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How to tackle low self-esteem in children

How to tackle low self-esteem in children

Self-esteem is a must-have quality for every individual. For, it is only this factor that helps people to know their worth and purpose in life. It is not wrong to say that people with good self-esteem are likely to be more successful. As a parent, it is important to maintain your self-esteem to guide the children. But it is even more important to help them build their own.

Here are a few factors that affect self-esteem in children.

Comparison with peers

The children, as soon as they get the capability to think on their own, tend to compare themselves with their peers. Experts say that this process starts somewhere between six and eleven years of age. Every child wants to act according to the expectations of society. They learn these demands of the society from their fellow mates. If they feel they are not good enough as their peers, then the problem of low self-esteem peaks in. This eventually leads to an inferiority complex.

Failure and incompetence

Children develop their self-esteem by the past experiences of success. Success is what motivates them and makes them feel competent. If a child faces failure continuously in academics or in co-curricular activity, it may lead to low self-esteem. When a child is not appreciated he/she tend to feel incompetent. This may stop them to actively participate in tasks and activities with other children.

Peer pressure

Every parent wants their kid to perform well in all their endeavours. Sometimes, this expectation causes negative results too. It is fine if the child also loves to do it but parents should never force their kids to do anything against their will. Peer pressure is caused by parents than by the children themselves. When the peers are good at something, the child is also expected to be good at it. When a kid fails to cope up with the peers, the level of self-esteem drops rapidly. 

Other factors

Some children do have problems like learning disability, lack of attention and obesity. These children should be taken extra care. For learners like this, the normal homework given by the school may seem to be an impossible mission. They probably will not be able to perform as their fellow mates and this leads to depression. It is good if they are accepted by their peers but in most cases, these children are secluded and made fun of. The children with these abilities need more effort to build self-esteem.

Parent’s role in building self-esteem

Parents should always watch the activities and behaviour of their kids. Children with low self-esteem prefer to be alone. They will not participate in any activity that includes peers. Often these children feel unhappy and isolated. Lack of interest and attention can also be taken as a sign of low self-esteem.

Find the problem
The first thing that parents should do is finding the level of self-esteem in their children. There are many methods to analyse the range of self-esteem in children. One such method is the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale that helps to diagnose low self-esteem. There are ten questions to be asked to the children and the answers range from agreeing, strongly agree, disagree and strongly disagree. More details about the method are available online and parents can make use of it.

Talk to them
In this fast running world, the parents hardly get any leisure. But do not forget that you are running for the welfare of your children. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to talk to your children on a daily basis. Asking them about the day’s happenings can be the best cure to most of the child-related problems. This way, the kids feel their importance in the family thereby develop high self-esteem.

Need for appreciation
Everyone in society feels the need to be appreciated. Appreciation is as important as success. It supplements confidence to carry out the works better and increases the chances of being a successful person. So whenever your kid accomplishes something, you should try to appreciate and value it. It is the parents’ duty to make the children feel good about their deeds and achievements. Also, it is mandatory to stand beside them whenever they fail. That motivates the kids to try yet another time.

Finally, make sure that you value their skills and talents. Always be the supportive pillar of your kids as they want you to be. Trust their efforts and have a belief in their abilities. If not you, no one else would!

Courtesy: The article is inspired by the resources available on the subject viz.,, and for images. 

Happy Parenting!

Jenifer Deivanayagam

Research Intern @ KiddyLanes

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