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How can I help my daughter's self esteem?

My 5 (almost 6 ) year old is in Kindergarten and for the past few weeks she has become very down on herself, she created and imaginary ghost friend who said she was ugly, then she told me that one of her closest friends at school told her she was smart but fat too.
I am heartbroken for her to be having this issue at such a young age. Any suggestions on how I tackle this issue?

Answer Question

Asked by jules2179 at 9:36 AM on Jun. 14, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Praise, praise and more praise, constantly, reassurance and more praise.....

    Answer by older at 9:39 AM on Jun. 14, 2013


    ^^^Agree with older!  Here's 1 of many websites w/ helpful suggestions on this topic.  GL & Hugs to the the little one :)


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:51 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • Definitely praise, but not for everything - she won't believe it if it's overdone. Look for the things she's good at and focus on those things. As a side note, if she is having weight issues don't say anything to her but look for ways to make her more active and focus on healthy eating - being overweight will most likely affect her self esteem no matter what you say or do.

    Answer by missanc at 10:14 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • I agree that the praise needs to be appropriate or it won't mean anything. It is particularly important when she accomplishes some task by herself.

    Answer by silverthreads at 10:20 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • If there is common sense praise will only apply to good things not everything....

    Answer by older at 10:23 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • In addition to praise, have her tell you things that she thinks are good about herself. Things she likes about herself. Making her find positives about herself will help her to see them better, too.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:37 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • Praise and a passion. Sports are a very good way to boost self-esteem. My daughter is very competitive, but team sports aren't her thing. But gymnastics, tennis, swimming are all great sports for her.

    Answer by snookyfritz at 10:48 AM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • I might also point out that friends can be wrong. And can be wrong OFTEN.

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:47 PM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • Get her into a martial art. My whole family is a part of ATA (American Taekwondo Association). First and foremost, our school teaches self control and self discipline.

    A side effect I've noticed in MY 6 year old is her confidence when talking to strangers. From the time she was an itty bitty baby until about a year ago she would NOT talk to strangers. If one talked to her she'd find neutral space between me and the stranger and stare into it, ignoring everything. Or, as she got older and I couldn't carry her, she'd hide behind me. She was REALLY shy.

    Since she started TKD with us that has changed. She's still not as chatty with strangers as she is at home, but she's not hiding from them either.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:05 PM on Jun. 14, 2013

  • Praise is great, but focus on other things besides how your daughter looks. As a society, we start prasin little girls at a very young age for being cute or pretty or the like, and it sends the message that how they look is what matters. It's okay to tellyour daughter she looks cute in an outfit, but also find opportunities to praise her for being smart, creative, compassionate--qualities that show what she *is* like, not just what she *looks* like.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:51 PM on Jun. 14, 2013

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