To spot healthy and unhealthy self-esteem right away is a crucial parenting task. Having kids develop healthy esteem early in life and maintaining it throughout their childhoods has benefits:
- Give them a much better chance of establishing the positive mindset.
- Dealing with life’s challenges easier.
- Address any “warning signs” of unhealthy self-esteem
Children with low self-esteem will not try new things. They will see challenges as being too hard. They might think they have to do these tasks perfectly, or that any sort of imperfection makes them unworthy of praise. They could feel less than adequate as compared to other children.
They often experience frustration if they cannot do a task as well as they think they should, and they will often wait for someone to take over so that a “mistake” is not made. This is not a good habit because their parents or caregivers will not always be there for them.
They have to learn to handle challenging situations by themselves without any assistance or guidance.
In addition, kids with low self-esteem often speak negatively about themselves. They may call themselves “stupid” or “ignorant.” They may not see the point in learning anything new because they feel that it doesn’t matter. The deeper truth is they feel that they don’t matter. What a horrible feeling for a child.
This can lead to a bad habit of not caring about learning critical skills they need to handle life’s challenges as they get older.
Children with unhealthy self-esteem will see temporary setbacks as final and cannot be overcome. They think that such situations cannot be resolved and that, once the situation presents an impossible difficulty, hopelessness follows. Kids give up, exactly the skill set that parents and caregivers do not want them to acquire.
On The Path
Conversely, you can tell that children are on the right path to healthy self-esteem when they enjoy conversing with others, both children their own age and even adults.
They are comfortable in social settings and enjoy group activities. This is beneficial because there will be times in life when they will be expected to do things on their own. Also, they will be expected to perform as part of a team for a mutual goal, such as a work project or a team sport.
Kids with healthy self-esteem will not denigrate themselves when facing a difficulty but will try to figure it out on their own. If they cannot do so, then they will have to learn the proper solution to such a challenge.
Notice Healthy and Unhealthy Esteem
As you can see, there are several factors you notice in your children to determine if they are developing a healthy self-esteem.
- They seldom belittle themselves.
- The effort to find solutions on their own.
- If they cannot, then they ask for help.
Similarly, children with low self-esteem will call themselves names for not being able to figure out something and will see the situation as hopeless when an unexpected difficulty arises. Additionally, children with low self-esteem withdraw from social situations, not finding themselves comfortable dealing with other people.
By recognizing these “warning signs” right away, parents and/or caregivers can help their children with low self-esteem address these weaknesses so that they develop the social skills and adaptive skills necessary to deal with life’s challenges and social functions in a proper manner that will lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling life as adults.