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Important Tools to Better Self-Esteem in Children

Important Tools to Better Self-Esteem in Children
January 26, 2016 Ashley

Important Tools to Better Self-Esteem in Children

For more tips on self-esteem, listen to our podcast episode How to Support & Build Kids’ Self-Esteem.

Research shows that on average, girls’ self-esteem peaks at age 9 before it then decreases throughout the tween and teen years. But boys are not immune either as we have seen self-esteem issues in boys triple over the past 25 years. What is going on?

Before I share some insights into self-esteem, it is helpful to first know what it is.

Healthy self-esteem is:

  • A realistic and appreciative view of the self
  • A faith in one’s ability to handle life’s challenges

Poor self-esteem in children has many detrimental effects in both the short and long term.

Short Term

  • Withdraw from challenges
  • Don’t try new things
  • More troubled by failure
  • Blame others rather than taking responsibility
  • Easily influenced by peers
  • Engage in critical self-thinking
  • Experience social anxiety

Long Term

  • More likely to engage in disordered eating, smoking, drinking or bullying
  • Engage is sex younger
  • Lower achievement scores in school
  • More likely to meet criteria for drug and alcohol dependence
  • Less enjoyment from relationships
  • Increased risk for suicide and self-harming behaviors
  • Lower success in careers, school and relationships

For ways to support your child in building healthy self-esteem, see our classes on self-esteem, Self-Esteem Birth through Preschool and Self-Esteem Ages 5 and Up.