Parents need to identify children with low self-esteem and help them build self-confidence.

Self Esteem & Bad Behavior in Children

by Martha Holden

Children’s personal thoughts and feelings affect their behavior and relationships with others. Children with high self-esteem exhibit social maturity and good behavior, while children with low self-esteem are often stubborn. Caregivers and parents can identify children with low self-esteem and help them improve their self-confidence. Children's environments directly affect their self-esteem; a loving and calm environment encourages self-confidence and good behavior among children.

1. Self-Esteem

Self-esteem varies among children. Children with a positive self-esteem have a sense of responsibility; they communicate clearly and affirmatively, act with confidence and can handle different challenges. Alternatively, children with low self-esteem often succumb to peer pressure, have a negative attitude and shy away from responsibility. These children often feel unloved and easily end up in the wrong company as they seek acceptance.

2. Bad Behavior

Bad behavior in children is visible in their interactions with adults and other children. Children with low self-esteem are more likely to behave badly. Parents also influence children's behavior. Neglecting your child makes him yearn for attention and love and may result in irrational behavior. Additionally, pampering and lack of discipline may encourage habits such as selfishness, vulgar language and lack of respect. Children with bad behavior may embarrass their parents in public and find it difficult to socialize with other kids. They also give caretakers, parents and teachers a hard time.

3. Parenting

Parents influence children’s self-esteem and behavior. You can improve your child’s self-esteem and encourage good behavior through positive affirmation and affection. However, do not give false praise, as it may boost your child’s self-esteem for a while but could later negatively affect him. Always address your child’s behavior and punish or award her when necessary. Communicate calmly and clearly that actions have consequences. Remain consistent while punishing your child and explain to her the reason she is being punished.

4. Communication

Children’s behavior and self-esteem varies with age. Younger children may be confident, while adolescents may experience low self-esteem. Communication between you and your children will help you address their various concerns. Additionally, you can affirm them verbally and encourage them to take challenges that will improve their self-confidence. You will also address certain behaviors that need change and explain why the change is important. This may eventually bring a positive change in your children.

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