May is National Teen self-esteem month, so what better time to talk about the importance of teen self-esteem. Actually, self-esteem in all ages is really important! National Teen Self-Esteem Month was established to create awareness about the negative effects poor self-esteem causes among the teen population. During this month, parents and guardians are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among adolescents.

What is self-esteem? The Webster’s dictionary says: Self-Esteem-The esteem or good opinion of oneself. Now let's look at what Esteem is- to set value on, to regard with respect. So, for us to have self-esteem we need to have a good view of ourselves and be respectful to ourselves as well. Why is self-esteem so important? One, we make better decisions for ourselves when we are not lacking self-esteem. We want to value who we are, love who we are and make good decisions for our self, to reinforce our self worth, thereby strengthening our self-esteem.

Treating ourselves with respect is totally in our hands, we have complete control over this one. If you have the choice to do something good or bad for yourself, you have the choice to do what’s good, and no one can stop you. We have to remember that our opinion of ourselves really starts with us, not outside influences - not people, not the media!

Here are a couple quick tips to strengthen and maintain our sense of self and build confidence:

  • Learn to love yourself for who you are
  • Respect yourself, make good decisions
  • Know your opinions of yourself, come from you, not the opinions of others
  • Realize what make you shine is on the inside, not what you look like

So, go out in the world and know you are good enough and are perfect just the way you are. And remember, although it might sound cliche, treat others the way you want to be treated!

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