Essay on Effects of Low Self Esteem on Children

1300 Words Feb 15th, 2002 6 Pages
The Effects of Low Self Esteem on Children

Aruna Kalicharan

Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (DEP 2000), Section 01
Professor Lissette M. Saavedra
April 24, 2001

What is Low self-esteem?
In most cases, children with low self-esteem feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept them, do not care about them very much, and would not go out of their way to ensure their safety and well-being. Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner (Yarnell, 1999).
During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives
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They are also more likely to be involved in antisocial behavior (Dubow, Edwards, & Ippolito, 1997). Also, they are more likely to do poorly in school (Marsh & Yeung, 1997).
Low self-esteem is formed in childhood as a result of negative situations the child experiences such as having parents consistently take the side of others against the child or having their feelings ignored and discounted. Also, being blamed for the parent's current problem or being threatened with abandonment.
How can we help children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem?
According to LeCrone (2001), security, significance and confidence will help children feel more secure about themselves. For parents, helping their child feel lovable and capable, the

two ingredients of self-esteem are feeling loved and capable. Parents can foster this in many little ways everyday. It is important to the child that the parent listens, takes his or her feelings seriously, and spends time alone with their child. They can also show their respect and support by allowing their child to make decisions, respecting their child's possessions, and expressing love with words and hugs. As children grow older, they begin to discover that they have special talents and interests. Parents can help by providing opportunities for children to experiment with different activities. Children who enjoy
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