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How To Identify Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In Kids

As parents, it’s natural to want the best for our children. We strive to provide them with love, support, and encouragement to help them grow into confident, resilient individuals.

However, sometimes, kids may struggle with low self-esteem, which can affect various aspects of their lives.

Identifying the signs early on can provide the necessary support and intervention.

Here’s a guide to recognising signs of low self-esteem in kids:

1.  Negative Self-Talk

Pay attention to your child’s language to describe themselves.

Constant self-criticism or phrases like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do anything right” may indicate low self-esteem.

2.  Seeking Approval

Children with low self-esteem may constantly seek approval or validation from others, whether it’s peers, teachers, or parents.

They may excessively seek reassurance about their abilities or continuously compare themselves to others.

3.  Avoiding Challenges

Kids with low self-esteem may avoid trying new things or taking on challenges, fearing failure or criticism.

They might stick to activities they are already good at to avoid the discomfort of potential failure.

4.  Social Withdrawal

Notice if your child prefers to spend time alone rather than with peers.

Low self-esteem can lead to feelings of isolation or inadequacy in social situations, causing children to withdraw from social interactions.

5.  Perfectionism

While striving for excellence is admirable, perfectionism can harm a child’s self-esteem.

Children who are overly critical of their performance and are unable to accept anything less than perfection may be struggling with low self-esteem.

6.  Lack Of Assertiveness

Children with low self-esteem may struggle to assert themselves or express their needs and opinions.

They may refrain from speaking up in class or advocating for themselves in social situations.

7.  Excessive Self-Blame

Children who constantly blame themselves for everything that goes wrong, even things beyond their control, may exhibit low self-esteem.

They may have an exaggerated sense of responsibility for adverse outcomes.

8.  Difficulty Accepting Compliments

Pay attention to how your child responds to compliments.

Children with low self-esteem may deflect compliments or downplay their achievements, believing they don’t deserve praise.

9.  Mood Swings

Fluctuations in mood, such as sudden outbursts of anger, tearfulness, or irritability, can indicate underlying emotional struggles, including low self-esteem.

10. Difficulty Making Decisions

Children with low self-esteem may struggle with making decisions, fearing they will make the wrong choice and face criticism or judgment from others.

11. Overly Apologetic

Constantly apologising for minor mistakes or perceived faults can indicate low self-esteem.

Children may feel overly responsible for any perceived wrongdoing, even unintentional.

12. Preferring To Blend In

Children with low self-esteem may avoid standing out or drawing attention to themselves.

They may prefer to blend in with the crowd rather than assert their individuality or uniqueness.

13. Self-Doubt

Persistent self-doubt about their abilities, appearance, or worth can indicate low self-esteem.

Children may second-guess themselves and lack confidence in their abilities.

14. Difficulty Handling Constructive Criticism

While constructive criticism is a natural part of learning and growth, children with low self-esteem may have difficulty accepting feedback.

They may interpret criticism as a personal attack on their worth or abilities.

15. Excessive Fear Of Failure

Fear of failure can be paralysing for children with low self-esteem.

They may refrain from trying new things or taking on challenges for fear of falling short or disappointing others.

16. Escapist Behaviours

Engaging in escapist behaviours such as excessive screen time, substance abuse, or risky behaviours can sometimes be a coping mechanism for underlying feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem.

Parents and caregivers can identify these signs by staying vigilant and observant to provide the necessary support and guidance to help children build confidence, resilience, and healthy self-esteem.

Also Read: 8 Ways To Engage, Entertain Kids During Road Trip

Recognising these signs early can help parents and caregivers intervene and provide the necessary support and encouragement to boost a child’s self-esteem.

Building self-esteem is a journey; with patience, understanding, and unconditional love, children can learn to see their worth and potential.

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