Most times when people hear the phrase “self-esteem”, what comes to their mind is mostly related to being able to stand in front of a large crowd, speaking so well. However, that is known as self-confidence. The topic of “self-esteem” is a very important one that should be addressed right from your child’s early days. A child with the right self-esteem will grow up into one beautiful adult with a lot of knowledge about their self-worth, exhuming such great satisfaction and value in themselves. Lots of stuff affect your child’s self-esteem and if care is not taken, you might unintentionally affect your child’s self-esteem negatively.
In this article, we will explore what self-esteem is, why you should foster your child’s self-esteem and how parents knowingly or unknowingly affect their children’s self-esteem. We will look at some of the signs of low self-esteem in children, what can ruin your child’s self-esteem and how you foster your child’s self-esteem.
Table Of Content
- What is Self Esteem?
- Why Should You Foster Your Child’s Self Esteem?
- How Do Parents Affect Their Children’s Self Esteem?
- What Are the Signs of Low Self Esteem in A Child?
- What Can Ruin a Child’s Self Esteem?
- How Do You Foster Your Child’s Self Esteem?
What is Self Esteem?
Self-esteem is beyond the ability to stand in front of a crowd and speak fluently. It is beyond self-confidence. It is more of having confidence in your worth and value as an individual. The concept of self-esteem is one’s orientation about oneself which could be positive or negative. It is about being able to stand up for yourself, holding yourself as high and important as you can. This, in a lot of ways, affects the way people see you and address you. In other words, self-esteem is an overall evaluation of the way you see and perceive yourself, your self-worth and your value.
There are three types of self-esteem. They are low self-esteem, high self-esteem and inflated self-esteem. People with low self-esteem always see themselves as below average. They see themselves as not worthy of love or to be loved. Most times, people with this sort of self-esteem do not place any value on themselves. They are also prone to having poor relationships with people, having an addiction or something to make them feel high as it is and ease the negative feelings that they have about themselves. They are as well prone to depression and anxiety.
People with high self-esteem are those who value themselves a lot to have good relationships with people and exhume so much value and confidence in their worth. They have the confidence that they will surpass any challenges that come their way and that they can always get better.
The last set are those with very high self-esteem that they look down on every other person and underestimate them. They have the feeling that they are better than every other person around them and are just the best.
As much as we want our children to have a good self-esteem, our focus is still on the positivity. It is not good for your child to have a low self-esteem. It is very bad as well, when they have an inflated self-esteem. The focus of this article is to help inculcate in your child, a positive self-esteem, which is the high self-esteem.
Why Should You Foster Your Child’s Self Esteem?
There are a lot of reasons why you should foster your child’s self-esteem. They are as follows:
To Help Them Believe in Themselves
A good result of fostering your child’s self-esteem is that they will believe in themselves. A high self-esteem points at being able to trust yourself to do things that are extraordinary. You want your child to always see the best in them, you want them to always have visions and be able to pursue those visions vehemently. You want your child to be able to believe that there are no restrictions to how far they can go in life, except themselves.
To Enable Them Handle Peer Pressure
A child with the right self-esteem will be able to handle peer pressure. This is because your child exhumes the right quantity of self-worth and value to handle whatever negativity may come from his or her peers. By resisting peer pressure, they will also be able to make better choices since they feel so good about themselves and their decisions. Also, they will be able to choose their friends wisely because they already know their worth and value. They would as such not settle for the less of friends.
Children with the right self-esteem are always content with whatever they have. This is because, their parents have brought them up with a sense of satisfaction and the need not to look for other things to validate them in the community. It equates them to being content with whatever they have. They don’t need other things to validate them.
It Prevents Depression in The Long Run
When your child has the right amount of self-esteem, he or she is not prone to falling into depression. This is because with a high self-esteem, your child is obviously surrounded by all positivity possible. This will in turn be a source of encouragement to them day in day out to always see the best of themselves.
To Discover Their Talents
You should foster your child’s self-esteem to help them discover the best things they are good at. With the positivity surrounding them, they will know that they cannot be good at everything but can be the best in their own space and talents. Helping them grow up with the right self-esteem will enable them discover their talents early in life and as well build on them for a better future.
How Do Parents Affect Their Children’s Self Esteem?
Parents affect their children’s self-esteem in lots of ways knowingly and unknowingly. The following are some of the ways by which parents affect their children’s self-esteem.
Parents With Low Self-Esteem Affect Their Children’s Self-Esteem Negatively
Parents whose self-esteem is low will affect their children’s self-esteem because they will not be able to stand up for themselves. They will most times give up easily in difficult situations and might not even try at all in some cases. When they make mistakes, they may not be able to cope or do well as they normally could generally. So, parents with low self-esteem need to work on building themselves to build their children’s self-esteem positively.
Exposing Children to Social Interactions Early in Life Helps Them to Build Their Self-Esteem
By showing their children to identify and join healthy social groups, parents are also helping them to build a healthy self-esteem. It is important that parents help their children to associate and interact with other people, essentially spending time with them. There is a special feeling of importance that comes with identifying and belonging to a group of people.
Favoritism Among Children
When parents favor one child above the other, it affects their emotional well-being. The neglected child over the years would most likely develop a very low self-esteem. They will as well fall into depression in the long run and lose faith in themselves. Also, this will affect their studies and intellectualism. Parents should watch their attitudes to their children individually and they should as well show no signs of favoritism to any of them.
Lack of Communication
Communication with your children boosts their self-esteem. This is because it boosts their confidence and the ability to air their feelings to others. Communication with others also help you to improve positively in the perception of yourself. It helps them gain skills to understand and express their thoughts, feelings and information.
What Are the Signs of Low Self Esteem in a Child?
Finding It Hard to Make Friends or Interacting with People
One of the signs you will see when your child is battling with low self-esteem is that they would find it hard to interact with people. They would always segregate themselves. Most times, when they meet new people, they would actually find it hard to converse or interact with them. They love their own company more than anything else.
You’ll also notice that a child has a low self-esteem when he/she carries himself or herself around with a very bad posture. Most times, children like this normally walk around hands and shoulder down, looking sad and all conscious about what people say about them. Children like this need to be exposed to an environment that can make them love themselves for who they really are and with their shoulders high.
The Fear of Being Alone or Approaching Things Alone
Some kids are fond of not approaching things alone and always wanting someone to do something or go somewhere with them. If you tell such a kid to go do something, their reply most times would be: “Can I go with this or that person?” They really would not want to do it all alone. It is most likely that your kid is battling with low self-esteem and needs to be monitored and curtailed on time.
Fear of Approaching New Things
Kids with low self-esteem are always in their shell. They never want to move out of their comfort zone. They are always scared to try or approach new things. This is due to the fact that they are not confident enough in their abilities and are scared of what the results of their new adventure might be. So, they most times just want to stay hidden in their shell.
Eating Disorders (Overeating and Undereating)
This is another sign that your child is battling with low self-esteem. They are not confident in their stature and either think they are too fat or too thin. As such, they might fall into bad eating habits. They might start starving themselves because they don’t want to get fatter or at times even overeat and then throw up at the end, just because they feel they’ve eaten too much. This condition is medically known as anorexia.
Another symptom that your child is suffering from low self-esteem is when they get defensive about almost everything. If you try to correct them, they are always finding a cover to hide beneath. They do not want to accept mistakes, but always want to prove themselves right. If your child finds it difficult to accept his or her mistakes and accept corrections, then you should really look into their self-esteem.
What Can Ruin a Child’s Self Esteem?
The following are factors that can contribute to ruining a child’s self-esteem. They are as follows:
- Persistent disapproval from people that they value.
- Peer pressure.
- Suffering from abusive words or relationships.
- Feeling of abandonment.
How Do You Foster Your Child’s Self Esteem?
Language Build Up
Helping your child to develop good communicative skills and language build up can boost their self-esteem and contribute to their confidence. Language helps us to make meaning, understand and define ourselves. Being able to communicate what your child feels with others and well enough, helps them boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Learning a Musical Instrument or Art
To play a musical instrument or learn the act of art, one has to face and interact with people a lot. This is due to the nature of those activities. Music and art generally create a conducive environment for creativity to take place. Creativity begets success and success boosts confidence. Engaging your child in an art will also help them to have a positive outlook about themselves and life at large.
Know Your Child
You should know your kid. Don’t just assume that you know them already. Engage in meaningful conversations with them that will help you know your child’s person and character. While doing this, allow them be themselves. Allow them voice their thoughts and express themselves freely. This is why you are a parent, to guide and monitor their thoughts and also shape them to be better.
Don’t try to force them to be who they are not
Try to know their friends as well. You need to be concerned about every thing regarding your child. Be their friend.
Approval and Validation from People They Look Up To
The way you scold them also goes a long way in boosting their self-esteem. Do not in any way shout or be violent in your corrections. Let them know that you love them and want the best for them. In cases where you disapprove of something in them, do not discourage them outrightly. Be wise and prudent in your dealings with them. They are kids and have fragile hearts.
In conclusion, it is important to know your child’s feelings at every point in time. Your input determines their output and it goes along way in what their self-esteem will look like. Do not inflate their self-esteem. Help them develop the right and positive self-esteem.
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Want to know Why fostering your child’s self esteem is important? You simply have to read this article. Read on for details