Low Self-Esteem (for children)

How can you tell if your child has low-esteem


girl hold hands over face

Does your child have low-esteem?    Esteem is something that we learn starting in our early childhood.  Esteem is how we feel about ourselves.  It is an evaluation of our own worth.  We can develop good esteem if we live in a mostly positive environment surrounded by people who show love and appreciation towards us and others.  We can develop poor esteem if we live in a mostly negative environment surrounded by people who show little love and treat us badly.

If we have low esteem ourselves, we might not realize that our children also have low esteem.   Following is a quiz that will help you figure out if your child struggles with esteem issues.  It might help you understand yourself better also.

Have you ever heard your child say any of the following statements:

  • I’m stupid
  • I’m a loser
  • I’m too fat
  • I’m ugly
  • I don’t do anything right
  • Nobody likes me
  • I have no friends
  • I’m worthless

Does your child do any of the following:

  • Avoid group activities
  • Put themselves down
  • Blame others when they fail
  • Try to control or bully
  • Make excuses a lot
  • Always worry about what other people think
  • Think they aren’t important
  • Fear making mistakes or failing
  • Lie or cheat to win at something
  • Give up easily
  • Have no friends
  • Doesn’t talk about feelings
  • Want other people to fix their problems
  • Insecure about self
  • Believe they are always wrong
  • Easily influenced by peer pressure
  • Get into trouble

It is natural for children to feel bad about themselves sometimes, but if they feel this way a lot of the time, it might be a sign of serious problems.   Low esteem can be the cause or result of depression which can lead to serious problems in life.  If you feel that your child has low esteem, it would be a good idea to talk to your family doctor and discuss ways to build their esteem.   If you think that you have a problem with low esteem, discuss this with your doctor and work on building your own esteem, so you can help your child.

According to the National Mental Health Information Center, things that you (or your child) can do to raise self-esteem can include:

•Pay attention to your own needs and wants

•Take very good care of yourself and take time to do things you enjoy

•Get something done that you have been putting off

•Do things that make use of your own special talents and abilities

•Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself

•Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself

•Make your living space a place that honors the person you are

•Display items you find attractive or remind you of your achievements or of special times or people in your life

•Make your meals a special time

•Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new or improve your skills

•Begin doing those things that you know will make you feel better about yourself

•Do something nice for another person

•Make it a point to treat yourself well every day and give yourself rewards when you deserve them

It can also be helpful to change negative thoughts about yourself to positive ones, avoid using negative words, and develop positive affirmations.

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