Are you concerned that your child might have a low self esteem? Low self esteem in kids can lead to problems later in life. Children with self esteem issues will have a difficult time with handling responsibility. They won’t be able to deal with peer pressure. Some children with a lack of self confidence may even lash out and bully other children.
Don’t worry! You can instill confidence in your child. It’s not too late to help your little boy or girl feel better about him/herself. In order to help, you must first identify the signs of low self esteem in kids. These signs include:
• Feeling extremely discouraged about school
• Making negative statements about him/herself
• Disrespect and rudeness towards others
• Showing reluctance to become involved in something new
• Showing inability to deal with failure
• Giving up quickly and offers excuse such as tiredness
• Acting inappropriately and clowning around
• Being afraid to ask for help at home and at school
• Making negative statements such as “I can’t do this.” “I can’t ever get anything right.”
• Acting overly clingy
If any of these signs are exhibited by your child, then you need to offer extra encouragement. You need to be careful of how you act when you’re around the child and what you say or don’t say.
Here are some tips for dealing with low self esteem in kids:
1. Be positive and happy yourself. If your child hears you complaining all the time about work, your marriage, etc., then he/she will think that acting negatively is normal. You can guide a child to a fulfilling life if you live one yourself.
2. Let them participate in the decision-making in the house. Like when buying new furniture, you can include ask him/her what he/she thinks about a particular color, size, fabric, size, etc. Letting children help with the decision-making makes them feel important, as if their opinions are truly worth something.
3. If your child makes a mistake, DON’T CRITICIZE! Nagging and criticizing will only hurt his/her self esteem even more. Sit down with your kid and explain what he or she did wrong. Keep the tone of your voice conversational. If you have to punish your child, explain why. Don’t just simply yell or nag.
4. Children should always be given words of encouragement. If your child makes bad grades, instead of telling them that you’re disappointed, tell them that you hope they try harder next time. Whenever kids do a good job, they should be praised for it. Even if you are disappointed, and wish that your child could have done better, you should still praise him/her for the effort, and ask that he/she tries harder next time.
5. Sometimes parents can be overbearing and overprotective. Don’t be a “helicopter parent”. Don’t hover over your little one all the time. It’s okay to let him/her make some decisions. Discuss the pros and cons of each decision with your children and let them decide for themselves.
6. Learn about your child. Take the time to get to know your child. While you don’t want to be overbearing, you don’t want to be distant, either. Get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Take the coaching role and help him/her develop skills. Say things like “You’ve done this before. You can do it again.” And “This is what you’re good at! Keep on doing it and you’ll get better and better!”
7. Help your kid to understand what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate. For instance, if your child has low self esteem and lashes out towards other children, you need to get him/her to understand why being mean to others is not the answer. Children know deep down that being mean is “bad”, but it’s your job to make them understand WHY it’s bad. You need to do this without being critical or yelling. Yelling at a child will only make his or her behavior worse.
Some children have low self esteem in conjunction with an anxiety disorder. They don’t know how to deal with their anxiety so they exhibit their frustration in negative ways.
You can help your child overcome both self-esteem issues and anxiety by watching the “Anxiety Free Tactics” video. If you also experience anxiety yourself, you can get the help you need so that you can put more focus on your child’s self esteem rather than worry about yourself.
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