Tween self-esteem sinkhole - FOX 35 News Orlando

Tween self-esteem sinkhole

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Have you heard of the tween “sinkhole”?

Experts say it’s a time between the ages of 10 and 15 when children’s insecurity bubbles up and self-esteem tends to drop.

There are many factors that come into play, but how can you help your child get through this time?

Life coach Jenn Lee joined Good Day Orlando to talk solutions.

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when social media comes into play, it makes it more challenging.

Three factors come into play during the “tween” years: First, looking in the mirror and not realizing what they’re seeing because they’re changing physically so much. They’re starting to form their own opinions because they’re learning more but they have no place to put their opinions and then on top of that they want to fit in.

When teens try to fit in on social media, trouble can arise when they give their opinion and then get attacked online. They pull back. It can lead to problems when they are adults.

Set the foundation so when they become teenagers and young adults, they have more self-esteem to bolster themselves.

Tip No. 1: Limit fly-by compliments
Instead of telling your child, “Good job!” or “Congrats!” give it some beef. Confidence is attached to achievement. We can’t achieve when we’re simply hearing, “Good job!”

When your child makes the winning goal, don’t simply say good job, tell them why they did a good job. “Because you put in those extra two hours of practice, you could clearly see how you were able to make that goal.”

So, you have to think it through. As adults, management uses a technique all the time called positive reinforcement. Parents, you can do that with your teens and tweens.

They start seeing their strengths, talents and activities are completely tied to their outcome, which builds confidence.

Let them set the reward. You don’t need to bribe tweens. They already want to prove themselves.

You can say, “Let’s go on an adventure together.” Get into the car and let them pick a place on the map. Leave it completely up to them.

Encourage them to try new things often. Try something new every week. Encourage them to cook something or have a conversation that they are afraid to have with a classmate.

It helps them because their actions are always tied to their outcomes.

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