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Low Self-Esteem: Is Your Child Weighed Down by It?


Low Self-Esteem: Is Your Child Weighed Down by It?

Your child is unique in their own way. However, regardless of the personality type they were born with—competitive and extroverted (choleric), playful and cheerful (sanguine), flexible and focused (phlegmatic), or profound and silent (melancholy)—all children should develop a healthy perception of their self-worth.

Self-esteem or self-worth can make a difference in how well your child handles challenges, interacts with people, and manages their emotions. Developing good self-esteem early in life can shield them against reproaches, difficulties, and failures. While self-esteem can change throughout life, it pays to support your child to give them a good head start in life.


Understanding Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem can make your child feel optimistic, secure, and confident. It can make them feel good about who and what they are, and make it easier for them to handle and manage their problems. Children with high self-esteem are generally keen on exploring, adventuring, and meeting challenges, even outside their comfort zone.

The opposite is the child with low self-esteem. They are insecure and unsure of what to do when confronted with options and difficulties. They will likely rely on you or another person to help them make decisions, missing opportunities to develop their decision-making and leadership potential. They are likely to avoid people and be unhappy and more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.

It isn’t unusual for a parent to miss the signs of low self-esteem in their child. One of the things to watch out for is learning difficulties; low self-esteem is often accompanied by learning issues. A child who has low self-esteem feels defeated, unsure of themselves, and shy, and will not likely ask for help. This can lead to performing poorly in school, and should be a reason to seek professional help.


Who Is Your Child?

The child in your mind is a happy baby, eager to explore and experience everything. You have gotten used to seeing them in good spirits, and haven’t noticed a change. When did it happen?

These days, your child’s tolerance for difficulty has plummeted, and they show signs of exasperation with every task. You often hear them chastising themselves, uttering words like “I will never get this thing right!” or “I am so stupid!” or something else to that effect. You may see them watching other children their age from the sidelines, not joining in, when they used to be a part of the team. They may feel unsure of what they want or uneasy with people. They may also exhibit depression and anxiety symptoms, such as excessive gloom and/or fear.

Children with positive self-worth will not be frazzled by challenges and meeting new people. They will perform at center stage without fears, knowing they are doing their best. The thought of failing does not intimidate them; they believe it is part of the process to be better. They take comments well and appreciate them. They are likely to be leaders in class or on the playground, and they are happy, even when things do not turn out as expected.


Evolving Self-Esteem

Your child’s self-esteem grows throughout their childhood. It blooms as they grow older and are nourished by caring hands and loving attention. Childhood is perfect, though. As they grow, their environment gets bigger and more complicated too, making it impossible for you to filter every experience or assist them in every challenge. Because self-esteem is volatile, it can evolve—getting stronger or weaker—from milestone to milestone or experience to experience, from childhood until late in life.

Your child is shaping their self-esteem based on their experiences, relationships, and environment. Good self-esteem protects them from painful criticism, challenges, and failures. This is the best time to help your child develop healthy self-esteem, and you should recognize the symptoms of poor self-esteem.

Unfortunately, these signs are often missed and ignored. What must you watch out for? The Self-Esteem Institute offers these cognitive symptoms and consequences of low self-esteem:

  • Faulty self-image
  • Inability to discern who and when to trust
  • Irrational and distorted self-statements
  • Lacking self-confidence
  • Mind-reading and negative projection
  • Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) and addictive behaviors
  • Overly critical of self and others
  • Reactionary
  • Rigidity or lack of flexibility
  • Self-focused
  • Storytelling
  • Unreasonable expectations


Boosting Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Some children have an easy time, gliding from one milestone to the next. Their secret may be their positive sense of self-worth. Of course, you want this for your child. However, boosting a child’s low self-esteem can be extremely challenging. Helping your child is admirable, but if they are older, they may see your help as unnecessary.

Providing your child with help, guidance, and support is critical when they have poor self-esteem. As a parent, you have the power to reinforce their self-esteem and make a difference in their life, but you don’t have to be alone in this. You can nurture and encourage your child with the assistance of a capable counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks.

One thing is clear: your child can better enjoy their life journey, moving from milestone to milestone and attaining their goals, when they have healthy self-esteem. Despite your best effort, you can’t clear all the obstacles from their path every day of their life. What you can do is prepare them, so they can look forward without fears, hang-ups, or worries. What you can do is provide them with the right help from an independently contracted therapist with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks, as soon as you notice the symptoms of low self-esteem.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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