Mental health is important at every stage of life, according to the National Mental Health Information Center. Self-esteem determines how teens view themselves, their lives and their futures. Challenge teens to look at their positive traits and give them a chance to think about what makes them unique and interesting. Self-esteem building activities are beneficial in small groups or individual settings.
All About Me
Encourage self esteem with "All About Me" posters. Have teens look through old photos or magazines to find images that describe themselves. Character traits, positive personality traits and physical features should be highlighted on the poster. Adolescents can design the poster anyway they like as they think about positive aspects of themselves. Then, kids can share their posters with the group and talk about what they like about themselves. Encourage children to take the posters home to share with their families. This will help adolescents remember the wonderful things about themselves all of the time.
Creating a happiness list will allow kids to focus on positive things. Write down five things that happened yesterday and discuss whether they were good or bad. Talk to the kids about how they can make a decision to focus on their good feelings and let go of the bad feelings. Encourage the teens to make a happiness list everyday. They should write about what things happened that day that made them happy and what things they did to make others happy. Anytime they are feeling down, kids can reflect on their happiness lists to boost their self-esteem.
Give teens the opportunity to create a television commercial with this activity. Have the kids write a script for a two or three minute commercial detailing why someone should hire them. They will have to focus on their unique qualities and present them in a creative way. Teens can use music, graphics or other people in the commercial. The adolescents can present their commercials to the group.
Letter to Yourself
At the beginning of the school year, have teens write a letter to themselves. They should highlight things they like about their personality at this time. Encourage students to write about who their current friends are, favorite foods and music, and things they have accomplished in life thus far. Also, include a current picture of the teen with the letter. On the back of the letter, students should include ten goals they want to accomplish by the end of the school year. Seal the envelopes and keep them for the school year. At the end of the year, return them to students. Discuss what things have changed since the letter was written. Instruct students to talk about what positive parts of their personality have remained throughout the year.
Althea Thompson began writing professionally in 2002, and her work has appeared on CBN News and in the award-winning "Focus Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Regent University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication and writing from Houghton College.