When it comes to teen counseling, I have encountered children and teenagers who suffer from depression and anxiety for a variety of different reasons; but one of the most common reasons for young people to develop mood or behavior problems is low self-esteem. As just about every adult knows, the teenage years are often more difficult to navigate than almost any other time in life.
Bodily changes, many of which aren’t particularly attractive, and emotional changes, brought on by supercharged hormonal surges, leave children unsure of themselves and deathly afraid of how they are perceived by others, especially their peers. Many, many teens develop self-esteem issues during these turbulent years that can last well into adulthood. These are some of the ways you may be able to tell if your child is experiencing self-esteem problems that require teen counseling:
► He Avoids Interaction With Others
Avoidance is the easiest way for your teen to ensure that he won’t be judged by others. If you notice that he is avoiding new activities or meeting new people, it may be a sign that he has low self-esteem. Low self-esteem means he’ll feel uncomfortable or awkward in unfamiliar circumstances or with unfamiliar people. If his self-esteem issues stem from teasing or bullying at school or in a social group, he may even try to avoid familiar activities and people.
► His Confidence Level Seems To Drop
In addition to feeling a lack of confidence in new surroundings, your child may feel a decidedly-lower level of confidence in his abilities. He may express criticism of any skills he possesses or tasks he completes. In fact, his language, overall, may become extremely negative when it comes to himself and the world he must interact with. Even if he doesn’t speak, his lack of confidence can be found in his body language, including sad facial expressions, slumped shoulders and downcast eyes.
► He Stops Making An Effort At School And At Home
Lack of confidence in himself and his skills can also mean that he won’t be able to follow through on projects, at home, at school or at work. His lack of belief in himself and what he can do and accomplish may cause him to walk away without finishing what he started.
► He Exhibits Consistently-Negative Emotions
The negativity that comes with low self-esteem can manifest itself in a number of ways, including general unhappiness, depression, anxiety, shame, anger and hostility. Though it may seem like many of these emotions are directed at you – like hostility and anger – they usually are not. You are simply close enough to him to witness the negative emotions he’s feeling.
Don’t let your child suffer unnecessarily with self-esteem issues. There is help in the form of teen counseling. Call me, Jody VanDrimmelen, at Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to schedule an appointment.