Teens and Self Esteem
Parents may remember back when it was critical to be accepted by their peers. This problem is as old as time, and continues into adulthood for many people. Everyone wants to be accepted. This need to be accepted and the fear of the not being accepted can sometimes create feelings of worthlessness. Low self esteem can be found in even he most popular students at any school. These feelings are normal and unless they become the center of focus for a teen they will not create many problems. When a teen becomes obsessed with becoming accepted by the popular “in crowd”, they can often time get into trouble rather than accepted.
The New Kid
When a student is placed in a new school the feelings of being accepted seem to be amplified, as initially they are alone, not accepted by anyone. This can be a time of incredible vulnerability for the “new kid”. In order to be accepted the new kid may resort to acting out in class or engaging in activities he would not have considered previously. A teen that is working to be accepted may behave in ways that will totally surprise his or her parents. In some cases the student may find acceptance with the wrong crowd. The new friends may not be typical of the type of friends the teen has been with in the past. Because the teen’s new negative friends accept him or her can lead to larger problems, as the troubled teen becomes more involved with his new friends behaviors.
Low Esteem in Troubled Teens
To say that all troubled teens have low self esteem would not be an accurate statement. Some troubled youth think very highly of themselves. They don’t believe they do anything wrong, nor do they care what anyone thinks about their actions. The teen that truly doesn’t care what others think about his or her behaviors may be more problematic than the teen seeking acceptance. It can be difficult to determine what motivates an egotistical teen. One upside to a teen that truly doesn’t care what others think of them is the fact that they won’t engage in an activity just because everyone else is doing it. If the teen isn’t suffering from low self esteem and they have a core set of values, they will usually make it through their teen years in relatively good shape.
Low Self Esteem and Teen Boarding Schools
Some boarding schools for troubled teens include courses on self esteem and self confidence into the values they teach the kids. Sometime when the teen finishes a tough teen program they inherently come away with a stronger set of values and a determination to stand on their own. Their self esteem increases because they have gotten caught up in school, and stayed clean and sober for a long period of time. They are thinking clearly and come away with a renewed determination to make more appropriate choices.