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How to check in on a child's self-esteem


How kids feel about themselves is critical for their happiness and success in life, and it’s crucial for parents or those working with children to check in with a child’s self-esteem

Kids with strong self-esteem feel good about themselves – they tend to stay true to their values, stand up to peer pressure, and go for their dreams. However, kids with low self-esteem tend to get down on themselves – they often feel self-conscious, lack self-confidence, and might be easily influenced by peers.

It is not uncommon for kids to go through a phase where their self-esteem slips. Unfortunately most kids don’t know how to pull out of it on their own. But by keeping a pulse on children’s self-esteem, you can support them in getting back on track if they begin to slip.

So how can you tell if children are experiencing low self-esteem? Here are several clues to look for:

1. The first clue is to observe how they talk about themselves.

Do they put themselves down (“I’m so stupid.”) or do they build themselves up (“I played that piano piece really well!”)? Do they compare themselves to others – seeing themselves as “less than” (“David’s a better hitter…I’m not very good) or do they see their gifts and talents as well (“David is a great hitter and I’m a great fielder!”).

When children put themselves down or see themselves as “less than” others, they are showing signs of low self-esteem.

2. The second clue is to observe them in their interactions with others.

Do they jump right in, assuming that others will like them or do they shy away, afraid of rejection? Do they introduce themselves to new kids or do they only play with kids they know?

Children who shy away from new experiences and new people might be experiencing low self-esteem.

3. The third clue is to look for the “grungies.”

Grungies are negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anxiety, or embarrassment that often stem from self-doubt and self-criticism. If a child is experiencing the grungies, ask him a few questions to understand if he is getting down on himself. Listening to his self-talk can also help you understand what is going on. If he is experiencing self-doubt, work with him to develop a plan for success. If he is experiencing self-criticism, coach him to focus on what is working versus what is not working and put together a plan to improve the area he is concerned about.

4. Finally, have them take an assessment.

Asking children a series of questions and listening to their responses is a great way to check in with a child’s self-esteem and gauge how they think about themselves. Click here for a copy of our assessment that you can use at home.  It comes from the Adventures in Wisdom skill book #12, “I Love Me! How to Develop Soaring Self-esteem”. 

By watching for these clues, you can help kids get back on track if their self-esteem begins to slip. 

And if you find your child is struggling a bit, share with them the story Choosing Your BFF, from Skill book 15.  This is the free story that we provide to the public to help you see the power of life coaching for kids!  Just click on our logo at the top of this web page and complete the form for a free story. 


To learn more about using tools like these to life coach kids in your own business, click to learn how you can become one of our certified WISDOM Coaches! 

For tools to help your kids develop powerful self-esteem, check out The Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching Program for Kids Home Study Program or find a WISDOM Coach to work with your child


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