Building Self Esteem in Teens Lesson Plan

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Lesson outline for health educators and homeschooling parents for building self esteem in teens.

Teens are at an age where they begin to need and want more independence in their lives.  They want to make their own choices.  They desire to know what is the best thing for them and why certain choices are better than others. 

When we educate them with good information it empowers them with confidence to make their own choices and they learn why some choices are better than others.

Lets empower them by giving them fact-based information and skills on how to use the information.  

Building High Self-Esteem

This lesson is about building high self-esteem and learning skills that raise self-esteem. I use packets in my health class and there is a place in the packet for them to write.

First, Define self-esteem.  

Confidence in one’s own abilities, self-respect, and believing that you have worth as a person. Share the definition of self-esteem and ask these questions.

  1. What can help build confidence in a person? Suggestions for helping the discussion: trying new skills, developing talents, others believing in us, helping others, and being appreciated.
  2. Where does self-esteem come from? Suggestions for helping the discussion: Successful experiences, others being nice to us, positive thoughts about self, and accomplishing goals.
  3. Is it okay to have weaknesses or make mistakes? Suggestions for helping the discussion:  We all have strengths and weaknesses, we can overcome difficult times or challenges with confidence in our ability to learn, and mistakes are not bad, they are just learning opportunities.

Self-Esteem Activity

  1. Have teens write 3-5 of their strengths and 3-5 of their weaknesses. If they can’t think of their strengths, allow them to ask other students what their strengths are. If there is time, have them share one from each category so everyone can see that we are all different as individuals.  
  2. Write notes about what self-esteem is and what it isn’t.
    • Self-esteem is:
      1. Believing in yourself and your ability to at least try;
      2. Positive thoughts about self Helping others to know your boundaries for respect (how they talk or act toward you)
      3. Seeing failures or setbacks as a chance to improve.
      4. Allow them to suggest 2-3 more and make space to write a few extra suggestions.
    • Self-esteem isn’t:
      1. Letting others decide how you should feel about yourself.
      2. Thinking you are better or less than others.
      3. Being too critical and negative with self and others.
      4. Thinking weaknesses are bad or mean you have no good in you.
      5. Allow them to suggest 2-3 more and make space to write a few extra suggestions.
  3. Allow them to finish these self reflection sentences:
    • I can improve or raise my self-esteem by___
    • I can see that one thought I have that is negative self talk is__
    • and I can change it to__
    • When I face challenges I will do/think this to help me work through it___

Finish statement:

Building self-esteem is important because how we see and feel about ourselves affects everything we do in life.  It affects our mental health, relationships, opportunities, and happiness levels.  Everyone can do things to build self-esteem no matter how many challenges we face in life.  Practicing self-esteem raising skills as a teen can help you have better teen years and become a healthier adult.

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