Navigating Low Self-Esteem In Adolescence

Being an adolescent is tough. Starting out in the real world and figuring yourself out can be a challenging and draining process. All children pass through this phase, where they fix most of their personality traits. In most cases, these traits are a result of their outer surroundings and have very little to do with who they are at their core. These traits, stemming from low self-esteem in adolescence, can go on to form some of the pivotal ways the child looks at themselves in the future. 

Multiple reasons can cause a child to develop low self-esteem during adolescence. Let us dive deeper into these reasons and understand how we can help teenagers having low self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem In Adolescence

What causes low self-esteem in adolescence?

The increasing pressure to be the perfect one, combined with unstable physical environments, can become one of the leading causes of low self-esteem in teenagers. The main causes of low self-esteem in adolescence include:

1. Chronic criticism and abuse.

Children living in households marred by physical and mental abuse by caregivers are more likely to have self-esteem issues. Additionally, being criticized and compared constantly with other children can also deepen such issues. Neglect, the death of a family member, and different adverse childhood experiences can be traumatic for children and affect their self-esteem.

2. Societal expectations and pressure.

Adolescents today are constantly exposed to the outer world through social media. The pressure to be at their best and to match the footsteps of the fast-paced world can contribute to their low-self esteem. The feeling of not being enough as compared to others can cause children to doubt themselves regularly. Moreover, hurtful messages, trolling, and bullying related to one’s looks, identity, or gender can shake a young person’s self-confidence.

Read more: Bullying Prevention Month – Creating An Inclusive Environment.

How to help?

Helping adolescents develop their lost self-esteem can be tricky. However, with proper help and guidance, their confidence can be encouraged. The process of getting there will be filled with bumps and setbacks. To aid your journey, here are the best ways to help adolescents deal with low self-esteem.

1. Help them accept failures.

Failure always strikes. It is an inevitable part of life, especially during adolescent years when the person is continuously experimenting with their life. The fear of failure can forbid children from making the most of the opportunities that come their way. Helping them accept failures will help their growth and foster self-esteem. 

Read more: 11 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem

2. Reflect on your actions. 

Parents and caregivers may want their kids to have high self-esteem but will end up making fun of their baby fat the next minute or start comparing their grades to others. 

We accept that nobody is perfect, and parenting can be challenging. So look into your actions. If the household dynamics are unsupportive, cut down on the criticism. Be mindful of how you talk to your children; if the criticism feels out of control, consider family therapy. 


Self-esteem issues in adolescence can stem from several issues– including adverse childhood experiences like abuse and overburdening social expectations. However, with proper care and guidance, teenagers can effectively deal with their problems.

If your child has been struggling with self-esteem for a long time, there might be deeper issues at play. The best way through the situation is to look for proper professional help. Online therapy has brought trusted professional help right into your living room. To learn about the most affordable online therapy platforms, click here.

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