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Conquering Low Self-esteem

I used to have a friend named Jennifer. Although she was such a beautiful and easygoing person, she lacked self-confidence. She grew up in an Asian family who saw her as never good or competent enough, while academically she was an excellent student.

There could be a million reasons causing a child to feel unimportant.

One of the biggest reasons will be low self-esteem! Many things can cause low self-esteem.

What is low self-esteem?

According to The Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, “A poor self-image in the literature has the simple meaning that the picture in a person’s mind’s eye of how they view their physical attributes (body self-image), their success in mastering their environment (success, competence, intelligence), and their overall self-worth is distorted by the picture they hold of themselves.”

Here is how we turn a low self-esteem child into a confident person by using Cognitive Therapy.

  • Build a trustful relationship with your child.

This is the most important step for parents to take. Everyone has to feel understood in order to share their concern with you. Understanding them is the key to finding out what’s been bothering your child and why he/she has such low-self esteem. Spend time with him or her. Ask, “How’s your day?” every day. Hug each other on a daily basis. Support and listen to your child for real, so he/she can feel loved.

  • Talk through the problem to gain insight.

After gaining trust from your child, they will be able to share what’s on their mind with you. You can start by asking, “Why would you think in this way?” when she/he has told you they think they aren’t important enough. Knowing the situation will help you understand his/her low self-esteem.

  • Solve the problem.

Practice that situation! How/what would help him or her overcome this situation?

If your child is too afraid to try, act it out by using Drama Therapy* before practicing it in real life.

*The North American Drama Therapy Association defines Drama Therapy: “This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored, and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced.”

For example, a child might be afraid of talking to the opposite gender, or afraid of being rejected.

Therefore, you could set up a situation in which your child can practice talking with girls or boys. Go out in the street and walk your child through all the steps. Teach him/her to open a conversation with a simple question. Then slowly lead the conversation toward personal interests.

After practicing it for many times, he will gain some positive reinforcement during the process. The more one practices, the more one becomes better at the situation.

You have to know what makes the child feel important, so keep practicing that by using cognitive psychology as well. This could also reduce the fear of speaking in public or other performance.



Jessica is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. She intends to improve overall human awareness, especially the importance of seeing a counselor for any emotional issue. Couple and Relationship counseling is her main focused in the field of mental health. Believing in finding the balance of life will bring in inter peace of self. She has done over hundred counseling sections. Helping people to get a better quality of life brings her happiness.

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