Good self-esteem is an important factor in raising healthy children. Children who have good self-esteem are more likely to act independently, handle both positive and negative emotions, assume responsibility and appropriately handle peer pressure, according to the National Mental Health Information Center at the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Additionally people with good self-esteem are more likely to create healthy, secure and honest relationships and are less likely to develop eating disorders, depression or other mental health conditions according to the Mayo Clinic.
Below are some tips to help you identify if your child has low self-esteem and what you can do to help him or her.
Identifying Low Self-Esteem in Children
According to KidsHealth, part of the Nemours Foundation, a child's self-esteem changes as he or she grows up. But the organization has a few signs parents should look for:
Challenges can become a source of anxiety for children with self-esteem problems. The children are usually easily frustrated, want to give up and make negative statements about themselves, such as "I'm stupid."
The foundation also says children with low self-esteem are usually pessimistic, do not want to try new things and are highly critical of themselves.
How Parents Can Help Build Self-Esteem in Children
Parents should look for opportunities to praise their children when they have done a good job or put forth a lot of effort, according to the National Mental Health Information Center.
Affection and spontaneity can also help your son or daughter's self-esteem, according to KidsHealth.
Laugh at yourself. Demonstrating to your children that it is OK to laugh at yourself shows the importance of a sense of humor, according to National Mental Health Information Center.
The center also advises helping your child re-think things in a positive way instead of focusing negative feelings on themselves.
Have your children take responsibility for their own problems. You can help them think of other solutions and answer their questions, but solving a problem can bolster your child's confidence, according to National Mental Health Information Center.
KidsHealth also suggested seeking professional help for your son or daughter's self-esteem problems.