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Detecting Low Self-Esteem in Your Child


Detecting Low Self-Esteem in Your Child


Some children are naturally friendly and outgoing, while some are naturally shy and introverted. Regardless of what personality type children have, to a certain extent they should be able to see themselves as unique, priceless individuals. This sense of self-worth or self-esteem is a vital component in their ability to live happy and productive lives.  As early as possible, it is important to detect signs of low self-esteem in your child.

Ignoring the signs of low self-esteem can make your child’s life full of unhappiness, awkwardness and frustrations. Untreated, they may experience physical and mental health conditions, not to mention bringing low self-esteem beyond childhood. 


Why Low Self-Esteem can be masked

Low self-esteem in children can remain undetected for a long time because many factors can mask this issue. Some children manifest signs of low self-esteem only in certain environments, or only when they are with certain people, or when they are doing things they are not good at. At the same time, the child who seems painfully shy can act with admirable self-confidence when tackling a familiar task.

Parents need to be sensitive to signs that their children need help in the way they view themselves. Thankfully, this is a direction that can be taken quite painlessly and productively with the help of well-trained and caring professionals.


Manifestations that Reveal Low Self-Esteem

Some children will alert you to their inner anguish by saying out loud, “I am so stupid!” or “I’m such a loser!” Many, however, will employ strategies to hide their low sense of self-worth. Here are a few of the behaviors or signs parents need to be sensitive to if they want to spot low self-esteem at an early stage.

Refusing to participate. Many children who suffer from low self-esteem consistently refuse to join contests, participate in games, or undertake unfamiliar tasks. This is rooted in their belief that they will fail. They may also refuse to participate in anything competitive – possibly because they anticipate losing, and they want to avoid that.

Clowning or heckling. When children with low self-esteem feel pressured, they can also resort to clowning, acting silly, or making heckling comments. Many parents understandably mistake these disruptive actions as ordinary misbehavior, and some will simply chalk it up to their child’s being “such a tease”.

Aggression and bullying. Children with a low sense of self-worth are plagued with feelings of inadequacy. To deflect this insecurity, they sometimes target other children in whom they perceive weakness. In a way, this directs their focus away from their own burdens towards others, but it also buries their own issues deeper.

Controlling behavior. When you see children who always try to dictate what games to play, or who gets to play, you are looking at children who are trying to take control of their lives. Chances are, you are face to face with children who are battling low self-esteem, and it is highly possible that other children will avoid playing with them. This, of course, tends to further aggravate their self-esteem problems.


Taking the First Step

If you see your child refusing to take on games or activities that should be part of daily living, or if you hear your child expressing thoughts about failing, it is best that you seek professional help so that your child can conquer self-esteem problems at the earliest possible time. Low self-esteem can be an emotionally crippling burden, but it is one that can definitely be overcome. Call Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC today and get your child the necessary gentle and caring help from independently contracted expert counselors. Don’t delay your call; the sooner you call the better it will be for your child.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546


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, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (919) 895-3222 (Fastest way to schedule)
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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330