How To Help Low Self Esteem In Children

The best way to help low self esteem in children is to seek professional advice, but this is not always possible. You may not live in an area where such help is available, or you may not be able to afford it. In that case, it is important to find a good self help manual.

If it is your own child who needs help with low self esteem, there is probably a lot that you can do. Self esteem and confidence issues usually start very early in life and the earlier you begin to work on them, the more chance of success you have.

The best way to ensure that your child grows up with a feeling of positive worth is to make a clear distinction between the child and her behavior. So when you need to give some correction, make it clear that it was the behavior that was wrong, and not the child.

Make it clear to your child that it is fine to be different. Many parents expect their child to be just like themselves, or like the child’s older siblings. But every child is an individual, and if you expect them to behave exactly like somebody else they will know that they are not meeting your expectations and this will give them a feeling of being unsatisfactory or worthless.

Praise your child for the effort that she has put into something. Show that you value effort and hard work, regardless of the outcome. Avoid talking or thinking in terms of success or failure.

It is important to consider your feelings toward yourself too, and try to avoid putting yourself down. Your child will pick up on these feelings and this can affect his self esteem in two ways.

First, kids tend to imitate their parents, so if you are constantly saying negative things about yourself and talking about the problems in your life, he will do the same. If he hears a lot of negativity coming out of his own mouth, that is just as bad for his self esteem as hearing criticism from others.

Second, young children will automatically believe what you say. So if they hear you saying that you are a bad parent, or that everybody else’s lives are better than yours, they will think that they are growing up in a bad family. That is not going to give them positive feelings about themselves.

So if you want to help low self esteem in your child, it is very important not to give him the idea that you are to blame for his self esteem issues. Don’t let him blame himself either. In fact, it is better not to use negative terms like ‘low self esteem’ around your child at all. Instead, talk about building confidence or encouraging positive thinking.

Be aware of the times that your child is feeling good about herself, and be sure to praise her then.  In the same way, avoid criticizing your child when she is already feeling bad. Research has shown that we have a much stronger response to praise and criticism when it reinforces the feelings that we already have about ourselves. So if you need to give your child some criticism, try to wait until a time when she is not feeling scared, unhappy or negative about her abilities.

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