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Self Esteem... and the Teen Years!

Teenagers commonly lack self esteem. How do we discipline them and still make them feel loved and valued. It that almost everything I say to my teens, gets misinterpreted.

Thoughts Have Energy!
Entertain for a moment the idea that thoughts have energy. If thoughts do have energy, is it possible that they can cause a ripple effect, changing the people around you? Have you noticed that around people who are energized, excited and enjoying life, often the energy is contagious!

I remember a time when my 17 year old daughter and I were not getting along well and some of the thoughts I had about her at that time were not at all motherly or loving. I've often wondered how much I contributed to the problem with my attitude. Of course I was courteous in her presence however those teen years can be horrendous so, for awhile, we did not speak much. I couldn't imagine I had ever given birth to this "person"!

Then one day when I was at my wits end with her, I walked into my bedroom. Angry, hurt and not sure where to go or what to do, I saw a picture someone had placed on the end of my bed. It was a picture of my little girl when she was about 4 years old. White blonde hair, big blue eyes and tanned skin, she smiled up at me from the picture. I had forgotten that the person living in my house was this beautiful child that I loved so much. My heart softened and I started to cry.

At that moment I realized I really needed an attitude adjustment. I made an effort to see her through new eyes, to see her as that beautiful baby I loved so very much! The amazing thing was that as the days passed and as I treated her with love, the relationship came back. Miraculously, I did nothing else other than change the thoughts I had about her.

We all know that the teen years can be so difficult and the self esteem in which they hold themselves can be so fragile. What they truly need from us as parents, is the love and encouragement we needed at that age too. The time with them is so short that every effort we make in their behalf is truly worth the effort.

The Definition of Self Esteem

In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth refers to a person's subjective appraisal of himself or herself as intrinsically positive or negative to some degree (Sedikides & Gregg, 2003).

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Updated - November 05, 2009