A guest post by Coach Rebecca Pintre, from Artemis Mindset Coaching, on recognising the signs of low self esteem in a child, and what parents can do about it.
Self-esteem is the sense of worth a person has about themselves, the value they put on themselves. It is important to have a good balance of self-esteem and a positive yet realistic sense of self-worth. As a coach, low self-esteem is one of the issues I come across frequently. As a mother of two young girls I know that fostering good self-esteem in my daughters is one of my key tasks.
A lack of self-esteem prevents us from setting high aims, stops us from performing at our best, and hinders our achievement of our goals. It can affect every aspect of our lives, from our career, relationships, and influence our physical and mental health well-being.
Here are five red flags to look out for in your children, and some tips to try and help them raise their self-esteem.
It’s that time again; harassed parents across the country are scrambling to buy new shoes for their children as they begin a new school year. My children are particularly difficult to buy for as they both have narrow heels, and have to have properly fitted shoes or risk stepping out of them every time they walk.
This year I tried something different with my eldest child, who’s 7. I’d already had to buy her new trainers earlier in the holidays (it turns out that trainers don’t survive a thorough dunking in mud followed by a good long paddle in the sea. Who knew?) so when I was asked by Start-Rite if my daughter would like to try a pair of their shoes I was over the moon.
“Put this on YouTube and it will go viral”, isn’t just heard from teens. Even little kids are telling their parents to share their funny videos online, and from a young age, they know the value of ‘likes’ and shares. The currency of social media likes, and the way it affects children’s self-esteem is a problem that worries parents and teachers around the world.
When our Science Editor Samantha set us the task of thinking up meals to make with the list of goods provided by her local foodbank, our Facebook group took up the challenge. What do you make with a pile of tins and dried food? The suggestions included pasta bake, jambalaya style rice dish, soup, fishcakes (using tinned fish and potatoes), cottage pie (using Smash and tinned mince), bubble and squeak.
One thing that we quickly realised was that without basic herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, oils and other ingredients to make the food more interesting and tasty, the meals would be bland and boring. Not to mention the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables!
We also realised that we didn’t know as much about them as we thought we did, and asked Sam to tell us the truth about foodbanks, how they are run, and who uses them.
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My daughter comes home with a badge pinned to her school uniform: DEPUTY, it says in proud capital letters.
“I’m a deputy teacher”, she tells me. “Miss Jamieson* moved me to sit next to Jack and Max because they don’t behave and I do. It’s mostly the boys who don’t behave so we need to model good behaviour for them.”
She’s not wrong: it is the boys. “Boys will be boys”, they are told. It is the boys who talk during quiet time, wrestle when it comes time for silent reading, tear the art supplies and shout out at assembly. The girls’ learning is interrupted again and again while the teacher deals with their male companions. They are asked to change seats to calm the boys. They are asked to lay down their advanced reading books to help their male friends catch up.
Meanwhile, my daughter is proud of her role as gatekeeper. She stops what she’s doing to shush the boys when they get rowdy. She reports to me after school that Jack is sounding out longer words now, but she’s worried because Max had to sit in the quiet corner and maybe the teacher will take her coveted title away.
As the nights start drawing in, and the end of the holidays near, we turn our attention to the worst part of the school holidays. Getting ready to go back to school. Does any of this sound familiar?