High Self Esteem vs Low Self Esteem
Is your child sufficiently armored against the challenges of the real world?
What You Need to Know
- A child with high self-esteem: “I don't understand this.”
- A child with low self-esteem: “I'm an idiot.”
- handle conflicts better
- more readily resist negative peer pressures
- smile more and enjoy life more readily
- are realistic and generally optimistic
- express discontent without belittling themselves or others
- know and understand their strengths and weaknesses
- work toward solutions when challenges arise
- regard challenges as sources of anxiety and frustration
- have a hard time resolving their problems
- are easily disappointed in themselves, tend to speak negatively about themselves
- become passive, withdrawn or depressed due to self-critical thoughts
- are less willing to try new things and more likely to give up easily when they do
- see temporary setbacks as permanent and intolerable
- are dominated by pessimism and self-deprecation
How You Can Help
- Watch what you say. Your child is very sensitive to your words. Not only should you praise and reward achievement, but also strengths, effort, improvement, and completion.
- Don't criticize yourself; your child's relationship with herself may eventually mirror your own, so make sure to keep it positive.
- Identify and redirect your child's inaccurate beliefs about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or other qualities. Help set accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves. “I cant do math. I'm a bad student,” is a false generalization that will set your child up for failure when in fact he has the capacity to be a bright student. Remind your child of the whole picture by saying, “You're great in school, math is just a subject you need to spend more time on.”
- If you suspect your child suffers from low self esteem, don't be afraid to consider professional help from a counselor to help uncover underlying issues that prevent your child from feeling good about himself. With therapy, children can learn to view themselves and the world positively and turn around some of the potential negative consequences associated with years of compounded negative self image.
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