If you want to help your teen feel better, sometimes you have to do less for him (this applies to females too, but I’ll just use the male pronoun to keep my grammar proper). It’s our tendency to step in and help when we see our teenager struggling. Building self-esteem comes when we struggle through something painful, and then succeed. If you rescue your teenager, he won’t have the chance to build self-esteem in his challenging situation.
This also applies to what we hand our teenagers. Based on my decade of experience counseling adolescents, those who buy their own car, pay for their own gas, or pay for their own cell phone have higher self-worth (as a general rule) than those who don’t earn any of their stuff.
Helping teens grow and families improve connection,
Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT