Co-parents: Let’s Talk Self-Esteem – Tips To Empower Your Teen

Co-parents: Let’s Talk Self-Esteem

When your child is coming of age it can be challenging for all parties involved. From bodily changes, relationships, newfound independence, and everything in between, it can be confusing and overwhelming. On top of that, it can especially seem awkward to navigate it all with your co-parent. If you are not careful some of your teenager’s needs can be lost in the shuffle and the last thing you want to overlook is self-esteem. It can be easy to brush it aside at first, and you can tell yourself it’s just a teenage thing that everyone goes through. However, it is critical that both you and your co-parent are able to be a champion of your teen’s confidence and don’t neglect any signs of low self-esteem. Make no mistake, now is the time to work together to understand the importance of self-esteem. Continue reading to discover key areas to focus your attention on to best empower your young adult.

Take Note of Your Teen’s Behavior

Whatever you do, don’t brush things off. It can be hard to make time to pay attention to the details when you have your own career, responsibilities, and concerns, on top of co-parenting. However, it’s important for co-parents to be aware of their teen’s feelings, and behaviors across both households. Co-parents must be especially vigilant because you are not with your teen every day and on the surface, it may seem that your teen is giving off mixed messages. However, it is important to pay special attention to any changes in moods, and habits. Take notes surrounding your teen’s health and wellness. Be aware of what makes your teen happy, feel inspired, and empowered. Remember to congratulate your teen when they feel good about a recent win in their life. Help celebrate their accomplishments by sharing them through your co-parenting journal, whether it be a photo from being inducted into the honor society or a video of scoring that winning goal. This way neither of you will miss a moment and you can both offer your praise and encouragement. On the flip side, acknowledge and pay attention to when your teen is feeling down. Do you notice your teen seems to be set off by certain triggers, or a lack of confidence due to pressure from a certain situation? Encourage your co-parent to do the same. Feel free to compare notes, and go over your observations through secure messaging.

It’s important that co-parents are able to recognize their teen’s unique needs so you both can lift up and boost your teen’s self-confidence. One issue co-parents could run into is overlooking behaviors between households. Therefore, strive to recognize these things upfront so that they don’t go unnoticed. For example, if you notice that your teen feels pressure from school or is overwhelmed by too many extracurricular activities, try to help minimize these pressures across households. If you know that a certain activity makes your teen feel confident then try to promote, encourage, and foster your teen’s interest. Encourage your teen to be open with managing and sharing emotions, whether it be through journaling, or just talking. When both teens and co-parents have strategies in place it can truly be game-changing. Just remember, it all starts with paying attention, intervening, and creating that consistency early on, and not putting anything off.

Be There to Support With Health Changes

The bodily changes your teen goes through can have a direct impact on self-esteem. Teens may feel uncomfortable all of a sudden noticing things are different than before hitting puberty. Your teen may not like a growth spurt and being taller than their friends, sweating more, or dreaded acne breakouts. All of these things can be too much to bear at once and can leave your teen feeling unhappy. Encourage your teen to confide in health care professionals and talk to them about what they are feeling and experiencing. However, health checkups can become confusing across households. Therefore before your teen attends an appointment it is important that both you and your co-parent are aware of and up to date on all your teen’s latest health needs. Ensure that both you and your co-parent have access to the same vital health information so you can best support your teen with healthcare concerns. Rely on your co-parenting apps information bank to easily have access to common health stats and documents. This way there will be no confusion and you can help your teen to stay on top of their health and wellness and guide them with appointments.

A telehealth consult may be a great way for you, your co-parent, and your teen to be able to be on the same page. For example, if your teen may be feeling uncomfortable about acne, then speaking with a dermatologist to find a prescription teen acne treatment can help them gain independence and take charge of their health concerns. Having the ability to talk online with a healthcare professional will ensure your teen has access to the same health resources across both homes. Not only will co-parents be empowered, but your teen as well, by knowing how to communicate with trusted professionals and start to be their own best health advocate. Build upon this, and strive to help your teen by creating a home that inspires healthy habits on a daily basis. Helping your teen stick to a healthy routine by taking care of their personal hygiene, going to bed at a good time, or even something like keeping their room picked up can help them feel better by reducing clutter and chaos. Even small changes in your teen’s environment can greatly improve your teen’s mental health.

Foster Healthy Online and Offline Relationships

At some point or another social media is sure to have an impact on your teen’s self-esteem. Today’s teens are digital natives, and a good majority of their free time and social life is spent online. However, the hours spent scrolling through TikTok, and Instagram may cause a direct blow to your teen’s self-esteem. From filters, Photoshop, to glorifying images, your teen may start to compare their own lives and self-worth to those online, whether friends or influencers. All these unrealistic images can cause your teen to question how they look and fit in. Teens can also be vulnerable to cyberbullying online on social media. Therefore, it is critical that co-parents are aware of online activity and are also striving to reinforce healthy relationships and social activities. This can be hard to do between households and takes an effort from both parents to be there for support. This is not to say that you should prevent your teen from using social media, but it may be a good idea to use a social media monitoring app to check in on your teen’s online health.

All in all, it is best that co-parents strive to limit your teen’s temptation of spending time scrolling, by rather getting out of the house and participating in fun events, getting active, and spending time with friends in person. This helps teens to build authentic healthy relationships rather than be consumed by social media. You can ensure a healthy mix of activities is built into your teen’s day by using your co-parenting calendar to plan some fun activities. Encourage your teen to check out events going on in the area that they can also invite their friends to, volunteer, or even join a teen-friendly gym. Activities like volunteering can help your teen improve their communication and leadership skills. Encourage your teen with every chance and opportunity you have that will allow them to gain more confidence and independence and learn vital life skills.

In order to empower your young adult and boost self-esteem when co-parenting, you must be proactive. Stay on top of all the little details along the way. Although it may seem challenging and uncomfortable at first, there are plenty of ways to find common ground with your co-parent to help your teen thrive. Be open and communicate regularly, and be there for your teen to lean on. Remember that you are not alone, there are plenty of great co-parenting tools, resources, and even networks that you can rely on if you are looking for advice or better strategies for co-parenting your teen. Co-parenting is a constantly evolving process, and every day you will find new best practices for fostering your teen’s self-esteem between two homes. Just remember, by being open and supportive you will be able to strike the right balance. Reinforcing healthy practices, being open, and communicative is the best way to provide your teen with a strong confident base to work from.

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