Help Raise Her Self Esteem!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2008
Help Raise Her Self Esteem!
Sat, 02-23-2008 - 9:28pm


I am not sure if anyone here has older teenage years but if you do I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2008
Tue, 02-26-2008 - 6:47pm

Thanks so much for your great advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2008
Tue, 02-26-2008 - 6:16pm

Thanks so much for your positive feedback!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 02-25-2008 - 9:24am

My AS dd is 13yo. I don't have great answers, but I can see for my dd that her extracurricular activities have helped her. She's involved in a couple of after school activities and in a church youth group. Not only does it give her more activities that she enjoys, but it gives her more opportunities to participate with and "belong" to a social group of peers. For the past couple of years she also swam with our neighborhood swim team. Even tho' she wasn't a good swimmer, the team was very supportive of her and her efforts which made my dd feel good.

My kids' therapist often talked to them about altruism being good for making them feel better. Your sister might be able to volunteer to do service, either tutoring younger children, helping at the library, working at a soup kitchen or nursing home (even just painting fingernails!), etc. Some stores offer crafts for children where your sister might be able to volunteer to be an assistant. She could even offer to help entertain neighborhood kids while their moms cook dinner or something like that.

You're great for taking an active role in helping your sister! I hope my son will one day be as supportive of his siblings.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Sun, 02-24-2008 - 3:56pm

Hi and welcome!

There are definitely some moms here with teenaged children. My son is now 10 and so is just thinking about becoming a teenager, so we have those years to look forward to!

You obviously care very much about your sister and that is wonderful. You don't say how old she is, and also there must be an age gap between you, that is tricky all by itself. I have a sister 10 years younger than me, and now as grownups we are very close, but I remember taking care of her when she was a baby and for many years we struggled with getting to know each other on a more even keel. I'm thinking that might be part of what is a problem here as well, as she is now a teenager and will want to be treated older, but she is your baby sister plus one with communication difficulties.

Getting to know her is just that, getting to know who she is more on her terms. I am so glad you want to build a solid friendship with her, and I think you would both so benefit from this. I think a girls' movie night out sounds like a good start, if she likes movies and going out, that is. Some spectrum people really struggle with being outside in public, so another idea that occurs to me is to rent movies and make popcorn together, stay in and watch the movies and talk, maybe make this a regular thing, so that she can relax and share with you in quiet familiar surroundings.

How is her schooling going? I'm guessing she doesn't have many friends among her peers? The repetitive stories, etc. can often come from when one is under a lot of pressure and experiencing high levels of anxiety. Depending on her comfort levels, she may not even be totally capable of talking directly with you about what is troubling her, but spending more regular time with her certainly could help build that kind of friendship. You might be the perfect person to help her to start building friendships period, as you can be more understanding than her peers.

Is your sister receiving accomodations, social assistance through her school? We have our son in several social skills groups, and he has made many friends who are more like him, into computer games, love animals, comics, Pokemon, so they have mutual interests. What are your sister's interests? It is a great way to start conversations, letting them talk about their interests, but then expanding the interests together, we often look up my son's questions online together, print out information and then discuss the answers we find. See if you can interest her in something you are interested in, do you both like to watch sports, knitting, chess, interested in politics, etc.

Anyways, I expect others with teenagers will respond to your questions and I hope my suggestions are helpful. My son has years to go, and we know that he also could struggle with depression, more isolation, as he gets older, part of that is also the age, of course. Growing up is hard. How great for your sister that she has an older sister who loves her so.

Good luck and stay in touch, ask away, let us know how things are going with you both,