Most parents feel passionately about their children and only want the best for them but often we hear our children say that they are ‘stupid’ or ‘rubbish’ at something.
So what is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how much a person values himself or herself. This can change from day to day or from year to year, but overall self-esteem tends to develop when we are very young.
As we grow up, we learn to listen to what others think about us and what society tells us we that should be like. We look to the people around us to confirm or reject these ideas of ourselves. This is how our self esteem and self worth is shaped.
A healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. Children who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time coping with the pressures put on them as they grow up. They also tend to be more realistic and generally optimistic.
In contrast, a child with a low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of anxiety and frustration. A child who thinks poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems and tend to be self-critical.
Signs of low self-esteem
Children with low self-esteem may not want to try new things. They may also giving up easily when they come up against a challenging task or would rather someone else took control. This can lead to a sense of pessimism, which in turn can place kids at risk for mental health problems.
How can I help?
The first place to start is with yourself. Children can read how you feel about yourself and will react to that.
You don’t have to be perfect but be aware of how you react to difficult situations. Try to be positive but be honest about your weaknesses.
Always discuss how they feel about a situation with your child. Encourage your child to develop a sense of who they are and find out what they believe in.
Ask them what qualities they think are important and why? Ask them what it means to be trustworthy, loyal and compassionate.
Understanding that we are all different and have different views about the things around us can help a child build the skills needed to help them access a situation and make a judgement about how to react to it.
Talk to them about their friendships. Ask what kind of qualities do they think a friend should have? Ask them what qualities they think they have?
Persuade them to take a pride in themselves and the skills that they have.
At the Koushinkan Aikido Oxford martial arts club we help your child understand themselves and others in their class. We use games to help a child develop their social skills. Aikido classes are a great way to help your child develop into a well-rounded individual.