Self Esteem Building

Self Esteem Building

Things are so much more competitive in today's world and so needless to say kids are comparing themselves to others more and more. As a result, many children walk around thinking that they are not good enough which can be devastating to their self-esteem. If you suspect that your child does not feel good enough, it will be helpful to reflect back the ways in which your child stands out in the world.

Parents can be in a quandary for what they should say or do for their child if they appear discouraged.

Here are some guidelines for parenting a child with low self-esteem.

I would encourage all parents to really allow their child to work through their issues whether that be academic, emotional, or social. Perhaps the most frustrating thing for a parent is to watch a discouraged child just give up and stop doing their homework, or assignments. This may be the time that parents would understandably want to help the child by doing part of the homework for them. I have seen many a parent spend nights doing the homework for their child. This does your child no favors.

When your child seems to be struggling emotionally and they either feel sad, depressed, or angry, it is important to reflect back their feelings and encourage them to find opportunities to shift how they feel. This means you validate the unwanted feelings as normal. Remind your child that there are other circumstances in which they feel happy or fulfilled and satisfied. When a child is unable to identify any good in his life, it is time to seek the help of a professional. There are many great clinics in the local community that work with the child assessing their emotional, social, and physical health. They typically do so by being part of a team with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who provides mental health services for your child. It never hurts to have your child assessed if you believe that his/her core issues center around not feeling good enough.

When a child is having social problems, I encourage parents to provide opportunities for the child to become part of the team, activity, or a group. I typically direct parents to give the child about a year to socially connect with one or two other children in the group. Relationships take a while to develop and when children go into an activity feeling bad or insecure about themselves and their position amongst their peers, it will take a while to watch a relationships build. If a child continues to have difficulties, it may be necessary for him or her to participate in a therapeutic group that teaches children the skills they need to form bonds and relationships. This might be a group in the schools for children of divorce or low self esteem, or a group in your local mental health center that empowers kids.

It is equally challenging for the parent and the child to know where to turn for these outside referrals. It never hurts to go in and talk to a professional with or without your child to discuss your concerns. Your child is the most precious thing in your life and you want to afford him or her everything possible to feel the best about him or herself. The important thing is don't struggle too long before you reach out to others to find out what resources are available in your community to help. It takes a village to support your child!

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