Many of them have arrived at a very low self-esteem in which it adversely affected their physical and mental health. The conflict is that whether their low self-esteems are mostly caused by academic pressure, lacking of parent-children communication or the influence from the media. Another concern is that how these people contribute in shaping one’s own self- esteem. Therefore, this essay will first discuss the responsibilities of each stakeholder and how are these related to the construction of teenagers’ self-esteem.
After that, it will provide arguments to Illustrate that the way teenagers In Hong Kong see themselves contribute the most In lowering their self-esteem. It Is believed that most of the teenagers are pressurized by the education system of Hong Kong which focused heavily on academic achievement (Make). Teachers often large amount of time teenager spends at school learning, it may cause them to evaluate themselves by their academic success.
A research entitled “A Study on How Hong Kong Young People Cope with Stress” by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Youth Research Centre in August 2004, examination was being regarded as the second most stressful item. This showed that teenagers having academic burden tend to value themselves less, resulted in low self-esteem. Thus, it seems that with the elevation of academic performance, self-esteem can be boosted.
However, excellent academic performance and positive self-esteem are not equivalent, as highlighted by Professor Change from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Make), many youngsters are academically gifted yet having negatively constructed self- esteem. A piece of news from the South China Post had mentioned that a research student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology committed suicide because he was the only child in the family, he put himself on very high standard ND aimed at PhD but was worry that he had to switch to master degree due to the resignation of his advisor.
From the above, it can be seen that, the way teenagers see themselves matters the most, an academically gifted student might think that he is not good enough because that is the only area that he is good at which stress him out; whereas a student with bad academic performance might find himself good due to his success in other aspects such as sports achievement. Only by embracing one’s own strength and accepting one’s own weakness can teenagers be able to positively instruct their self-esteem.
Some argued that parents play an important role in youth development and with the help from the family, teenagers can construct their self-esteem in a positive direction. It is true that parents have always been providing guidance for their children since their early age, the way they teach their children contribute a lot to their mental growth; however, when children reached the stage of adolescence, they have their own thoughts and their values will be developed through daily encounters.
They will have unique perspectives towards issues in which parents eight no longer be able to intervene directly like they used to be during younger ages. In addition to that, teenagers start to make their own decisions at this stage, they choose to solve problems by themselves and they do realize the expectations from their parents. The changes happened in their mindset during the stage of adolescence and caused the lacking of communication between parents and children. Various researches on teenagers’ perspective towards their family members were done. We can refer to the Hong Kong Adolescents’ Perceptions of Family
Functioning by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Youth Research Centre, which was based on the Family Assessment Device to find out the absence of family members during the times of determining teenagers’ self-esteem. There was the lacking of communication, mutual understanding and emotional responsiveness among them. Hence, when they fail to fulfill parents’ expectations, they try to hide it but it is inevitable that they will regard themselves as useless due to the inability in achieving what they ought to, and thus, resulted in low self-esteem.
Therefore, arenas do help in shaping children’s self-esteem in younger age but after that, they can only be mere supporter and providing advice, teenagers themselves are the ones not, as personal standards are often set by oneself. One of the major sources of depression among teenagers is said to be the media, in which the society has put much pressure on teenagers through this channel; the sense of beauty in particular, had stressed out teenagers in Hong Kong.
Advertisements about slimming had aroused great dissatisfaction of teenagers towards their own body; this resulted in low self-esteem as they tried hard to achieve hat is regarded as beautiful by the society but realizing that some of the criteria are yet to be reached. An 18 years old girl suffered from critical injury after Jumping Off building due to her weight problem(Make) demonstrated how teenagers’ low self- esteem had affected their mental health and hence making the wrong decision and undermined the preciousness of life.
Indeed, the agitation of superficial beauty by the media has caused great depression among teenagers as well as the way the see each other; many of them ended up lowering their self-esteem due to their inability n keeping up with such social trends. However, it is vital for teenagers to Judge the media critically, it might be brainwashing but what people ought to do is to make their own Judgments on what they receive.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, the media provided the crowd with an image entitled it “Beautiful”, freedom is given to everybody on agreeing and disagreeing, they should not be eaten up by such blindfolded way of pursue; instead, they should learn to appreciate themselves. Therefore, the low self-esteem cause by the media is actually an application of how managers see themselves, they used these images and ideas to convince themselves with what they have believed right from the beginning, their self-esteem can only be boosted not by achieving these ever-changing social trends but by adjusting their own perspectives towards beauty.
Only when they learn about the beauty of themselves and appreciate, will they realize that social trends never stay the same. In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that academic pressure did contributed to the lowering of self-esteem yet it can be relieved by the learning of embracement towards one’s own strength. Then, it has been proved that parents can only provide guidance and advise to teenagers, the determinant in the level of self-esteem lies in the hands of teenagers themselves.