What could cause your teen to lose self-esteem?
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What could cause your teen to lose self-esteem?

Personal coach Anthony Spanjaard shares the most common reasons why teens lose their self-esteem.

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There are many things that can contribute to teens losing their self-esteem.

Anthony Spanjaard, who has been working as a personal coach for over a decade, says some of the possible causes of a lack of self-confidence could include “potential strained friendships or bullying that may have started occurring (often this may not be obvious)”.

He says even changes in family dynamics can lead to teens losing their self-confidence. However, when it comes to changes in a family dynamic, he says; “the most important thing for the teen to learn is that sometimes these things do happen in life and are beyond their control, but the important thing is to distinguish the difference between what is and is not within their scope of control.”

Anthony adds that many teenagers also can’t cope with failure.

“What always astounds me is every time I get in front of 100 teens (or a teen during one on one coaching) and ask the question ‘who is scared of failing?’ … 90% raise their hands within a split second. Yes, we should make an effort to not fail at the same task over and over, however, if we are learning from a ‘failed experience’ and doing better on the next attempt, we learn to analyse our mistakes and improve our resiliency,” says Anthony.

He adds that parents should always “encourage an environment where failure is accepted as a part of any learning experience and not a big bad monster to be avoided at all costs.”

Anthony says other things that can add to teens losing self-esteem include “sudden changes in day to day behaviour at school and or at home which persist over a period of time and losing interest in something which for a long time has always seemed to be a passion”.

Anthony says parents dealing with children who have low-self-esteem should never blame themselves.

“So many times, parents will ask me ‘is it something we’ve done or are not doing’ and many times the simple answer is ‘no’.”

“Simply put there is no set cause and no set of circumstances which will guarantee a teen does or does not have self-confidence problems or at least doubt themselves from time to time. For a teen to question their confidence or identity is not a bad thing and is part of the process of growth and self-discovery, not just for the teen but also for their family and the family dynamic as a whole,” says Anthony.

He adds that for teens questioning their confidence and identity is “often a normal, healthy part of teen self-discovery and forming an identity of how they fit into this world of school, family, friends, relationships and thinking about their future.”

Having originally come from a corporate background and having sat on the board of 2 small JSE listed companies, Anthony Spanjaard has thousands of hours of results coaching experience with teens, families and schools. He continues to run his results coaching practice with 80% of his clients being teens and schools and 20% being adults and execs of small companies. Anthony also works in partnership with a range of professionals in the clinical psychology and research psychology space.

For more information or to get in contact email him on [email protected]

Image courtesy of iStock/ diego_cervo

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