How to Help Boys Improve their Self-Esteem

How to Help Boys Improve their Self-Esteem

Parents of girls often worry more about self-esteem issues than parents of boys, but adolescent boys often suffer from the same type of issues. Just like girls, a boy’s self-esteem as he grows is critical to his overall development. Boys must like themselves in order to develop strong social, cognitive, and social skills, which are all ingredients to a successful life.

Like girls, boys often compare themselves to other males in their peer group — as well as their fathers, uncles, and other males in their lives. The media portrays distorted images of males that make boys feel inadequate or not manly if they don’t live up to these fictional men.

Boys in their early teen years often go through a period of intense insecurity, which makes them sensitive about their image and makes it difficult for them to find their place in the world around them. At this stage in life, boys’ egos are easily damaged by words said by both peers and family members. Parents must help build a boy’s self-esteem to help him discover who he is in life.

building self-esteem in boys, self-esteem

Tips for Building a Boy’s Self Esteem

Self-esteem is a fragile thing. It can take months or more to develop but can be crushed within seconds. For this reason, it’s important that parents and other caregivers use strategies for building self-esteem with every interaction. Here are some suggestions to help with your boy’s self-esteem:

Praise: Everyone needs to be praised, but it must be sincere praise. Constantly criticizing a boy and always pointing out what he has done wrong can quickly smash his self-esteem. Praising a boy for his accomplishments lifts his spirits and helps him succeed.

Identify Strengths: Boys with low self-esteem have trouble seeing their own self-worth. It’s important that parents and caregivers point out his unique abilities and talents. This way a boy can see what he has, so he can value and build on those strengths.

Support Interests: Every boy has different interests, so support his hobbies and activities. This encourages him to do well in all his ventures. It can even give him the boost required to try things he once didn’t have the confidence to attempt.

Quality time: One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is their time. This lets a boy know his parents actually care for him and like him as a person. Giving of your quality time can help with a boy’s emotional development and creates a sense of self love.

Listening: Parents need to listen carefully to their boys and help them find the words they need to adequately express their feelings. Many young boys haven’t yet built the vocabulary needed to explain complex emotions.

Constructive criticism: There will be times when a boy needs some criticism, but make it constructive. Don’t be negative. Instead of scolding them for getting something wrong, point out what was right or good about it, and let him know with a little help he can do better the next time.

These steps can help parents raise boys with strong self-esteem who are ready to face the world with a positive, can-do attitude.

Rebuilding Self Esteem

It’s best to take steps to build self-esteem instead of having to work at rebuilding it later once it has been damaged. You can rebuild a damaged self-esteem, but it takes more work than just giving boys what they need as they grow and develop.

To rebuild self-esteem, the positive interaction must be an ongoing process. It can take years to rebuild a damaged self-esteem, even when the boy is given the time, praise and attention he needs from trusted loved ones.

Finding a mentor that a boy can look up to and that he trusts to spend time with him and listen to him can go a long way in rebuilding a broken self.

Although boys struggle with self-image, remember — it is the media and others who define the image of what a man is supposed to be. Boys need support from the people they trust in order to find themselves and their own unique strengths.

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