10 ways to build self-esteem and confidence in children

10 ways to build self-esteem and confidence in children
Friday, Feb 01, 2013
The Star/Asia News Network
By Dr M. Swamenathan

Self-esteem issues in children and how parents can deal with it.

MAYALSIA - Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves.  Children with positive self-esteem generally feel good about themselves, and feel they have a lot to offer. In contrast, children with low or poor self-esteem generally feel worthless, and feel that they have little to contribute.

Building self-esteem in children is part of positive parenting, and you encourage your child to develop a positive self-esteem. Helping your child develop a healthy dose of confidence and self-esteem is preferable to tackling the problem after he has developed low self-esteem.

Usually, children with low self-esteem tend to be less happy, and are emotionally less fulfilled as well.

Signs to watch out for

A child with low self-esteem is likely to display the following characteristics:

· Feels isolated and unloved
· Tends to avoid new and different situations
· Unable to cope well with failures and criticisms
· Tends to put himself down and constantly compares himself to peers in a negative way
· Feels his efforts will never be as good as others

These traits can happen as a result of many factors, but are mainly due to a lack of affirming, positive feedback from others, particularly parents and teachers.

Emotional disorders

Children with low self-esteem may go on to develop emotional disorders. If this happens, they may exhibit behavioural changes such as:

· Frequent temper tantrums
· Rebelliousness
· Decline in academic performance
· Isolation
· Bed-wetting
· Frequent complaints of physical symptoms (headache, stomachache) with no physical cause

If one or more the symptoms mentioned above persists or occurs frequently, professional help needs to be sought.

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