While the back-to-school time of year is exciting for many students, some youth find school to be a difficult environment since they are dealing with physical and emotional changes. During this time of personal growth, many struggle with their self-esteem as they compare their changing minds and bodies to those of their peers. Whether you are the parent, neighbor, teacher, or family friend of a child or teen, there are many ways that all adults can help youth adjust to change and build self-confidence.
Reinforcing self-care, even before the school year begins, is one of the best ways to help improve your child or teen’s self-esteem. There are several forms of self-care including getting enough exercise, pampering yourself, developing strong relationships with family and friends, asking for help, and learning how to manage your time effectively. Encourage your youth to pursue sports or join a youth group at church to keep them active and engaged in the community. Your child or teen might also struggle with time management as they strive to have a social life and achieve good grades, so helping them identify a schedule and a routine will help relieve anxiety while increasing their ability to focus on school tasks.
To help young women feel more confident as they approach the beginning of this school year, KVC West Virginia recently held a Day of Pampering for girls ages 12-18 on August 9. Three stylists, including KVC’s Amanda Harper, volunteered their time while giving the girls haircuts. The girls also received manicures, some beauty and hygiene products to take home with them, and lots of tips for starting a successful school year!
While self-care may not directly improve academic performance, it can help people of all ages feel happy and less depressed. Any positive steps taken to help youth feel better about themselves as they face the school year are important.
What other ways can you help youth boost their self-confidence as the school year begins? There are thousands of children and teens in the West Virginia communities we serve who need support. You can make a difference by volunteering your time, services, or finances to help youth start the new school year feeling good about themselves and ready to learn!