Do you think your child has lost their confidence? How can you as a parent or other third party help them recover their self-esteem?
A plan needs to be put in place and the first step is to ask the child what it is they want to achieve. This will help them to deal with the issue(s) they are experiencing. Several things will happen once the child has explained what they want at the end of the process:
Firstly, by drawing up a plan the child’s progress can be measured to see how they are coping with achieving their outcome.
Secondly, the parent or another third party will feel more motivated to assist the child because they can compare how they are doing in terms of helping them reach their goal.
Consider the following questions which will help the child to clarify the final outcome more accurately:
1. What is it you want to achieve by the end of the exercise? This question will enable the child to have a clear understanding of what they want.
2. Who have you in mind to help you? This opens a window for the child to focus on a particular concern or area of concern. The area could be the school premises or the issue a particular lesson. The child may not want a close family member to help them and would prefer an older sibling (if appropriate), auntie, uncle or perhaps their teacher.
3. How will you feel once you have achieved your goal? If the child is looking towards the future positively it will motivate them more, even if they are facing some upheavals in their life. Another motivator is the child being able to picture in their mind how good the future will look. If they envisage the consequences of failing to achieve their goal, this could also have positive effects because this will motivate them to adopt a different attitude so they do not continue to experience negative and anxious emotions for a long period of time.
4. Will you feel comfortable and able to control your outcome? This helps the child to decide what they can or cannot control. It will help the child to concentrate and accept what is inevitable and what they can change.
5. What losses will happen if you achieve your goal? This could be like losing a friend or a group of friends because the child has stopped smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs? However, the criteria here is to focus on the positive things rather than the negative side of losing friends who encourage smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs. It is important for the child to see what they will have gained by their success in achieving their goals.
6. Do you need to continue with this? If the child feels there is no value to the outcome ask them more questions as to what makes them feel that way. How would they feel if they continue to keep the concern or issue instead of dealing with it. If they agree to continue with their goal let them know they must work towards their outcome without changing their mind.
7. What are the positives of the goal? Ask the child to make a list of all the positive things they will achieve and benefit from. This will allow the child to focus on positives rather than negatives.
Once the goal has been achieved there should be a reward. It does not have to be an elaborate reward such as an iPad etc. It all depends on what the budget will allow. For example, it can be something like going out to lunch with a few of their friends, a day at the seaside or having the family around to dinner to celebrate the child’s success. It’s important they know how pleased you are for them because that also builds confidence and self-esteem. Children need to know you are supporting them even if they have chosen someone else to help them.
Children should be supported when they have low self-esteem. This could affect them as they grow into adults. Lack of confidence can affect many important areas of life, such as relationships and careers. Confident people usually do very well and cope with things better when they are confident.
©Mental Therapy Online