4 Ways to Encourage Better Self-Esteem in Teenagers


Teenage-hood is an awkward time for anyone’s self-esteem. For teens who have become chemically dependent upon drugs and alcohol and are in active recovery, focusing on positive self-esteem building is especially important.

  • Take On Family Fitness or Physical Activity Challenges: Teenagers need to know they are not alone in their awkward insecurities and their imperfections. Practicing sports, finding family fitness challenges, or exploring new physical activities together is the perfect way to do that. Everyone in a family system has different strengths and weakness. For the teenager in your family who feels extra insecure because of their recovery from an addiction, alcoholism, or other mental health issue, it is important to highlight the normalcy of that. Together you can have fun, embarrass yourselves, and find confidence. Remember to be encouraging and focused on the positive, while also being prepared to soothe any triggered frustrations which might come up.


  • Have Family Crafting or Artistic Time: Many teens fall in love with creative arts during their adolescence because they find a way to express themselves which feels unique to their voice. Most teens who go through treatment for chemical dependency will experience various forms of creative healing arts including art, music, and drama. Find family art projects like a giant puzzle, painting a room a new color, or decorating an area of the house together. Allowing your teen to make creative decisions gives them the confidence that their individuality and the peculiar vision they have of the world has validation in your world and the world of your family.
  • Explore Your Teen’s Interests: It’s so much easier as parents of teenagers to shake our heads and simply say we don’t understand. Being seen, acknowledged, heard, and understood is deeply important to teens in recovery who are trying to make peace with the process of discovering themselves. Find out what they’re interested in and consider it. Poetry? What kind do they like? Literature? Who are their favorite authors and why? Are there nearby museums, college lectures, or festivals dedicated to their interests? Show your support in the things which make your teens the special individuals that they are, especially the hobbies and interests which help them maintain their recovery.
  • Attend Family Therapy: Teens need more than anything to know that they are cared for. Adult addicts and alcoholics live with a tremendous amount of guilt for the wreckage and damage they caused often through their own adolescence and into their adulthoods. Your teen’s years of substance abuse may be few but compact in heartache. Having a loving and forgiving family is important for recovery. Attending family therapy is a way to allow everyone in the family unit to participate in healing their spirits, which are often broken by addiction in the household.



At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, families are reunited with the hope of a better future. Our residential treatment programs offer premiere healing for adolescents and teens. Supporting academic progress in addition to clinical treatment, we focus on helping clients build a foundation in faith and trust, while cleansing their life mind, body, and spirit. For more information, call us today at 662-598-4214.