Child Self Esteem

Child Self -Esteem what does it mean?

Defined child self esteem is the collection of beliefs or feelings a child has about him/herself. It is their “self-perception” and it affects how a they are motivated, their attitude, behavior and how they adjust their emotions to different circumstances. Self Esteem is an internal feeling and it directly affects the way a child behaves. A Child with self esteem will feel capable and loved and act with confidence and independence. 

Healthy Child Self Esteem vs. Unhealthy Child Self-Esteem

Healthy Child Self Esteem

Healthy self esteem can protect a child from the challenges they will face in everyday life. A Child who perceive themselves in a positive way will have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative outside pressure. A Child with healthy self esteem is generally optimistic, smiles more and is able to be realistic with expectations of themself.

A Child who feels loved and acceptance by the people they look up to will have a sense of a healthy self esteem. When a child feels that significant adult’s in their life care about them no matter what, that they will go out of their way for their safety, and will be upset if they were not in their life will develop a solid foundation for developing healthy self esteem. As a child learns to trust their parents and other significant adults in their life to satisfy their basic needs, they grow to feel valued, loved and wanted.

Unhealthy Child Self Esteem

On the other hand unhealthy self esteem will allow a child to be prey to others criticism and judgment. They will internalize negative comments and have difficulty trying new things. They will be filled with self-doubt. They will be easily influenced, and blame others for their mistakes, put themselves down, and not be able to tolerate a normal level of frustration. A Child with unhealthy self esteem will react to challenges with major anxiety and frustration. They will give up easily to finding a solution to problems. They will behave passively, withdrawn or depressed. A Child with unhealthy self esteem will say negative things about themselves “I’m stupid”, I can’t do anything”, “no one cares about me”. A Child with this perception will experience setbacks as permanent.

Ways Parents can help develop their Child’s Healthy Self Esteem

Because you are the most influential factor of your child’s self esteem it is important to be honest with your child and always make them feel as if they are loved and cared for no matter what they do. Do not confuse flattery and excessive praise with honest communication about how you see your child as a competent individual with positive traits that make them unique and special. Remember to NEVER JUDGE YOUR CHILD, enter their world with compassion, support and understanding. Parents more than anyone else can promote their child’s self esteem. 

The following are ways to help your child

When you feel good about your child, mention it to them.

Praise their Positive Character traits…”You are a good person”, “ I am proud of you for sharing”, “You are such a good helper”.

Avoid criticizing or creating shame…when expressing disappointment or disapproval use “I” statements (I feel so angry when you don’t clean your room), or focus on your child’s behavior (When you don’t clean you room it is hard to find your things)

Encourage your child to develop hobbies and interest that give them pleasure and that they can pursue independently.

Help your child to develop problem-solving skills. Work with them to develop options to difficult situations. Encourage them choose one of the solutions you talked about and support their decision to work it through.

Let your child settle their own disputes between siblings and friends alike.

Laugh with your child and encourage them to see the funny side of themselves.

Identify and redirect your child’s inaccurate beliefs and mis-perceptions. Help your child to replace fears and self doubt with positive self-talk.

Be a positive role model. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be realistic about your own abilities and limitations. Nurture your own self-esteem.

Seek Professional Help

If your suspect your child has low self-esteem, consider finding professional health. Licensed Professionals can help your child uncover underlying issues that prevent them from feeling good abouy him/herself and developing a healthy self esteem. Therapy can help a child develop skills to view themselves and their world positively. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s self esteem or behavior please feel free to contact me at 708-730-2600, or 

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