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The teenage years are often the most difficult time of childhood. During this time, children are blossoming into adults and struggle to determine the individual identity. It is no shock the teen years are the most dreaded by parents, but these fragile youngsters are at a critical time in their lives. Often, boundaries are pushed and rules are stretched by a teenager yearning to take that "next step" into adulthood. Teens find themselves not only faced with emotional transitions, but also physical changes. In the midst of these physical and emotional evolutions, a teen's self-esteem can be compromised. Parents can take certain steps in order to ensure that a child's self-esteem is not affected by the turbulent teenage years.

The best way to improve your teen's self-esteem is to take an active role in your child's life. By knowing his or her interests, friends, strengths, and weaknesses, you will be aware of any problems that may arise. Starting from a young age, instill a positive attitude in your child. Children who have a great sense of self-worth are more apt to blossom into teenagers with a great sense of self-worth. Take time to talk with your teen instead of talking to your teen. If your child believes his or her opinion or thoughts have an impact in the home front, that individual is more apt to have a greater self-esteem. Allowing your teen to have a say in decisions that affect the entire family will further impress a sense of self-worth, thus positively affect his or her self-esteem.

Children learn by example, and teenagers are no different. Teens whose parents showcase high self-esteem are more likely to exhibit self-esteem. Conversely, parents with low self-esteem or who constantly question their self-worth will pass those traits on to their children simply by their actions. The way you interact with your friends, family members, and colleagues will rub off on your children. Individuals with low self-esteem set poor examples for their teens and should not be surprised when their teens exhibit similar actions. Children are like a sponge, so take care not to comment negatively towards yourself or others. Many teens with issues regarding their physical appearance learn these behaviors from home. Television, movies, and music play a huge part in any teenager's life. These outlets seem obsessed with a pre-conceived idea of perfection that will most likely differ from that of the average individual. Take time to speak with your teen regarding these issues.

Interaction with your teenager will allow you first-hand information on any problems he or she may be having and make an attempt to remedy these situations. Often, teenagers are quite sensitive about their appearance due to acne or other issues. If this is the case, consider making an appointment with a dermatologist who will be able to remedy the situation. Similarly, your teen may be interested in changing his or her appearance to best fit a burgeoning identity, but may be hesitant to approach a parent. Remember, teenagers straddle the line between child and young adult. Although they may yearn to be an adult, the child part still needs reassurance from a parent. If you as a parent feel a requested physical transformation will not benefit your teen, make a compromise. Often, teens are looking to be outrageous in order to push boundaries set by parents. Instead of lowering your teen's self-esteem by creating a confrontation, create an atmosphere of discussion and compromise.

Open communication cannot be stressed enough. Take time to talk to your teen about their friends, classes, activities, or interests. Teach your teen to accentuate the positive instead of focusing on attributes they see as weak or negative. Instill a sense great self esteem at a young age that will continue with your teen as he or she grows. You may wish to enroll your child in self-esteem building classes or extra curricular activities that will boost their self-worth. Whatever the case, taking an active part in your teen's life is the best way to see them through this transitional time in their lives with their self-esteem intact

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