Impress yourself…

Question: My 13 year old attended a Birthday party, when I picked her up she was quiet so I asked her if she had fun. She responded that no one talked to her, that she was not part of the popular group. One of those popular girls did give her a big hug when she first arrived but after that my daughter felt left out. They did play a scavenger hunt game that she participated in. My daughter mentioned that she didn’t have anything to talk about so felt uncomfortable.  I have heard her say on multiple occasions that she is not part of the popular group so feels left out.  I try to explain that being popular is not important and that being a good, kind person is. But I understand how she feels and it does feel good to be liked or part of the group.  I have tried to tell her that she makes her own happiness but I do not really no how to respond as I was exactly the same in my teen years. She is a beautiful girl as well as gets good grades and an athlete.  How can I help her with her self esteem. She has a great voice, can I sign her up for voice lessons to help feel more comfortable in front of others or will this just make her more shy?
Answer: Tash,
I believe that self-esteem isn’t built by relying on others compliments. If it was then it could easily be broken by people’s insults. I think self-esteem is built by doing things that impress yourself. So getting good at something, doing the right things for others, those are the things that build self-esteem. She needs to be given opportunities where she can impress herself by the great things she is doing. If she seeks after approval from others this will only perpetuate the current cycle. Get her involved with a volunteer project or have her start singing.

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