How Low Can They Go?

How Low Can They Go?

By Jay MacInnes

Adolescence can be a discouraging time for young people. When society tells kids that dignity is tied to appearance, they may start to feel ugly. Parents have high — sometimes over-inflated — expectations, hopes and dreams. They may belittle their kids, negating their accomplishments by neglecting to encourage them enough. Additionally, bullies may harass or abuse them, changing school into a negative environment. These pressures take a toll on children who are already confused from their physical and emotional changes. As a result, it can hide their uniqueness, talents and personality.

The consequences of low self-esteem may result in average or below average grades at school. Some students may sit alone in the lunchroom, feeling isolated and ostracized. Low self-esteem may even cause some children to commit suicide. The pressures of life seem to be an endless cycle that only gets worse.

Although parents can’t expunge all of life’s struggles from their kids’ lives, you can guide them through the toughest years. Most importantly, you can teach your kids that beauty comes from within. Encouraging them to try new activities may help them discover a new talent. Attending sporting events, PTA meetings and communicating with teachers show that you are interested in what goes on in their lives. A boost of self-confidence provides hope; helping kids take pride in today’s accomplishments and anticipate tomorrow’s adventures.

Copyright © 2002 Focus on the Family.