ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Helping Children With Low Self Esteem

Updated on August 13, 2012

From simply being grouchy and unmotivated to becoming depressed and acting out behaviors, a child who has a low self esteem is in need of our help.

Many children who come into mental health care come from families with a multitude of difficulties. These children may have not had the kind of emotional support that they needed in their early years in order to develop healthy self esteem. In addition, the onset of adolescence for children can be a difficult time in their developing self image.

Children with disabilities often become disheartened and tired of working hard. They may compare themselves to other children around them, and see themselves lagging behind in numbers of friends, activities, and talents. Children with self esteem issues may not see themselves as getting enough positive return on the effort that they are putting out. They may become depressed, lethargic, and socially paralyzed. Often, it is difficult for the child to “pull themselves up” out of this kind of self esteem problem.

There are several strategies that care givers can use to help a child with low self esteem. First, be sure that all self esteem is genuinely earned. This means that we should avoid “reaching” for compliments. Unless the child clearly has made an effort at working on a goal, don’t make a shallow compliment (“Nice breathing, Johnny!”). Unless the child has really earned a reward, don’t give them one just to (falsely) boost their self esteem. (“Trophies for everyone, including the losers!”) Sooner or later, the unearned self esteem house of cards will come tumbling down. Either the child will begin to see through the over exaggerated compliments, or they will become dependent upon them (and stop making meaningful self esteem gains).

A second strategy is the “activity cure”. Keeping a child challenged and active at their level of ability boosts healthy self esteem. Children may need help in exploring and discovering their talents and activity preferences. Watch closely to see what the child enjoys doing. Seek out and plan opportunities for the child to enjoy favorite activities and to try new activities. Be sure the activities are within the child’s ability, but push the envelope of their skill level. It is helpful to make a list of interesting activities to try with children. If you don’t knowledge of how to do the activity, the internet can be of great help. You can also refer to the Quick Teach page on “Try These Activities”.

In most cases, you will have to “walk with” the child who has low self esteem. Telling them to “go outside and play” will not likely get much of a result. You have to go outside and play with them.

Telling them to “find something to do” will not likely work either. You have to be prepared with a specific idea and materials ,and work with them. During the play or new activity, remind the child that no one is good at everything, and the point is to have fun learning and trying.

Finally, a good strategy with low self esteem children is to keep them talking about how they are thinking about themselves. By helping children realistically process their self concept, we are working on creating a balanced child. Children need to become (gently) aware of their weaknesses as well as their talents and uniqueness. They need to hear that they are valuable to us, not just for their talents, strengths, skills, or completed chores. It is entirely appropriate to share (some of) our own insecurities and self esteem issues with the child. They need to know that the feelings that they have about themselves are not uncommon, and they are not alone in having them.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • krillco profile imageAUTHOR

      William E Krill Jr 

      6 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Here you go, Fatima:

      Try These Activities!

      Make and fly a kite.

      Build a snowman.

      Capture insects and identify them with a reference book.

      Bake cookies.

      Locate and identify wildflowers.

      Make and learn to play “washers”.

      Plant a garden.

      Go sledding.

      Build a cardboard fort.

      Make a TeePee from big branches and a tarp.

      Make a tent from a tarp and some clothesline.

      Learn, teach, and play one of the hundreds of marble games.

      A stick, a string, a magnet, and paperclips attached to paper fish.

      Pinecones, peanut butter, birdseed feeders.

      Start a rock collection.

      Play dress up.

      Put on a play for grandparents.

      Write and make a movie.

      Go on a back pack picnic.

      Hike at a State park.

    • profile image

      Fatima 

      6 years ago

      I wish you could actuallt name and explain the activities that we can practice.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      whodares 

      9 years ago

      parients need to be supportive 100% and show there true love towards there children

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)