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  • What Causes Low Self-Esteem in Children And How to Assist?

    • 27,Jan 2024
    • Posted By : admin

    Some children exhibit abundant confidence and eagerly embrace new challenges, while others may appear anxious, insecure, and somewhat fearful. This behaviour may indicate a potential lack of self-esteem. But how can you identify the signs of a child with low self-worth? How do you determine if there’s a problem that warrants concern?

    In this post, we will explore the concept of damaged self-worth, delving into its definition, factors influencing its development in children, and ways to recognise it. Additionally, we’ll provide practical ideas to help you support your child and assist them in regaining confidence when working in collaboration with the best schools in Delhi.

    What is Self-Esteem in Simplest Terms?

    Self-worth is how you feel about yourself – whether you think you are valuable, capable, and deserving of love and respect. It’s like the picture you have of yourself in your mind. If you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about who you are. If your belief in yourself is affected, then you may doubt your abilities and worth. It’s about how much you like and accept yourself.

    What Causes Low Self-Esteem in Children?

    Low self-worth in kids can stem from various factors. Sometimes, it’s the sting of mean words or criticism that plants seeds of doubt. Other times, it could be comparisons to other kids or siblings, and the harsh internal dialogue towards oneself also contributes to the depletion of confidence in oneself. Here are some common causes of lack of self-assurance in children:

    Negative Experiences: Experiencing bullying, rejection, or consistent criticism from peers, family, or teachers can significantly impact a child’s self-esteem.

    Comparisons to Others: Constantly being compared to siblings, classmates, or societal standards can make children feel like they don’t measure up, leading to a sense of inadequacy.

    Lack of Positive Reinforcement: Insufficient praise and positive reinforcement for their efforts and achievements may leave children feeling unappreciated or undervalued.

    Academic Struggles: Difficulty in school, whether due to learning disabilities, constant failure, or academic challenges, can contribute to feelings of incompetence and low self-worth.

    Parental Pressure: Excessive expectations or pressure from parents to meet certain standards, academically or behaviorally, can create stress and negatively impact a child’s self-esteem.

    Family Issues: Family problems such as divorce, separation, or conflict can disrupt a child’s sense of stability and security, affecting their reliability.

    Social Rejection: Difficulty making friends or feeling excluded by peer groups can lead to feelings of isolation and impact a child’s social self-assurance.

    Media Influence: Unrealistic portrayals of beauty and success in the media can contribute to body image issues and feelings of inadequacy, especially during adolescence.

    Personality and Temperament: Children with naturally more reserved or sensitive temperaments may be more susceptible to internalising negative experiences, leading to low self-esteem.

    Cultural and Societal Pressures: Cultural expectations and societal pressures to conform to certain standards or stereotypes can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem if they feel they don’t fit those expectations.

    Lack of Emotional Support: Insufficient emotional support, including a lack of empathetic listening and understanding, can contribute to a child feeling emotionally neglected and impact their self-esteem.

    Recognising Signs of Low Self-Esteem in Children

    It’s not uncommon for kids to grapple with low self-worth due to various challenges like bullying or feeling out of place. Their perception towards themselves and comparison to others play a significant role in this struggle, potentially leading to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and even, in some cases, depression.

    To identify if a child is going through low self-sufficiency, watch out for certain signs. If you notice these indicators, it’s time to engage in an open conversation:

    Withdrawal: Children dealing with low self-esteem may start pulling away and prefer spending time alone.

    Self-Criticism: Constantly putting themselves down or comparing unfavourably to peers is a noticeable sign.

    Lack of Confidence: A diminished sense of confidence, coupled with a negative view of their abilities, is a clear indication.

    Sensitivity to Criticism: Criticism or feedback affects them deeply, often more than it should.

    Social Reluctance: Extreme shyness or reluctance to participate in activities with others is a red flag.

    Pessimistic Outlook: A persistently gloomy perspective, as if they have a cloud hanging over them, is an observable trait.

    Self-Critical Behaviour: Children become their own harshest critics, and not in a constructive manner.

    Avoidance of New Challenges: They may resist trying new things or taking risks, preferring to stay within their comfort zone.

    Overwhelmed by Simple Tasks: Even seemingly straightforward tasks can become overwhelming for children with low self-esteem.

    Frequent Negative Emotions: Daily experiences of sadness, anxiety, or anger may indicate an ongoing struggle with self-worth.

    How to Support a Child With Low Self-Esteem?

    If your child is displaying signs of low self-esteem, there are practical ways you can help rebuild their confidence:

    Express Love: Demonstrate love and affection consistently. Let them know how valued and special they are to you and the entire family.

    Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and concerns. Encourage open conversations without judgement.

    Acknowledge Achievements: Recognize and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement reinforces a sense of accomplishment.

    Promote Positive Self-Talk: Help them reframe negative thoughts into positive affirmations. Encourage a mindset that values compassion in oneself and learning from mistakes.

    Set Realistic Goals: Establish achievable goals that align with their abilities. Celebrate progress and emphasise that it’s okay not to be perfect.

    Engage in Confidence-Building Activities: Encourage participation in activities they enjoy and excel at. Positive experiences contribute to improved self-perception.

    Teach Problem-Solving Skills: Cultivate problem-solving skills to empower them in overcoming challenges. Provide guidance on navigating difficulties rather than avoiding them.

    Be a Positive Role Model: Demonstrate positive self-esteem through your actions and words. Children often emulate the behaviour they observe.

    Encourage Independence: Support their independence by allowing them to make age-appropriate decisions. This fosters a sense of competence and self-reliance.

    Seek Professional Help if Needed: If the lack of faith in oneself still persists or intensifies, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional. They can offer specialised strategies and support tailored to your child’s needs.


    Understanding the root causes of low self-esteem in children is the first step in providing effective assistance. Creating positive environments, a safe space for open communication, and promoting individual growth by parents and educators play a crucial role in building a child’s self-confidence. This support is vital for helping children navigate challenges with resilience.

    Rebuilding self-trust is a gradual process that requires patience and consistent effort. By implementing these supportive measures and collaborating with teachers, you can significantly contribute to your child’s journey towards a positive and resilient self-image. At Mata Nand Kaur, one of the best schools in Delhi, we actively encourage the participation of all children, recognising their unique needs. Contact us to partner with us in creating a newfound and unshakeable confidence in your child.

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