Low Self-Esteem in Children
Parents can intervene
Hello, my name is Dr. Julie Kolzet, I'm a clinical psychologist at Behavioral Associates in New York City. Today for About.com I'm going to be talking about self-esteem in children, particularly children who suffer from low self-esteem.Self-esteem has been defined in myriad ways. In general self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. How you feel about your actions, your behavior with others, your interactions as well as your physical appearance. We know that self-esteem develops at a very early age. We also know that a healthy self-esteem is necessary for moving through the world as a responsible, productive adult - an adult who is capable of forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships.Therefore it is extremely important to help children augment and promote a healthy self-esteem during the childhood years. Unfortunately, however, many children do suffer from a low self-esteem.So what does a low self esteem look like? Over-dependence, fearfulness, shyness, perfectionist tendencies and a tendency to engage in negative self-talk are all signs of a negative self-esteem. We'll take a closer look at negative self-talk, which is common not only among children who suffer from low self-esteem but is also quite common in adults who suffer from mood disorders such as depression. How so we spot negative self-talk? Well, as parents it's a good idea to pay attention to your child's speech habits. When a child puts herself down repeatedly her self-esteem is diminished.One way that parents can intervene is by encouraging positive self-talk and doing this on a consistent basis. If your child comes to you and says "Nobody likes me!", remind him of all of his good qualities and point out specific people who do like him - a family member for instance. By offering evidence against the negative self-talk, and by encouraging the child to do so himself, he or she can reconsider the accuracy of the negative thoughts, thereby reducing these negative statements. Over time, this can lead to an increase in the child's self-esteem.For more information about ways to augment your child's self-esteem please visit About.com.