Learning To Spot Healthy and Unhealthy Self-Esteem
It is critical for parents to be able to spot healthy and unhealthy self-esteem right away. As having kids develop a healthy self-esteem early in life and maintaining it throughout their childhoods will give them a much better chance of establishing the mindset that is necessary to make dealing with life’s challenges easier. This is why parents have to spot any “warning signs” of unhealthy self-esteem right away and address them.
Children with low self-esteem will often not want to try new things. They will see these things as challenges that cannot be overcome. Often due to the fact that they think they have to do these tasks perfectly and that any sort of imperfection makes them feel unworthy of praise or less than adequate as compared to other children.
They will 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 for them to get into 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 will often speak negatively about themselves. They may call themselves “stupid” or “ignorant,” and they may not see the point in learning anything new because they feel that it really doesn’t matter if they do or not anyway. This can lead to a bad habit of not caring about learning critical skills that will be needed to handle life’s challenges as they get older.
Children with low self-esteem will often see temporary setbacks as setbacks that are final and that cannot be overcome. They think that such situations cannot be resolved and that, once the situation presents a seemingly impossible difficulty, the situation is hopeless. This can lead to these kids giving up, exactly the skill set that parents and caregivers do not want them to acquire, as this will not aid them later on in life.
Conversely, you can tell that children are on the right path when it comes to self-esteem when they enjoy conversing with others, both children their own age and even adults. They are usually comfortable in social settings and enjoy both group and solo activities. This is beneficial because there will be times in life when they will be expected to do things on their own, while at other times, they will be expected to perform as part of a team for a mutual goal (such as a work project or a team sport, etc.).
Kids with healthy self-esteem will usually 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 ask for help to learn the proper solution to such a challenge.
As you can see, there are several factors you can see in your children to determine if they are developing a healthy self-esteem or not. Those children with healthy self-esteems will not criticize themselves with harsh names and attempt to find solutions on their own; if they cannot, they will 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 will often 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.