There is a high probability of children having low self-esteem during pre-teen years. In fact, at this stage, self-esteem becomes more than an issue.
First parents must know that low self-esteem comes from comparison with others. At a little age between 9-11 years, children begin to compare themselves with others. They compare their toys, their school bags, lunch boxes etc. They compare clothes and very trivial things that parents might not recognize as ‘important’. In fact, because little children have nothing to think about what gives them satisfaction and self-confidence is the acknowledgment that they have what their friends at school or siblings at home have. As a parent, if you notice that your child is throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t have a particular toy, if it won’t hurt, give that child what he wants because their self-confidence is at risk.
A lot of children feel they are incompetent and as a result develop low self-esteem. Children feel incompetent when they believe you are not satisfied with the work they have done or when they are being compared to other children. It is the responsibility of a parent/ward to ensure that when they fail, they are cheered on and to make them understand that they can do better next time.
Increasing performance pressure can also trigger low self-esteem in children. This has a lot to do with academics and extracurricular activities such as sporting activities, etc. Children, as mentioned earlier, always compare their performances with others, especially when there is pressure from their teacher or parents. Children also try as much as possible to impress their parents /wards and even their teachers. They long to hear those words of acknowledgment. The best and fastest way of instilling confidence into your child is through praising your child according to the good he has done and if he’s terrible at something, then the child should know that he can do better.
Generally, we are all born with a healthy self-esteem, but somewhere down the line, something happens. Children are usually born believing that they can be and do anything until life happens. We are also born with the belief that we are deserving of love until we experience something that makes us feel otherwise. From as young as age 6, we can begin to feel incapable and unloved as a result of the things that happen to us and as we start to experience life.
To be contd…