turn, allow her to love herself. Give your teen daughter some freedom to make decisions, whether she's choosing the right dress for the homecoming dance or selecting electives for her sophomore year. She'll benefit from this burst of independence and love herself as a result.

Compliment Her

Your teen daughter might be down on herself, but some encouraging words can boost how she feels. Congratulate her on a job well done in the classroom. Celebrate her efforts in extracurricular endeavors, whether she's in the band or on the volleyball team. Compliment her hair, makeup or clothes, even when she's frustrated by her looks.

Set Reasonable Expectations

You want your daughter to achieve, but you don't want to place undue pressure on her either. Work with your teen to set realistic expectations and goals for her life -- academically and socially. Setting achievable goals promotes success, which can leave your teen daughter feeling confident and proud of her achievements.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images