The Effects of Low Self Esteem on Children What is Low self-esteem? In most cases, children with low self-esteem feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept them, do not care about them very much, and would not go out of their way to ensure their safety and well-being. Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner (Yarnell, 1999). During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives judge them. The extent to which children believe they have the characteristics valued by the important adults and peers in their lives figures greatly in the development of self-esteem. Low Self- Esteem is the underlying cause of most cases involving: fear, anxiety, anger, panic attacks (self-esteem attacks), dependence and lack of assertiveness, depression, eating disorders, domestic violence, teen and gang violence, addictive behaviors, relationship problems, child-abuse, social anxiety disorders, avoiding personality disorders, and dependent personality disorders. Self-esteem includes the feelings and thoughts that we have about ourselves, how component we feel, and how optimistic we are that we can succeed (Brooks, 1998). What is the impact of Low Self- Esteem on Children? Once low self-esteem is formed, the fear and anxiety that accompanies it affects everything a person does, says, and thinks. Many who have low self-esteem avoid seeking new jobs, initiating relationships, or learning new skills for fear of rejection or failure. Many avoid social setting and refrain from sharing their opinions for the same reasons. Some isolate, become people pleasers, and remain passive. Others get aggressive and cause havoc in their relationships. All people with low self-esteem sabotage their lives to some degree. Â Â Â Â Â When people with low self-esteem do something they perceive as stupid or inappropriate, they instantly feel humiliated and suffer from ?self-esteem attacks?(Sharma, 1999). At these moments they desperately want to run and hide, though this is often not possible. They may plummet into depression and devastation, episodes that may last minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. Afterwards they feel even more embarrassed to face the people who ... ...ls: Questionnaire findings. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 35, 193-203. Garber, J., Robinson, N. S., & Valentiner, D. (1998). The relation between parenting and adolescent depression: Self-worth as a mediator. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12, 12-33. Hymel, S., Rubin, K.H., Rowden, L., & LeMare, L. (1990). Children?s peer relationships: Longitudinal prediction of internalizing and externalizing problems from the middle to late childhood. Child Development, 61, 2004-2021. LeCrone, H. (2001, February 02). Nurturing you child?s self esteem. MDAdive [Online]. Available: http:// www.mdadvice.com/news/2001/02/02/tad-z/3386-0119-pat_nytimes.html [2001, April 18]. Marsh, H., Yeung, A. (1999). The ability of psychological ratings: The chameleon effect in global self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,25, 49-64. Sharma, V.(1999). The Negative Outcomes of having Low Self- Esteem. Mind Publications [Online]. Available: http://www.mindpub.com/art105.htm [2001, April 20]. Yarnell, T. D., (1999, August 15). Build your Child?s Self-Esteem. Psychology and You [Online]. Available: http://www.homestead.com/selfhelpsolutions/build.html [2001, March 16].
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