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Signs of Low Self-Esteem
To help you determine if your child has low self-esteem, watch for the following signals. They could be everyday responses to how your child relates to the world around him, or they might occur only occasionally in specific situations. When they become a repeated pattern of behavior, you need to become sensitive to the existence of a problem. Look for the following:

• Your child avoids a task or challenge without even trying. This can signal a fear of failure or a sense of helplessness.

• Your child quits soon after beginning a game or a task, giving up at the first sign of frustration.

• Your child cheats or lies when he believes he is going to lose a game or do poorly.

• Your child shows signs of regression, acting baby-like or very silly. These types of behaviors invite teasing and name-calling from other youngsters, thus adding insult to injury.

• Your child becomes controlling, bossy, or inflexible as a way of hiding feelings of inadequacy, frustration, or powerlessness.

• Your child makes excuses (“The teacher is dumb”) or downplays the importance of events (“I don’t really like that game anyway”), and uses this kind of rationalizing to place blame on others or external forces.

• Your child’s grades in school have declined, or they have lost interest in their usual activities.

• Your child withdraws socially, losing or having less contact with friends.

• Your child experiences changing moods; exhibiting sadness, crying, anger outbursts, frustration, or quietness.

• Your child makes self-critical comments such as; “I never do anything right, “Nobody likes me,” ”I’m ugly,”” It’s my fault,” or “Everyone is smarter than I am.”

• Your child becomes overly concerned or sensitive about the opinions of others.

• Your child seems to be strongly affected by negative peer influence, adopting attitudes and behaviors like cutting classes, acting disrespectfully, shoplifting, or experimenting with tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

• Your child is either overly helpful or never helpful at home.


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