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How Counseling Helps in Developing Self-Esteem in Children

improving self-esteem with counseling, Self-esteem issues in children,child counseling Fayetteville NC,Carolina Counseling North Fayetteville Office Fayetteville NC

How Counseling Helps in Developing Self-Esteem in Children


Self-esteem begins to develop in children as soon as they are born. It is the degree to which a child feels confident, important, and worthy of respect that helps in establishing his or her self-concept. It may move between high and low points. A child with high self-esteem feels good about themselves as they progress through life. On the other hand, a child with low self-esteem feels shame and self-doubt, and dwells on self-criticism. Low self-esteem is often a symptom of several behavioral and emotional health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

While low self-esteem is certainly influenced by a myriad of factors, it is rooted in a child’s experiences growing up. It does not necessarily mean, though, that the family was abusive in any way, but it does mean that a child’s emotional needs were somehow not met to the required degree.


Growing Up with Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem emanates from different sources at different stages of a child’s development. It is mainly influenced by parental attitudes and behavior. A child raised by parents with supportive behavior, including encouragement and praise for accomplishments, is most likely to develop healthy self-esteem in early childhood.

Through the years, a child’s experiences outside the home become increasingly influential in determining self-esteem. As a student, the school plays a part in fostering a child’s attitude toward competition and in recognizing achievements in various fields, such as academics, sports, and arts. By early adolescence, more time is spent with peers than interacting with parents. Friendships and other relationships have assumed a pivotal role in shaping and maintaining self-esteem.


Low self-esteem can be caused by a number of factors. They may include the following:


  • Age: Self-esteem tends to either grow or decrease when a child transitions from the familiar environment of elementary school to a new setting like middle school or college. Facing the new demands can bring about emotional difficulty.


  • Gender: Across cultures, girls tend to be more susceptible in developing low self-esteem than boys due to increased social pressures that put more emphasis on appearance than intelligence or athletic ability.


  • Body Image: Children who are overweight, underweight, or small for their age may feel they fall short of standards within the context of advertising images frequently seen in the media. With the rise of social media, children and young people often compare themselves to those they follow, thinking they need to look or behave in a certain way to be accepted. When these are not met, this may lead to social isolation that contributes to low self-esteem.


  • Socioeconomic status: Children from lower income families can feel more discriminated against or disadvantaged than those from higher income families. This can affect the sense of self-esteem throughout the adolescence years.



  • Emotional Health Status: Young people who keep their condition a secret or dispel negative opinions about their emotional health condition often have lower self-esteem.


  • Adverse Childhood Experiences: Child abuse, harsh criticism for mistakes, bullying, rejection, death of a loved one and other traumatic childhood experiences or life changes can cause fear or self-doubt, resulting in reduced self-esteem.


Spending Childhood with Low Self-Esteem

 If your child is experiencing low self-esteem, regardless of its root cause, the negative belief may be reflected in his or her behavior. Apart from a change in body language and approach to life, the effects and signs of low self-esteem can interfere in your child’s functioning.

Low self-esteem may prevent a child from enjoying usual hobbies for fear of judgment. The cycle of self-criticism, anger, guilt, or sadness can take away his or her happiness in life. Other low self-esteemed children are susceptible to self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse or unhygienic practices.

The lack or absence of self-belief can greatly impair a child’s productivity in various settings. Being worried about others’ opinions may result in a lack of focus on the task at hand. The certainty of failure can result in the child constantly putting themselves down to avoid taking risks or accomplishing goals. Even if there is an effort to try things, there is a lot of doubt about the success of it. Due to low self-esteem, the child may lack the resilience needed in the face of a challenge.

A child with low self-esteem may try to earn the love of others even in exchange for ill treatment. While there is the tendency to bully and condemn others, it may be to compensate for their feelings of insecurity. Someone with low self-esteem feels inadequate or unimportant and believes he or she is unworthy of love, so there is the fear of seeking a relationship thinking they might be rejected. The negative self-image is further fed as the child cowers in social isolation.

Children and young adolescents with poor self-esteem feel they are uncared for, abandoned, and may find it difficult to develop positive feelings for others. Low self-esteem is a contributing factor to behavioral and emotional health concerns. It is most common among children experiencing eating disorders, depression, social anxiety, self-harm and other issues detrimental to a child’s emotional health.


The Initial Help at Home

Healthy self-esteem begins to develop from birth, emphasizing the implicit need of children to be raised in a loving, supportive and stable environment with strong moral values. Developing a child’s self-esteem is an ongoing process initiated by parents and nurtured by teachers, peers, and others. As a parent, you may not always “get it right,” but as long as there is constant love and support at home, your child will feel they are worthy, important, and cared for.

Working to develop or improve your child’s self-esteem takes time. More than anyone else, parents are expected to promote their child’s self-esteem. While there are steps you can take to guide your child during the process, know there are resources in place to help you along the way.


Giving a Boost to Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a deep-rooted issue that can feel debilitating and hold your child back from achieving their potential in life. It deprives him or her from even feeling entitled to be happy or having healthy meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, it cannot be fixed overnight. Low self-esteem is a strongly rooted faulty belief system originating out of long-termed reinforced negative beliefs or trauma.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments available to change unhealthy patterns of low self-esteem. If your child is struggling with negative or poor self-esteem, professional children’s counseling can be a very important resource that can help uncover the source of hurt so your child can grow toward leading a productive life.

If you need a therapist, Carolina Counseling Services North Fayetteville Office –Fayetteville, NC independently contracts highly trained counselors/therapists. One of them may be the right fit professional who can work with your child to uncover the root cause of his or her low self-esteem. As the roots of the faulty belief system start to weaken, your child will feel a boost of positivity about himself or herself. Many children have been helped by the expert counselors independently contracted with CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC in developing and strengthening their own self-worth, which is an important foundation for relationships, careers, and future successes.


To find out more about receiving help for your child’s low self-esteem contact Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC today!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Silver City NC, Linden NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Pineview NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-636-0011 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: 910-308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri
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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC