Adolescent Behaviors

Adolescents are at the age where they are changing and developing into young adults. With these changes come a variety of behaviors that are also new to the adolescent and those associated with the adolescent. There are many different adolescent behaviors that can cause parents and caregivers to worry. Fortunately, not all adolescent behaviors are extremely serious. And, with research and study, parents and caregivers can help with the pressures and effects that often accompany the different adolescent behaviors. One of these adolescent behaviors that affects so many youth today is poor self esteem.





Adolescent Behaviors, Self Esteem, and the Media

Webster’s dictionary defines self esteem as "a realistic respect for, or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect." Unfortunately, in today’s society, adolescents find it hard to have a favorable impression or even self respect for one’s self. Adolescents are being bombarded by many factors which lead to low self esteem, including the media. Adolescents constantly view unrealistic images of men and women (especially women) in television, magazines, and internet websites. The "Barbie doll" figure becomes the standard, and perfection is the ultimate goal. In turn, adolescents began to set unattainable, impractical goals for themselves, which unfortunately leads to unhappiness, a sense of failure, and ultimately, low self esteem. Adolescents should recognize with the help from parents and caregivers just how idealistic these media images can be. There is much good that comes from the media we are surrounded by today; yet when it comes to adolescents and self esteem, the media is not always the most favorable option to look to.



Adolescent Behaviors, Self Esteem, and Sibling Rivalry

Another factor leading to the adolescent behavior of low self esteem is the need to be accepted by parents and others. Sibling rivalry can often be the result of parents who compare their children to one another, especially during the adolescent years. Parents and caregivers should always recognize the differences in each child, and embrace those differences without criticism. It is important for parents and caregivers to realize that their attitudes and views can have a large influence on the severity of sibling rivalry. Because it is impossible to treat each child exactly the same, parents shouldn’t place this unrealistic stressor upon themselves.



However, it is important to always be fair and show open mindedness to all children and adolescents. Again, parents should never make comparisons between children or adolescents; doing so can cause anger resentment, and low self esteem. Low self esteem is just one behavior that affects many adolescents today. Fortunately, it is a behavior that can change with the positive help that comes from family, friends, teacher, and other caregivers. Adolescents should always have "a realistic respect for, or favorable impression" of themselves as they journey through their adolescent years and into adulthood.

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