As parents, you have a tendency to forget that your kids have lots of feelings. That sounds crazy, but it’s more to do with the depth of feelings a child has. They don’t tend to express many different emotions or discuss what’s going on in their brains. So, it’s easy to look at your child and think they’re either happy or sad when they could be feeling all sorts of things.
For instance, did you know that a lot of children suffer from self-consciousness? This is something you rarely think about as kids don’t make it obvious when things get to them. You’re used to thinking that children are so carefree and will do what they want. They usually do, but now and then things can prop up that really make them feel self-conscious.
As a parent, what can you do to rectify the situation? Well, here are some tips and advice to help your child deal with self-consciousness:
Identify the main cause
All self-consciousness stems from something. So, your first task is to figure out what’s causing these feelings in your child. It could stem from pretty much anything – usually something insignificant. You’ll be amazed at how something tiny can affect a child and make them dwell on things for months on end. Even if it’s a comment from another child in their nursery class about the way they look – it stays with them for a long time!
The only way to find the cause is to speak to your child. Ask them how they are and if they’re okay. You could also be more observant to spot any telltale signs that may indicate the cause. For example, they may constantly be looking in the mirror and touching their hair. In that case, you might guess that something about their hair is causing self-conscious feelings. Perhaps someone commented on the color or style and it got to your child.
From here, you can find ways to directly address the cause. For instance, a common reason kids are self-conscious is that they get glasses. They’ve gone from not needing any to suddenly wearing them every day. As a result, people might comment on them or make fun of your child. Now, you can work on addressing this by helping them choose a great quality pair of glasses that are stylish. You can wear some as well so they don’t feel like an outcast, etc. Once you know what’s causing the mental problems, you will soon find a dozen or so ways of dealing with it.
Encourage your child and be positive
Sometimes, children feel self-conscious because of a lack of support at home. They might do all their homework and receive no praise at all. To you, it doesn’t seem like much is happening. You’re busy making dinner when they show you their new drawing, so you don’t have time to shower them with praise. You don’t think it will affect them, but it makes them feel quite self-conscious.
A child can easily feel like they’re not good enough, which starts to make them feel less confident. This doesn’t just come from inside the home, it can happen at school as well. If a teacher never compliments your child or encourages them, it leads to confidence issues. So, you should always encourage your child and be positive. Practice the art of positive reinforcement: always commend your child when they do something. Even something as simple as saying ‘well done, that’s amazing’ can brighten a child’s mood.
Consequently, they feel less self-conscious and withdrawn. They start to believe in themselves because you’re always reminding them how fantastic they are. Nobody will intentionally avoid praising their child, but it’s something we sometimes forget to do!
Highlight their bravery
One of the most common examples of a self-conscious child is one that doesn’t want to go to school. They may dislike going because they think they’re dumber than the other children. They find it hard to do the work, and they don’t like the way the teacher reacts to that. Or, it could be that they’re getting bullied or picked on, making them self-conscious about how they look.
In any case, you should do a couple of things. Firstly, go to the school and talk to them about any issues – particularly if bullying or poor teaching is the problem. Secondly, make it your personal mission to constantly highlight your child’s bravery. Tell them they’re really brave for going to school or for standing up in front of the class to do a presentation. Let them know when they’re stepping out of their comfort zone and doing something important.
It’s similar to the previous tip on encouragement and positivity, but with a focus on bravery. After all, self-consciousness is heavily linked to bravery. You have to be brave to get over your fears and do things that might make you feel self-conscious. All children need a parent that will stand by them and let them know when they’re being extremely brave!
Teach them self-love
Last but not least, teach your child to love themselves. This sounds a bit preachy, but it works. Children are very impressionable, meaning they learn things at a young age and it stays with them for life. If you teach a young child the value of loving themselves and not caring what others think, it will help them for the rest of their years alive. It might take time for them to buy into this way of thinking, but if they do, it will be something they take with them on their journey through life.
The two key things to take from this are that: a) children get self-conscious just as much as adults, and b) you can help your child get over their worries and inner fears! Realistically, it all stems from communication – you need to communicate with your kids to know what’s going on in their lives and how they’re feeling. From here, you can help them get over any mental barriers and feel more confident.