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How to Help your Child Who is Too Hard on themselves

March 19, 2020

Raising a child can be challenging, but if you look at it from the child’s perspective, it seems even more confusing and daunting, especially for kids in their tween and teenage years. These kids are often overwhelmed with the world and the society and are trying to make sense of everything around them and where they stand in all of it, and some kids, in particular, take it harder than others.

So if you’ve got a child who’s overly critical or is too hard on themselves, here’s what you can step in and do to change things. Read on…

Give His Self Esteem a Boost

The first step to helping your kid overcome their low self-esteem is by giving it a nice boost. Start by getting your kid to sit down and make a list of things they are good at. Ask them how they feel about being able to be better at so many things, and having so many good qualities. Remind them to give themselves three compliments every day, and to be proud of themselves, their life, their journey and everything else. Make sure they feel validated, acknowledged and praised when they deserve to, and remind them that you’re always going to love them, no matter what.

A little girl walking on a sidewalk

Discuss Perfectionism

More often than not, the critical feelings that your kid may have about himself may stem from his idea of perfectionism, and him striving too hard to achieve that. Help him understand that it is okay to not be able to do certain things, and it is okay to not be perfect. Try to help him identify his underlying feelings and ideas about why he’s being too hard on himself- is it because he’s too concerned about others opinions about him? Or is it because he’s trying to prove something to himself.

Model Self Acceptance

This one’s another super effective way to help your kid understand the idea of accepting and loving himself just as he is- when you yourself, a parent, do the same. Each one of us has our own flaws and shortcomings, and when we are aware of that to a point that we try to overcome it, but don’t let those flaws define us or overpower us in any way, we are able to hit the stage of acceptance, and that’s what you have to try and get your kid to understand.

Once your kid learns to accept the things they can’t change, you’ll start noticing an improvement in their self-esteem.

Encourage Positive Self Talk

Negative self-talk is one of the major reasons behind low self-esteem, and sadly, it doesn’t just affect kids but a lot of adults as well. That is exactly why, encouraging positive self-talk can help, and change your kid’s mindset about himself from being the victim to being more realistically empowered. As a parent, make sure you praise his positive qualities and efforts but don’t focus a lot on the ones that make him feel weak and flawed.

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